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Full text of "The Rámáyana of Tulsi Dás"

preeented to 

(Cbe Xibrar? 

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Mrs, P.H, RuBsell 






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THE 

RAMAYANA 
TULsf DAS 



TRANSLATED FROM TH B ORIGINAL HINDI 
v-^^T>^ BY 

F. S.'GROWSE, B. c. s.; 

M.A., OxoN ; C. I. E. ; 

FELLOW OF THE CALCUTTA 
UNIVERSITY. 

SIXTH EDITION. 

REVISED AND CORRECTED. 

" The IMnidyan of Tulsi Dds is more 
popular and more honoured by the 
people of the North-Western Pro- 
vinces than the Bible is by the 
corresponding classes in 
England." 

GRIFFITH. 

:M I a ft a b a d : 
RAM NARAIN LAL. 

PUBLISHER & BOOKSELLER,- 







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INTRODUCTION. 



The Sanskrit R^m^yana of VAlrafki has been published 
more than once, with all the advantages of European edi- 
torial skill and tlie most luxurious typography. It has also 
been translated both in verse and prose, and, in part at least, 
into Latin, as well as into Italian, French and English. 
The more popular Hindi presentment of the same great 
national Kpic can only be read in lithograph or baz^r 
print, ^ and -with the exception of a single Book has 
never till now been translated in any form into any 
language whatever. Yet it is no unworthy rival of its 
more fortunate predecessor. There can, of course be no 
comparison between the polished phraseology of classical 
Sanskrit and the rough colloquial idiom of Tulsi Das's 
vernacular ; while the antiquity of VAltniki's poem further 
invests it with an adventitious interest for the student of 
Indian history. But, on the other hand, the Hindi poem 
is the best and most trustworthy guide to the popular 
living faith of the Hindu race at the present day a matter 
of not less practical interest than the creed of their remote 
ancestors -and its language, which in the course of three 
centuries has contracted a tinge of archaism, is a study of 
much importance to the philologist, as helping to bridge the 
chasm between the modern tongue and the meditevai. It is 
also less wordy and diffuse than the Sanskrit original and, 
probably in consequence of its modern date, is less dis- 
figured by wearisome interpolations and repetitions ; while, 
if it never soars so high as Valmlki in some of his best 
passages, it maintains a more equable level of poetic 
diction, and seldom sinks with him into such dreary depths 
of unmitigated prose. It must also be noted that it is in 
no sense a translation of the earlier work : the general 
plan and the management of the incidents are necessarily 
much the same, but there is a difference in the touch in 
every detail ; and the two poems vary as widely as any two 
dramas on the same mythological subject by two different 
Greek tragedians. Even the coincidence of name is an 
accident; for Tulsi Dds himself called his poem * The 



1 A hanHsotne edition of tiie text was issued from the press of the 
Baptist Mission in Calcutta many years ago : bur it has long been out of 
print, and the only copy I have ever seen of it was the one in use at the 
college of Fort William in 1861. I had thus entirely forgotten the fact till 
reminded of it by Mr. Bate, a gentleman who has ably maiutaiiied the scholarly 
reputation of the Mission i^y his very useful Hindi Dictionary. 



11 INTRODDOTION. 

Rim-charit-m^naR,' and the shorter title, corresponding 
in character to the ' Iliad * or * ^^neid,* has only been 
substituted by his admirers as a handier designation for a 
popular favourite. 

However, the opinion that the more modern poem is a 
close adaptation, or rifnecimento, of the Sanskrit original is 
very widely entertained, not only by European scholars but 
also by Hindus themselves. For, among the latter, an 
orthodox pandit is essentially homo unius lihri^ to whom 
the idea of comparative criticism is altogether strange and 
unintelligible. Whatever is written in the one book, to 
which he pins his faith, is for him the absolute truth, which 
he positively declines to weaken or obscure by a reference 
to any other authority. It he can understand Vdlmiki's 
Sanskrit, he despises Tuisi Dds as a vulgarian and would 
not condescend to read a line of him ; if he knows only 
Hindi, he accepts the modern poem with as implicit faith 
as if it were an immemorial sh^stra, and accounts a 
quotation from his R^mAyana an unanswerable argument 
on any disputed topic. Thus, in all probability, the only 
educated Hindus who liave much acquaintance with both 
poems are the professors and students of Government 
colleges, whose views have been broadened by pjuropean 
influence. It may, therefore, be of interest to show a little 
more at length how great is the divergence between the two 
poems. 

In both, the first Book brings the narrative precisely to 
the sanjp point, viz , the marriage of R^ma and Sita. With 
Tulsi Das this is much the longest book of the seven, and 
fornjs all but a third of the complete work ; in the Sanskrit, 
on the contrary, it is the shortest but one, even after includ- 
ing the first four cantos, which are obviously a late addi- 
tion. They give a table of contents, and explain how 
Vdlmiki learnt the story from Ndrad, and taught it to 
Kusa and Lava; thus corresponding in no respect, with 
Tulsi Das's introduction. The actual poem commences at 
once, without any prelude, with a description of Ayodhy4 
and its King Dasarath and his ministers, and of his long- 
ing for an heir ; and tells how Rishyasring, Vibhandak's 
son (whose previous adventures are recorded at length) 
was invited from the palace of his father-in-law, LomapAd, 
the kingof ('hamp'^, to direct the ceremonies of a great 
sacrifice, which the childless Dasarath resolved to celebrate, 
inthe hope of thereby obtaining his desire. The gods, 
being at that time sorely distressed by RAvan*s persecution, 



INTRODUCTION. Ill 

had fled to Vishnu for succour; and he, in answer to 
their prayer, became incarnate in the four sons that were 
born to the king, while inferior divinities took birth as 
bears and monkeys. The four princes are named by 
Vasishia. They grow up, and the king is thinking where 
to find suitable brides for them, when Visvamitra comes, 
and, after a long colloquy, takes away with him Rdma and 
Lakshman to protect him at the time of sacrifice fiora the 
demons that persistently assail him. On the way they 
pass by the Anga hermitage, where the god of love had 
been reduced to ashes by Siva a legend to which very 
brief allusion is made, then though the forest of T^rakd, 
whom Rdma meets in battle and slays, but not till her 
genealogy has been fully recorded. He is then invested 
by the saint with certain heavenly weapons and magical 
powers, and, arriving at Visvamitra's hermitage, he slays 
the demons MAricha and Sub^hu. Being told of Janak's 
bow-sacrifice he resolves to attend it ; and as he crosses the 
Son and the Ganges on Ids way thither, Visvamitra enter- 
tains him with a prolix account of his own descent from 
King Kusa, of the birth of Ganga, the legend of the sons 
of Sagar and his sacrifice, and how his descendant Bhagi- 
rath brougdt down the Ganges from heaven and concludes 
with the genealogy of the kings of Vis^la. As they draw 
near to Mithild, Rima delivers Gautam's wife Ahaly^, 
whose legend is given with all its circumstances. He is 
welcomed by Janak and by Ahalya's son, Satananda, and 
the latter makes a long speech of eight hundred lines, in 
which he gives a complete history of the contention between 
Visvamitra and Vasishta, with an account of Trisanku and 
Sunahsepha and Ambarisha and of Visvamitra's final pro- 
motion to Brdhmanical rank. Janak shows Rdma the bow 
in its case, and he then and there takes it up and snaps it 
in pieces. The royal suitors had all tried in vain, and 
after fruitlessly besieging the city, with intent to carry off 
Sita by force, had returned discomforted to their own 
realms. Envoys are despatched to Ayodhya for King 
Dasarath ; Kusa-dhvaj, Janak's brother, is also summoned 
from Sankasya : and then in full conclave Vasishta pro- 
claims Rdma's pedigree, after which Janak recites his own. 
The fourfold nuptials then take place, a hundred thousand 
cows being given to the Br^hmans in the name of each of 
the brides, and many precious gifts being bestowed in 
dowry. Dasarath then takes his way home with his sons 
and daughters, but is met by Parasur^m with Vishnu's 
bow, which Rama strings at once, and the son of Bhrigu 



IV INTRODUCTION. 

ackowled^es his supremacy. They then reach Ayodhyd, 
whence Bharat soon departs with his uncle, Yudhajit, on a 
visit to his mother's father, Kekaya. 

On comparing the above sketch with my translation of 
the corresponding portion of the Hindi poem, it will be 
seen that the two agree only in the broadest outline. Tlie 
episodes so freely introduced by both poets are, for the 
most part, entirely dissimilar ; and even in the main narra- 
tive some of the most important incidents, such as the break- 
ing of the bow and the contention with Parasuram, are 
differently placed and assume a very altered complexion. 
In other passages where the story follows the same lines, 
whatever V^lmiki has condensed as, for example, the 
description of the marriage festivities Tulsi Das has 
expanded ; and wherever the elder poet has lingered 
longest, his successor has hastened on most rapidly. 

In the seventh, or last, Book, the divergence is, if any- 
thing, still more marked. It consists with V^lmiki of 124 
cantos, the first 49 of which are occupied by a dialogue be- 
tween Rama and the Rishi Agastya, who relates the story of 
Ravan's birth and his conquest of the world. In the 50th 
canto Ruma dismisses his monkey followers to their homes : 
and it in only is this one passage and in occasional reference 
to the glory and happiness of RAma's reign that there is any 
coincidence with the Hindi 'Sequel.' The remainder of 
the Sanskrit poem relates the exile of Sita and the 
Asvamedh sacrifice; after which Rama and his brothers 
ascend to heaven. All these topics are totally omitted by 
Tulsi DAs, who substitutes for them the story of Kdka- 
bhnsundi and a series of laboured disquisitions on the true 
nature of Faith. 

The earliest notice of our author, as, indeed, of all the 
other celebrated Vaishnava writers who flourished about 
the same period, r/s., the 16th and 17th century A. 1)., is to 
be found in the Bhakt-MAl^, or ' Legends of the Saints,' 
one of the most difficult works in the Hindi language. Its 
composition is invariably ascribed to N4bh6 J(, himself one 
of the leaders of the reform which had its centre at Brindii- 
ban ; but the poem, as we now have it, was avowedly 
edited, if not entirely written, by one of his disciples 
named NArdyan DAs who lived during the reign of Sh^h- 
jahAn. A single stanza is all that is ordinarily devoted to 
each personage, who is panegyrized with reference to his 
mo8t salient characteristics in a style that might be de- 
scribed as of unparalleled obscurity, were it not that each 



INTRODUCTION. V 

such separate portiou ol' the text is followed by a iika, or 
gloss, written by one Priya Dds in the sambat year 1769 
(1713 A. D.) in which confusion is still worse confounded 
by a series of the most disjointed and inexplicit allusions to 
different legendary events in the saint's life. The poem 
has never been printed, and though it is of the very highest 
repute among modern Vaishnavas, and is, therefore, not 
rare in MS. either at Mathura or Brind^-ban, it is utterly 
unintelligible to ordinary native readers. The text of the 
passage referring to Tulsi Dds is, therefore, here given, and 
is followed by a literal English translation : 

^ffT ^wr ^^ ^ftsr ^gr %Tfe TlT^^^ ii 

?[^ ^^K ^^f. c^^^nf^ ^fk ftR ^ 'TKHR II 

^^T?: irqn: % tr 'SFt 51m ^q ^^ ftr^ft 11 

Translation of the text of Nabhd Ji. 

For the redemption of mankind in this perverse Kali Yug, VAlmiki has 
been born again as Tulsi. The verses of the Ramdyana composed in the 
TretaYug are a hundred crores in number ; but a single letter has redeem- 
ing power, and would work the salvation of one who had even committed 
the murder of a Brahman. Now again, as a blessing to the faithful, has 
he taken birth and published the sportive actions of the god. Intoxicated 
with his passion for Rama's feet, he perseveres day and night in the accom- 
plishment of his vow, and has supplied, as it were, a boat for the easy 
passage of the boundless ocean of existence. For the redemption of man 
in this perverse Kali Yug, Valmlki has been born again as Tulsi. 

^ ^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^ ^Tu:t II 
^^ ^% mim ^k ftftr ^fJT^f^ qt 

5ft% ?m 5Ti rR ^Tf ^m f T13: t II 



VI INTRODUCTION. 

55ft m^ ^m JTRt ^^ Tqt XTTrT ^ 

qrd ifmm ^sft ^thIjO vim: 1 11 
pCTt <T^T ^H snj^ ^^ ^ ar^iTw 

^tT H ^ ^^ 'Tni ^JfTf fir^^ ^)^ 

^t^T giir m^r ^gJTR 5j; ^^'n: 1 11 
^m^ sTrJT mi irnr ^^n stcc 1 11 
^^ ^fvi gnf^T >sTm qra ^q^TO 1 11 

317% ti^heht: ^q vt^^Tt ii^ m^ t n 
jrifir ^'tl^ 'iTC ^ff ^^ Km ^ ^q 
^fir^t ^^q fsfrr ^ ^Rfir^ife^ ll 

iot ^ ^ ?f ^^ ^fir ^Tftr^ II 

q^ ^n STT^ ^? t^ JR TTf^ll 

qx ^gm^T ^J^ ^ftS ^ m^r <3n^ 

5r^r ^fi: firm^ffj rfk^ ^JTrT ?t^ 

^ g^ ^m fir^ ^rft^ ^^t^ ^ 

f^ ^ q^n^ f%^ g:gr JTT^ ^^ ^ II 

^ n^ qrq ^TT ^% %^ r^r^ qft n 
qt^ giT ^^> f^^ ^^ 7f^ ^^> ^^ 



INTRODUCTION. VI 

^f% qt^ ^t^ Tw JTftmi: ^^ ^^ 

Wit 5ft Sd^ ^Ct ^^ 'TT* f T^ ^i 

^T 5JTT ^TIT % STrTT^ TTf^T ^fm^ II 
i^-t giT STTjff ^hV ^* ^^^THi ^d 

^M sr^^ q^it t ^f^ ^fsT^ II 

^TT^f^rg-^^ %T^ ^^ ^^ >515T 

^^ i^m^R ^t?i ^Tq ^?: ftr^ t ii 
^r^ Jt^^ ^q ^^ ^ %^ I II 

^ ^m ^ 5?:^ ^n^^ fiR^*t?: ^5T 
^ ^fi- Jt1?T tI 5ft^ :^ft ff ^ t II 

^t ^ g^nr 3TT^ ^^ <miH ^ 
vrt ^'1 ^ST ^ST g^ ^^ f^^ I II 
feft ^*T f^sr ^tn tfrTtJrr ^r# ^ %^ 

5?:^ ?r ^f^ ftj'TT ^^ SRTJT t II 
^tS ^f ^^TIT^-V TTrat qfrT ^T^ ^T^ 

^^ m fiT^?=r Tfit ^^rni ^t ?ttt t ii 
Tift rm ^m 5flf^ ^j ^fmm t ll 
3iT^T 5jra ^ rit ?T ^^ ^crm ^m t ii 

m^ #T ^pTPft ^ % f%5r ^^TFTt mf^^ Ii 
tf^% ^Tf ^Tt ^ S'^ ^"t f^RTf ^m 
^% ^5 ft'W iff ^^ TT*T ^Ttf^r^ I) 



VI II INTRODUCTION. 

^^5% TTfiT TTO" ill^^ XJ^T^ ft'WT 

^t^ ^5cun% 3rT ^^mRr ^ro m^ f^ 
^^'V ^ m^T q:^ THT ^rf^'STTf^r^ ii 

^ THT ^^ ^ff ^f^ f%^ fsR^ f^^ 

irfsf^ ^qr^ ^m^T :^^T^ d II 
m^'V ^fm^ ^rf^ T^ ^ft ^tft ^fii ;t^ 
?fHf cTT ^ ^fk ^^T ^ ft^T^ ifr II 
^t^ ^z mr ^T^ f%^ ^ ^ ^ 
?ift% ^t^T ?ft^ snfsT JIRf xit mj^ ft II 

H^Tim ^PTra grRf vtt itt^ it ii 
iPT qni fir^ gn f^ f IT str qrt 
J^^ ^iT^rgf ^Frrmm ^5 ^ftfir^ 11 

Wnt ^ftl n^ ii'T cT^ ^iftr ^t^TT ^J^T 

^ ^ ^m^ ^"^ ^Pt ^f ^>fiT^ II 

^ fffsT fi[^ ^ftt ^^?ft ^% ^Z TOT 
^^Tf T ^ ^;3; ^tS rTT ^VflT^ II 

^jp^ ii ^r^TT fjfST ^'tP'K TT% vr'tfar^ 11 

JT^ 'ftTT^RJ^ ^ ^^TT ^ft F% 

^^'V TTiT f^ &^ 5% VTT^ qrnV t II 
t^Tt ^T^T ftpw ^ ^^ f^^^mr ?5:t 
TT5T ?;T^:q ^ ^ftr jft^Tr ^tWV 1 11 
^rrg ^^ ^^5^ w^m'ft^ xt^t^ iT^T 
niT ^^ gf^ ^S ;Tf?T ?TgTT^ 1 11 

V^^ 5^ STT'ft 5^^ ^^T TTTjft 

infii ^mt ?:% ^^ ?i'ft' sn'ft ? II 



INTRODUCTION. IX 

Tratislation of the gloss {or itujJplemcnt) by Prnja Bas. 

He had great love for his wife : without asking his leave she went home 
to her father's : he forgot all about himself and hastened there too. She 
was greatly ashamed, and went away iri anger, saying : " Have you no love 
for Mraa ? My body is but a framework of skin and bone." When he 
heard these words, it was, as it were, the daybreak ; he felt compunction 
and left her and sped to the city or Kasi. There he made his abode, wor- 
suipping the lord publicly, making a rigid vow, and thirsting exceedingly 
for a vision. 

A certain ghost, who had secured the remainder of the water he had 
used in washing,! was grateful and told him of Hanuman. "A recitation 
of the Ramayana has a special charna for his ears ; he will be disguised in 
mean attire, but is always the first to come and the last to leave." Thus 
recognizing him as he left, he went with him in full confidence, and in the 
wood, knowing him to be in truth the god, ran and embraced his feet, 
crj'ing with a shout of joy: "You shall not escape me." Perceiving his 
intense devotion, he assumed the form in which he is famous, and said : 
"Ask of me what you will." "lam ever craving to behold with my very 
eyes the incomparable beauty of King Rama." He told him the place for 
meeting. From that day forth he was longing till the time came, thinking : 
'When shall I behold his beauty? Raghunath came, and with him 
Laksh man, both mounted on horseback, in green raiment (like huntsmen). 
Why should he notice them ? Afterwards came Hanuman and said : 
" Have you seen your dear lord ? " "I did not give them even a glance ; 
turn now and speak to them again." 

A Brahman, who had committed a murder, came on a pilgrimage, crying 
" ITor the love of Uima give an alms even to me, a murderer." On hear- 
ing the delightful name, he called him into his own house, and gave him of 
the ofEerinys to the god, and purified him and sang the praises of his 
Beloved. The Brahmans met in conclave and summoned him before them, 
saying :~"How has his guilt been remitted that you could thus take and 
eat with him apart?" "Read your books; their real meaning has not 
penetrated your heart ; therefore your faith is dud and your blindness has 
not been removed " " We have read and examined our books ; the virtue 
of the name is truly as you have said ; but can a murderer be absolved 1 
Please explain that." " Tell me how I may convince you." They said : 
" If Siva's bull will eat from his hand, then will we receive him into our 
company." He gave him of the temple offerinirs in a dish, and they return- 
ed to the place where he had made the vow. There he cried : -" Saturate 
their souls with the glory of thy name ; thou knowest how the matter 
stands, what can I say ?" On h'-aring those words lie graciously accepted the 
oflPering : there vvas joyous shout of Victory ! Victory I 

Some thieves came by night to thieve and plunder his goods, but beheld 
a cloud-dark form with bow and arrows in his hand. Whenever he approach- 
ed with ready shaft, they were afraid ; and though they vvent round 
and round, they could not get rid of this watchman. At daybreak they came 
and asked him : " Sir. who is this dark-complexioned lad of yours ?" On 
hearing this question, he remained silent and wept ; then gave away all that 
he had, knowing that Hama himself and been the watchman. They were 
initiated and received instruction, and became pure of heart. 

A Bitihman had died ; his wife was following him to the pyre. She saw 
him at a distance and made him obeisance He addressed her as a happy 
wife. She replied : " My husband is dead, and I am about to perish with 
him." " The word has passed my lips ; I will restore him to life ; worsihp 
thou Rama." Then he called her kinsfolk and said : " But you must adopt 



1 A ghost is supposed to suffer from perpetual thirst and to be glad to 
secure even a drop of water, however impure the purpose for which it has 
been used. 

R-2 



X INTRODUCTION. 

a religious life." They hearkened to his word, and he restored the man to 
the delights of life, they all became saints when he had taken away their 
sinful frowardness : none can see heaven in whom passion still lives. 

The emperor of Delhi sent at> officer to fetch him, explaining, " It is he, 
you must know, who brought the Brahman to life again." " He is anxious 
to see you," they said, "so come; all will be well." They spoke so 
courteously that he agreed and went. They arrived before the king, who 
received hm with honour, gave him an exalted seat, ami said in gracious 
tones :' Let me see a miracle; it is noised thiougliout the world that you 
are master of everything " He said : - " It is false ; know that Rama is all 
in all." '* How i.s Rinia to be seen? " he said, and threw him into prison. 
He prayed within himself : " gracious Hanuman, have pity upon me." 
That very moment thousands upon thousands of sturdy monkeys spread all 
over thep'ace, clawing bodies, and tearing clothep, and great was the alarm. 
They broke open the fort, wounding the men, destroying everything ; where 
could one fly for safety ? it seemed as though the end of the world had come. 
Then his eyes were opened by this taste of a sea of calamities, and he cried, 
" Now I wayer all my treasure it is he only who can save me." He came and 
clasped his feet : " If you give me life, I live ; pray speak to them." " Bet- 
ter watch the miracle a little." The king whs overwhelmed with confusion. 
Then he stopt it all and said : - " Quickly abandon this spot, for it is the 
abode of Udma." At th<' word he quitted the place and went and built a 
new fort, and to this day any one who abides there falls ill and dies. 

After returning to Kdsi he came to Brinda-ban and met Nibha Jl and 
heard his poetry, and his whole soul was filled with delight. On visiting the 
shrine of Madan Gopal he said : " Of a truth Rdraa is my special patron ; 
1 would fain see him." Then appeared the god to him in that very form ; 
and he was glad on beholding his incomparable beauty. It was said to him ; 
"The Krishna Avatiir is of greatest renown; R^ma was only a partial 
incarnation." On hearing this he said : " My soul was full of love for him 
when I took him only for the son of Dasarath and admired his incomparable 
l)eauty ; now that you tell me of his divinity, my love is increased twenty- 
fold." 

Professor Wilson, in his most valuable and interesting 
" Essay on the Religious Sects of the Hindus," gives the 
following notice of Tulsi Das, and adds that he had 
derived it from the Bhakt M61A : " Having been incited to 
the peculiar adoration of Rdma by the remonstrances of his 
wife, to whom he was passionately attached, he adopted 
a vagrant life, visited Benares, and afterwards went to Chit- 
rakut, where he had a personal interview with Hanuni^n, 
from whom he received his poetical inspiration and the 
power of working miracles. His fame reached Delhi, where 
ShAhjah^n was emperor. The monarch sent for him to 
produce the person of Rima, which Tulsi Dds refusing to 
do, the king threw him into confinement. The people of 
the vicinity, however, speedily petitioned for his liberation, 
as they were alarmed for their own security: myriads of 
monkeys having collected about the prison and begun to 
demolish it and the adjacent buildings. Shjihjahdn set the 
poet at liberty and desired him to solicit some favour as a 
reparation for the indignity he had suffered. Tulsi D^s 
accordingly requested him to quit ancient Delhi, which 



INTRODUCTION. Kl 

was the abode of Rjlma ; and in compliance with this re- 
quest the emperor left it and founded the new city, thence 
named Shdlijahanab^d. After this Tulsi Dds went to 
Brinda-ban, where he had an interview with Ndbhd Ji ; 
he settled there and strenuously advocated the worship of 
Sita Rdma, in preference to that of R^dha- Krishna." 

On comparing this sketch with the literal translation of 
the text from which it was derived, it will be seen that it is 
not very closely in accord with it. It omits many particulars 
and adds others, and was probably taken not from the 
genuine Hindi poem itself, but from some prose adapta- 
tion,i of which, in consequence of the difficulty of the 
original, there are very many in existence. 

It is a curious illustration of the indifference to historical 
truth and the love for the marvellous, by which the Hindd 
mind has always been characterised, that although the tika 
even of the Bahkt-M^ld was written less than a century after 
the poet's death, it still gives so little trustworthy informa- 
tion about the real incidents of his life and supplies so 
much that is clearly fictitious. That it was his wifo who 
first persuaded him to exchange an earthly for a divine 
love and to devote himself to the service of R^ma may well 
be accepted as a fact. As to the other legends of the ghost 
who introduced him to Hanuman, through whom he obtain- 
ed a vision of Rdma and Lakshman : of the murdf^rer whom 
he recognized as cleansed of his crime by the repetition of 
the holy name ; of the widow on her way to the funeral pile, 
whose husband he restored to life ; of the emperor's requir- 
ing him to perform some miracle and, on his refusal to pro- 
duce the god to whom he ascribed all his power, throwing 
him into prison, from which he was delivered by Hanuman's 
monkey host; of the emperor's thereupon abandoning a 
spot which R^ma had made so peculiarly his own ; of the 



1 I was afterwards able to verify this conjecture, as Mr. Leonard, the 
Assistant Secretary of " the Calcutta Asiatic Society, was kind enough to lend 
me his copy of Price's " Hindi and Hindustani Selections," a work to which 
Professor Wilson refers more than once in the course of his essay. It was 
published in Calcutta in 1827, and has long been out of print. 1 find that 
as many as 50 pages of it are occupied with extracts from the Hhakt-Mdla ; 
but with the exception of some 18 stanzas from the mul of Ndbha Ji, all the 
rest is in simple narrative prose ; and the compiler in his introduction spe- 
cially mentions that the work itself was rarely to be met with in the Lower 
Provinces, and that his extracts were taken from a copy in Mr. Wilson's 
library. [Sanskrit and Hindi being two languages, as distinct as Latin and 
Italian, the above remarks were never intended (as a reviewer wrongly sup- 
posed) to detract in any way from the peculiar merits of one of the greatest 
Sanskrit scholars that England has ever produced and to whose works no one 
Is more indebted than myself.] 



Xll INTBODUOTION. 

thieves who were prevented from breaking into the poet's 
house by Rima himself acting as watchman; of his visit to 
Brindi-ban and his interview withNAbh^Ji; and finally 
of his persistence in preferring the worship of R^ma to that 
of Krishna, though the latter assured him in person that 
there was no difference between the two all these legends, 
as given in the Bhakt M4U, whatever their foundation, are 
still popularly accepted as verities and are indissolubly 
connected with the poet's name. A few further facts of 
more prosaic character may be gathered from his own works 
and from tradition ; thus we learn from the prologue to the 
RAmAyana that he commenced its composition at Ayodhyi 
in the Sambat year 1631, corresponding to 1575. A.D., and 
that he had studied for some length of time at Soron. He 
was by descent a BrAhman of the Kanaujiya clan, and in the 
Bhakt-Sindhu a modern poem of no great authority, the 
writ^lr when at a loss for facts being as it seems, in the 
habit of supplying them out of his own imagination it is 
stated that his father's name was Atma Rdm and that 
he was born at Hastinapur. Others make Hdjipur, near 
Chitrakiit, the place of his birth. The greater part of his 
life was certainly spent at Benares, though he also passed 
some years in visits to Soron, Ayodhyd, Chitrakiit, Allah- 
abad, and Brind^-ban. He died in the Samhat year 1680 
(1624 A.D.) 

A complete copy of the RAmdyana in his own hand- 
writing was once in existence at Rdjapur, but it was stolen 
about the year 1800 by a devotee, who on being pursued 
threw it into the river. It was eventually recovered by a 
net, but not till it had been greatly damaged by the water ; 
Book II, the AyodhyA, which forms the centre of the volume, 
being the only part that remained legible. This fragment is 
still in the temple ; but as every pilgrim is expected to make 
an offering of a cover for it, is it now enveloped in some 50 
wraps and is quite lost to sight. The MahdrAjaof Benares is 
said to have employed a copyist to consult it before publish- 
ing his edition, which in that case represents the standard 
text ; and a commentary written by Mahant Rdm Charan in 
Hambat 1862, and published by Naval Kishore of Lucknow, 
professes to have been undertaken after ' handling ' the 
original MS., which possibly was then complete. The 
' handling,' however, may have been only from a motive of 
veneration and not for critical purposes. 

In addition to his great work Tulsi Dds composed at 
least six other poems, all of them having the one object of 



INTRODUCTION. Xlll 

popularizing the cultusof his tutelary divinity. They are the 
Rdmgitdvali (which is one of the text-books in the Govern- 
ment examination for a Degree of Honour), the Doh^vali, 
the Kabit-sambandh, the Binay PatrikA, the Satsai and the 
Ram Agyd. All of these have been published, either at 
Lucknovv or Benares, within the last few years, and all now 
for the first time, excepting the Binay Patrika, which 
was printed in orood type by Sri Lallii JI for the use of the 
college of Fort William as far back as the year 1826 ; but 
copies of this first edition are now very scarce. The list is 
not unfrequently extended by the addition of the following 
minor works, as to the genuineness of which there is consid- 
erable doubt, viz., the Rdma-Salak^, the Hanum^n Bdhuka, 
the JAnaki Mangal, the Pdrvati Man gal, the Kark^ Chhand, 
the Rora Chhand and the Jhulnd Chhand. An autograph 
MS. of the Rdm Agyii was preserved in the temple of Sita* 
Ram at Benares, which Tulsi Das had himself founded, till 
the Mutiny, but was then lost.^ 

His theological and metaphysical views are pantheistic in 
character, being based for the most part on the teaching 
of the later Vedantists as formulated in the Vedanta-S^ra 
and more elaborately expounded in the Bhagavad Gita, 
which is the most popular of all Sanskrit didactic poems. 
The whole visible world, as they maintain, is an unreal 
phantasm, induced by ignorance or illusion, and it is only 
by a concession to conventional speech that it can be said 
to exist at all. The sole representative of true existence is 
the supreme spirit, Brahm, conceived as absolute and 
unchangeable unity ; invisible, eternal and all-pervading, 
but having no relation to the world since that would 
involve a notion of dualism and for the same reason void 
of cognition, will, activity and all other qualities ; a po- 
tentiality, in the ordinary use of language, rather than an 
actual entity. All phenomena, whether material or spiritual, 
including even the gods of Vedic mythology, are simply 
fictions of the mind But the worship of the inferior divi- 
nities and compliance with the external ritual of religion, 
are considered to purify and prepare the intellect for the 
reception of higher truths. They are therefore salutary and 

1 For the information as to this and the Rajapur MS. I am indebted to 
Pandit Bhdn Pratdp, Tiwari, of Chandr, who also tells me that he has in his 
possession a manuscript of the poem which professes to he copied from an 
original dated Sanibat 1700 ; that is, only 20 j'ears after the author's death. 
This he would gladly lend for collation, if a critical edition of the text 
which is much required should ever be undertaken. At present the best 
edition is Ram Jasan's, Benares, 1883. 



XIV INTEODUOTION. 

even necessary practices during the early days of the soul's 
progress towards perfection If a man isoverta!;enby death 
before lie has advanced beyond this preliminary stage, he is 
bom again either into this or into a liigher world in some 
different form, the dignity of which is determined by . the 
aggregate merit or demerit of all his actions in all his pre- 
vious births.' The highest reward for devotion to any special 
god is the exaltation of the soul to his particular sphere in 
heaven. But this blessedness is not of permanent duration ; 
on the expiry of a proportionate period the burden of 
mundane existence has again to be undergone. It is only 
on the attainment of perfect knowledge that final emanci- 
pation is complete and the individual soul is absorbed for 
ever into the Impersonal : 

" A spiritmil star wrought in a rose 
Of light ill Paradise, whose only self 
Is consciousness of glory wide diffused." 

Except to a theosophist, the promise of such an ultimate 
destiny is not a very attractive one, nor is it conducive to 
popular morality. For good deeds and evil deeds and the 
god that recompenses them, all alike belong to the unreal, to 
the fictitious duality, the world of semblances ; while the so- 
called Supreme Being is no proper object of worship, being 
a mere cold abstraction, unconscious of his own existence or 
of ours, and devoid of all attributes and qualities. To correct 
this practical defect and supply some intelligible motive for 
withstanding temptation and leading; a pure and holy life, 
the supplementary doctrine of Bhakti, or Faith, was 
developed. Some one of the recognized incarnations of the 
Hindu Pantheon was no longer regarded as a partial ema- 
nation of the divinity, but was exalted inio the complete 
embodimerjt of it. A loving devotion to his personality was 
then enjoined as a simple and certain method of attaining 
to endless felicity ; not the transitory sensual delights of 
Indra's paradise, nor the mere unconsciousness of utter 
extinction, but the conscious enjoyment of individual im- 
mortality in the immediate presence of the Beatific Vision. 

The late introduction of this crowning dogma of Faith 
in an incarnate Redeemer and its marked similarity to 
Christian ideas have induced several scholars to surmise that 
the BrAhmans borrowed it from the early Christian commu- 
nities in Southern India. The notion is favoured if not, 



1 The abflcncc of all recollection of acta done in former states of exis- 
tence is not an f)bjection to the theory of transmigration ; for the continuity 
is not one of consciousness, but of that tendency or disposition which is the 
separate nature of each individual. 



INTRODUOTION. XV 

indeed, originated by the fact that in the Bhagavad Gita it 
is Krishna who figures as the embodiment of the Supreme 
Being, and both in the name and in the legends of Krishna 
there is a superficial resemblance to the name of Christ and 
to some of the incidents recorded of flim in the Gospels. As 
I have shown more fully elsewhere, there is no historical 
basis for the supposed connection, while the similarity of 
name is demonstrably accidental. The doctrine appears to 
have grown up as a natural sequel to the purely indigenous 
school of thought in which we find it established, and an 
exact parallel can be traced in the history of Buddhism, 
where the nihilism of Nirvana was practically abrogated by 
the gradual deification of its teacher. ^ In selecting Rdma 
as his ideal of the divine in preference to Krishna, Tulsi 
Dds has .certainly improved upon the teaching of the 
Bhagavad. 

The tendency of modern scientific thought is setting 
strongly in favour of the Vedantist theory ; as declaring the 
existence from all eternity of a personal God to be simply 
unknowable, and referring all phenomena to a strange mys- 
terious energy, or will, that pervades all nature, that 
produces all the work done on the face of the earth, and 
is probably at the roof of life itself; invisible and insensible, 
and exhibited only in its effects. Such a theory as we see 
from our author's own case is by no means incompatible 
with a belief in a divine incarnation : the difficulty is to 
establish by historical proof that such and such a character 
RAma or Krishna, or whoever it may be was really born 
out of the ordinary course of nature, really performed the 
marvellous acts ascribed to him for the deliverance of the 
saints, the overthrow of the wicked and the establishment 
of righteousness, and having accomplished them was again 
taken up into the heaven from which he came. The whole 
of Tulsi Dds's Rdmdyana is a passionate protest against the 
virtual atheism of philosophical Hindii theology. The pro- 
blem that confronted him is the very same that now most 
exercises the thought of the nineteenth century. If the 
Supreme Being is a personal God, he must be limited by 
the conditions of personality, and can neither be omniscient 
nor omnipotent. If, on the other hand, the Deity is an 
omnipresent, all-pervading impersonality, how can any 
special relation be developed between such an abstraction 

1 In a Chinese inscription, of the year 1021 AD, that has been discov- 
ered at Buddh Gaya, he is thus addressed : "O great master, merciful to the 
people, sympathizing with all creatures, although thou dost not manifest 
thyself, still thou art a most efficacious God." 



XVI INTRODUCTION. 

and the individual soul ? The difficulty is one that has its 
root in the nature of things ; and no solution of the mystery 
can be found but in the recognition of faith and reason as 
two distinct human faculties, with the infinite and the finite 
asjtheir separate provinces. In the words of Saint Ambrose 
non in dialect tea complacuit Deo salvumfacerc populum aiium. 
God would not be adorable if he were not incomprehensible : 
and a religion that does not transcend man's understanding 
is not, strictly speaking, a religion at all. A just discrimina- 
tion of good and evil and a sound code of morality are not 
beyond the compass of natural intelligence : but the rites and 
mysteries of religion can only be learnt by a direct revela- 
tion from God and through the action of His grace. Their 
acceptance by faith, even when they seem to conflict with 
reason, is a part of our earthly probation and a meritorious 
confession of our dependence on the Supreme. The final 
purpose of the Incarnation, like the idea of any revelation 
whatever from God to man, is above comprehension. The 
fact of the divine message having been sent may be 
reasonably established by historical evidence, but the tenor 
of the message transcends argumentative discussion, and 
demands nothing short of implicit and absolutely unques- 
tioning submission. For the dogmas of revealed religion 
must, ex-hypothesi, be incompreherjsible mysteries. If they 
were ascertainable by the ordinary processes of reason it 
would not be consistent with the economy of the universe 
to communicate them by the special vehicle of revelation. A 
professedly revealed religion, which is demonstrable and 
intelligible throughout, stands self-convicted as a human 
invention. 

The following passage from Book VI I of the Bhagavad 
Gita, as freely rendered by Mr. Edwin Arnold in his * Song 
Celestial,' is a very explicit summary of the accepted 
Vedantic doctrine :-- 

" There be those, too, whose knowledge, turned aside 
By this desire or that, gives them to serve 
Some lower gods with various rites constrained 
By that which mouldeth them. Unto all such- 
Worship what shrine they will, what shapes in faith 
'Tis I who give them faith. I am content. 
The heart thus asking favour from its God, 
J>arkened but ardent, hath the end it craves, 
The lesser blessing ; but 'tis I who give. 
Yet soon is withered what small fruit they reap : 
Those men of little minds, who worship so, 
Go where they worship, passing with their Gods : 
But mine come unto me. Blind are the eyes 
Which deem the Unmauifested manifest. 



INTRODUCTION. XVll 

Not comprehending Me in my true self. 
Imperishable, viewless, undeclared. 
Hidden behind my magic vail of shows, 
I am not seen by all ; I am not known 
Unborn and changeless to the idle world. 
But I, Arjuna, know all things which were, 
And all which are, and all which are to be, 
Albeit not one among them knoweth Me." 

The words " Blind are the eyes Which deem the Un- 
manifested manifest " emphatically condemn the worship of 
any incarnation, on the ground that it involes an inadequate 
conception of the Deity. Tulsi Dds, on the other hand, in- 
sists that they derogate from the divine perfection, who 
divest it of personality and reduce it to an abstraction. 
Against such theologians he hotly protests as when he cries 
{VII Ghhand 5) '^ Let them preach, in their wisdom who 
contemplate thee as the Supreme Spirit, the Uncreate, in- 
separable from the universe, recognizable only by inference 
and beyond the understanding ; but we, Lord ! will ever 
hymn the glories of thy incarnation." Nor does he want 
supporters even in this nineteenth century, who give the 
same answer to the old question * Can the attribute of Per- 
sonality be ascribed to the Absolute ? Thus Lotze, in his 
Outlines of the Philosophy of Religion, argues as follows : " If 
all the predicates of unconditionateness are to be valid for 
the highest being then one condition of this validity lies 
precisely in the addition of a last formal predicate, viz., 
that of personal existence. All hindrances of perfect 
personality we can imagine as not existent in the Infinite 
Spirit. On this account we conclude with the assertion - 
which is exactly the opposite of the customary one 
that Perfect Personality is reconcilable only with the 
conception of an Infinite Being; for finite beings, only an 
approximation to this is attainable." 

The introductory portion of the first Book of th'^ Rd,ma- 
yana is curious as containing the author's vindication of his 
literary style as against his critics, the pedants. They 
attacked him for lowering the dignity of his subject by 
clothing it in the vulgar vernacular. However just his 
defence may be, it has not succeeded in converting the 
opposite faction : and the professional Sanskrit pandits 
who are its modern representatives, still affect to despise 
his work as an unworthy concession to the illiterate masses. 
With this small and solitary exception the book is in every 
one's hands, from the court to the cottage, and is read, or 
heard, and appreciated alike by every class of the Hindu 
community, whether high or low, rich or poor, young or 

R-3 



xviii INTRODUCTION. 

old. The purity of its moral sentiments and the ab- 
solute avoidance of the slightest approach to any pruriency 
of idea which the author justly advances among his dis- 
tinctive merits render it a singularly unexceptionable 
text-book for native boys. For several years I persistently 
urged its adoption upon the Education Department, i and 
thanks to R^ja Siva Prasad extracts from it have been 
introduced into our primary schools ; while it has always 
been prescribed as the principal test in the civil examina- 
tions for High Proficiency and a Degree of Honour. It is 
equally well adapted for these apparently incongruous 
purposes: for a Hindii child generally grasps at once the 
familiar idiom, and finds no great difficulty in even the 
most crabbed passage ; while, on the other hand, both the 
terminology and the syntactic collocation of the words are in 
the highest degree perplexing to the European student, 
and severely try his knowledge of the language. As has 
been said of Spenser in the Faerie Queene, Tulsi Dds never 
scruples on his own authority to cut down or alter a 
word, or to adopt a mere corrupt pronunciation, to suit a 
place in his metre, or because he wants a rhyme. His 
treatment of words, on occasions of difficulty to his verse, 
is arbitrary in the extreme. He gives them any sense and 
shape that the case may demand. Sometimes he merely 
alters a letters or two ; sometimes he twists oE the head or 
the tail of the unfortunate vocable altogether. Such vagaries, 
being unconsciously regulated by the genius of the lan- 
guage, are no more puzzling to a Hindti than the collo- 
quialisms of Sam Weller or Mrs. Gamp are to an English 
reader of Dickens. But they would seem inexplicable 
mysteries to any Anglo-Indian official, who knew only the 
language of the Courts and had never studied the verna- 
cular of the people. For such neglect there was formerly 
much excuse, in the absence both of a dictionary and a 
grammar ; but the latter want was most admirably supplied 
in 1876 by Mr. Kellogg, of the Allahabad American Pres- 
byterian jSjission, in a work that is to a remarkable degree 
both lucid and exhaustive; while Messrs. Hoernle and 
Grierson's new Comparative Dictionary is not only more 
scientific in method and elaborate in execution than any 

1 A writer in the Calcutta Review expressed bis astonishment at my 

f proposal. But he falls into the error which has wrecked so many well- 
Dtentioned schemes in this country, that of measuring Indian tastes and 
requirements by a purely English standard. Manuals of history, geography 
and physical science are all very well in their way, but correct information 
by itself is really the least part of education. 



INTRODUCTION. XIX 

similar work that has ever before been attempted by Indian 
philologists, but it is farther supplemented by a special 
Index to the R^mdyana, which exhibits every single word 
in the poem, and refers to all the passages in which it 
occurs. As yet only one part of this gigantic work has 
appeared, and some years must elapse before it is completed. 
Mr. Bate's dictionary, to which I have already referred, is 
scarcely intended for very advanced students, but it will 
be of much use to beginners, since it gives in alphabetical 
order all the archaic forms of inflection, which at the outset 
are found so perplexing. 

The second Book is more generally read than any other 
part of the poem, and is the most admired by Hi ndii critics. 
The description of King Dasarath's death and the different 
leave-takings are quoted as models of the pathetic, and in a 
public recital there is scarcely one in the audience who 
will not be moved to tears. The sentiments that the poet 
depicts, and the figures that he employs to illustrate them, 
appeal with irresistible force to the Hindii imagination ; 
and, if for no other reason than this, they would be in- 
teresting to the English student for the insight they afford 
into the traditional sympathies and antipathies of the 
people. The constant repetition of a few stereotyped 
phrases such as ' lotus feet,* ' streaming eyes,' ' quiver- 
ingi frame ' are irritating to modern European taste, 
though they find a parallel in the stock epithets of the 
Homeric poems, and a still more striking one in Klopstock's 
Messiah, where similar expressions are for ever recurring 
in wearisome reiteration. Everybody wonders and weeps 
and smiles and embraces everybody else and dissolves in 
tears, while every hair on their body stands on end ; the last 
two performances being so specially Tulsian, that it ceases 
to be an exaggeration to describe the eyes of his dramatis 
personce, in the words of Orashaw, as 

Two walking baths, two weeping motions, 
Portable and compendious oceans. 

Again, the curiously artificial similes derived from the 
frequently fabulous habits of different birds and plants, 
which (like the oft-repeated refrain of a popular song) never 

1 The pulak, which I generally translate by ' quivering' or ' throbbing, 
means strictly the bristling of the hair upon the body, which is a sign of 
violent mental agitation. The Munshi, with whom I read in Calcutta some 
twenty years ago, always, I remember, rendered it by ' horripilation ' ; a 
frightful word, which would destroy all the poetic effect of the most impres- 
sive passage, but which he greatly admired on account of its sesquipedalian 
proportions. 



XX INTRODUCTION. 

fail to elicit the applause of an appreciative audience, only 
repel a foreigner as frigid and unmeaning conventionalities. 
Such are the perpetual allusions to the lotus, that expands 
in the day and closes at evening ; to the lily, that blossoms 
in the night and fades at sunrise ; to the rice crop, that 
luxuriates in the rain, and to the jawdsa plant, that is kill- 
ed by it ; to the ckakwd, that mourns its mate all through 
the hours of darkness ; to the chakor^ that is never happy 
except when gazing upon the moon ; to the chdtak, that 
patiently endures all the buffeting of the storm, in the con- 
fident expectation that the cloud will at last let fall the one 
auspicious drop for which it thirsts : to the swan, that 
knows how to separate milk from the water with which 
it has been mixed ; and to the snake, that carries a precious 
jewel in its head, of which it is always afraid of being 
robbed. In Shakespear's time, who was contemporary 
with Tulsi Dds, many equally strange pieces of natural 
history were popularly accepted even in Europe, and were 
similarly worked up into poetical commonplaces. As, for 
instance, the maternal affection of " the kind life-rendering 
pelican ;" the belief that the chameleon lives upon air ; 
that the adder is deaf; that the swan sings before it dies ; 
that crocodiles weep when they have done wrong ; that 
bear's cubs are born formless and are licked into ursine 
shape by their mother ; that some snakes have stings in 
their tail ; and that the toad carries a jewel in its head 
which is an anidote to poison. 

In spite of all drawbacks, the Hindi Rdm^yana has 
many passages that are instinct with a genuine poetic 
feeling, which appeals to universal humanity, and which 
it is hoped will be dimly recognized even through the 
ineffectual medium of a prose translation. The characters 
also of the principal actors in the drama are clearly and 
consistently drawn ; and all may admire, though they refuse 
to worship, the piety and unselfishness of Bharat : the 
enthusiasm and high courage of Lakshman ; the affectionate 
devotion of Sita, that paragon of all wife-like virtues ; and 
the purity, meekness, generosity and self-sacrifice of Rdma, 
the model son, husband and brother, 'the guileless king, 
high, self-contained and passionless' the Arthur of Indian 
chivalry. 

In the later Books the narrative is generally more rapid 
than in the earlier part of the poem, and several incidents 
are so casually mentioned that, without the explanatory 
references to the Sanskrit R^m^yana, which I have given 



INTRODUCTION. XXI 

in the notes, a literal rendering would convey no meaning 
to the ordinary reader, ^ It is to some extent a literary 
defect that the role of poet is so often dropt for that of 
theologian ; and the frequent hymns to R6ma, who is 
apostrophized under every conceivable name that can help 
to realize to the mind the mystery of incarnate divinity, 
soon become wearisome. But the object that Tulsi D^s 
had in view is his sufficient excuse. By the course that 
he has adopted, fitting his special doctrines of faith, 
individual immortality and the like into the familiar frame- 
work of ancient legend, instead of inculcating them by a 
more strictly didactic method, he has succeeded in popu- 
larizing his views to a far greater extent than any of the 
rival Hindu Reformers, who flourished about the same 
period. It was their object also to simplify the complica- 
tions and correct the abuses of existing practice, but 
the only result of their preaching was to establish yet 
another element of dissension and augment the disorder 
which they hoped to remove. Tulsi Dds alone, though the 
most famous of them all, has no disciples that are called 
after his name. There are Vallabhachf^ris and Rddhd 
Vallabhis and Maliik Dd,sis and Prdn N^this, and so on, in 
interminable succession, but there are no Tulsi Ddsis. Vir- 
tually, however, the whole of Vaishnava Hinduism has 
fallen under his sway ; for the principles that he expounded 
have permeated every sect and explictly or implicitly now 
form the nucleus of the popular faith as it prevails 
throughout the whole of the Bengal Presidency from 
Hardw^r to Calcutta. 

In the year 1876, when I published the first instalment 
of my translation, I was still at Mathur^, in a congenial at- 
mosphere of Hindd associations. After my transfer to Bu- 
landshahr in 1877, I laboured under the serious disadvan- 
tage of writing in a thoroughly Muhammadanized district, 
where it was almost as difficult to obtain any assistance 
on subjects connected with Hindii literature or scholarship 
as it would have been in England. But by that time the 
familiarity I had acquired with my author was sufficiently 
long and intimate to enable me to complete my task 
unaided. 

At the outset I was under the impression that as a 
translator, there was no one at all in the field before me ; but 

1 Of the two current recensions of the older poem, the one generally fol- 
lowed by Tulsi D4s is the Bengal, which is the text given by Gorresio in big 
handsome edition. 



3adi INTRODUCTION. 

after making some little progress in the second book, I dis- 
covered that there was already in existence for that particu- 
lar section of the poem an English version, published in 187 1, 
by AdAlat Kh^n, a Muhammadan Munshi of the College of 
Fort William in Calcutta. I at once procured a copy of it 
and it is only proper to acknowledge that it was of consider- 
able assistance to me. It does not, however, encroach very 
largely upon the ground that I had intended to occupy. 
The Munshi appears to have written solely with a view to 
lighten the labours of his own pupils and of others who, like 
them, were preparing for a special examination. Despite 
not a few misapprehensions of the sense, such persons will 
probably find it quite as useful for their purpose as my 
translation, if not more so. But in the attempt to secure 
literal accuracy, and also, no doubt, from the fact that 
English was not the mother-tongue of the translator, the 
language employed is throughout so curiously unidiomatic 
that in many places it is absolutely unintelligible without 
a reference to the original, and this the general reader 
would not be in a position to make. As a specimen I give 
the ehaupdi following dohd 224 (with which may be com- 
pared my rendering, page 132, volume II). 

*' If he leaves me, knowing my mind wicked, and 
receives me, considering his servant, my sheltering-place 
then will be in the shoes of Rama : he is my good master ; 
but the fault is in this servant. The chatdk and the fish 
deserve the praise of the world ; they are sincere in their 
usual vow and love. Thus having reflected in his mind, 
be went along the road, ashamed and overpowered with love. 
The sin committed by his mother was as if keeping him 
back ; but the Bull of patience was walking by the power 
of his faith, and when he knew the nature of Rama, his 
feet fell on the ground hurriedly. The state of Bharat at 
that time was such as that of the bee in a current of water. 
Seeing the grief and love of Bharat, the pilot became 
stupefied at that moment." 

The uncouthness of the Munshi's style will give some 
idea of what is certainly the main difficulty that has to be 
encountered in a prose translation from Hindi verse. No 
one who has not had practical experience in the matter can 
fully appreciate the amount of thought that has to be 
expended on almost every sentence before the peculiarities 
of Oriental expression can be adapted to the requirements 
of English idiom. Without the most delicate handling it 
is impossible to avoid either a sacrifice of accuracy in the 



INTRODUCTION. XXlll 

letter, or a misrepresentation of the spirit by a baldness of 
rendering, which susrgests only images of the ludicrous 
and grotesque, while the sentiments of the original in their 
native dress are felt to be both natural and pathetic. 

F. S. GROWSE. 



Post script. Under the patronage of Mr Grierson, an 
enterprising Publisher of Patna (Babu R^m Din Sinh of 
the Kharg Bilds Press, BAnkipore), has now published a 
text of the Rdm-charit-mdnas, which is an exact reproduc- 
tion of the original MSS. This must be a work of the 
highest interest to all Hindi Scholars ; but it may be 
surmised that the variations from the received text are of 
more importance from the philological than from the 
literary point of view. 



THE RAMAYANA 

OF 

TULSI DAS. 



BOOK I. 

CHILDHOOD. 



Sanskrit Invocation. 

I REVERENCE S^radd and Ganes, the inventors of the 
alphabet and of phraseology, of the poetic modes and of 
metre. I reverence Bhav^ni and Sankara, the incarnations 
of faith and hope, without whom not even the just can see 
God, the Great Spirit. I reverence, as the incarnation of 
Sankara, the all-wise Guru, through whom even the cres- 
cent moon is everywhere honoured.^ I reverence the king 
of bards2 and the monkey king, of pure intelligence, who 
ever lingered with delight in the holy forest land of Rdma 
and Sitd's infinite perfection. I bow before Sita, the 
beloved of Rdma ; the queen of birth, of life and death ; 
the destroyer of sorrow ; the cause of happiness. 

I reverence, under his name RAMA, the lord Hari ; 
supreme over all causes ; to whose illusive power are sub- 
ject the whole universe and every supernatural being from 
Brahma downwards ; by whose light truth is made mani- 
fest, as when what appeared to be a snake turns out a 
rope ; and by whose feet as by a bark those who will may 
pass safely over the ocean of existence. 

1. The crescent moon, being one of Sankara's (i. e. Siva's) constant 
symbols, is honoured on his account, though in itself imperfect : while the 
full moon is honoured for its own sake. 

2. The king of bards, Valmlki, the reputed author of the Sanskrit Rama- 
yana. The monkey king is of course Hanuman, and the two are brought 
together more on account of the close similarity of name than for any other 
reason, Kavisvara and Ka^isvara differing only by a single letter. 

R-4 



2 CHILDHOOD. 

In accord with all the Purinas and different sacred 
texts, and with what has been recorded in the Rdm^yana 
(of VAlmiki) and elsewhere, I, Ttilsi, to gratify my own 
heart's desire, have composed these lays of Raghundth in 
most choice and elegant modern speech. ^ 

Sorathd 1. ^ -* ^ 

Ganes, of the grand elephant head ; the mention of 
whose name ensures success, be gracious to me, accumula- 
tion of wisdom, storehouse of all good qualities ! Thou, too, 
by whose favour the dumb becomes eloquent, and the lame 
can climb the vastest mountain, be favourable to me, 
thou that consumest as a fire all the impurities of this iron 
age. Take up thy abode also in my heart, thou that 
slumberest on the milky ocean, with body dark as thfe 
lotus, and eyes bright as a budding water-lily. spouse 
of UmA, clear of hue as the jasmine or the moon ; home of 
compassion, who showest pity to the humble; show pity 
upon me, destroyer of Kdmadeva. I reverence the lotus 
feet of my master, that ocean of benevolence, Hari incarn- 
ate, whose words are like a flood of sunlight on the 
darkness of ignorance and infatuation.^ 

Chaupdi 1. 

1 reverence the pollen-like dust of the lotus feet of my 
master, bright, fragrant, sweet and delicious ; pure extract 
of the root of ambrosia, potent to disperse all the attendant 
ills of life ; like the holy ashes on the divine body of 
Sambhu, beautiful, auspicious, ecstatic. Applied to the 
forehead as a filak, it cleanses from defilement the fair 
mirror of the human mind and gives it the mastery of all 
good. By recalling the lustre of the nails of the reverend 
guru's feet, a divine splendour illumines the soul, dispers- 
ing the shades of error with its sun-like glory. How blessed 
he who takes it to his heart ! The mental vision brightens 
and expands, the night of the world with sin and pain 



1. The persons atldressed in this stanza are Ganes, Sarasvati, Niiayan, 
Siva, and the poet's own spiritual instructor, or guru. 



CHILDHOOD. O 

fades away, the actions of R^ma,^ like diamonds and 
rubies, whether obvious or obscure, all alike become clear, 
in whichever direction the mine is explored. 

Dohd 1. 4 
By applying this collyrium as it were to the eyes, the 
student acquires both holiness and wisdom, and is able to 
understand his sportive career when on earth on moun- 
tain, or in forest and all the treasures of his grace. 

Ghaupdi 2. 

The dust of the guru's feet is a soft and charming 
collyrium, like ambrosia for the eyes, to remove every 
defect of vision. With this having purified the eyes of my 
understanding, I proceed to relate the actions of Rdma, the 
redeemer of the world. First I reverence the feet of the 
great Brahman saints, potent to remove the doubts engen- 
dered by error. In my heart, as with my voice, I rever- 
ence the whole body of the faithful, mines of perfection ; 
whose good deeds resemble the produce of the cotton plant 
in its austerity, purity, and manifold usefulness, and in 
its hiding the defects even of those by whom it has 
been most roughly treated : reverence to the saints, what- 
ever the age or clime in which their glory was consum- 
mated. Their congregation is all joy and felicity, like the 
great tirtha Prayag endowed with motion : for faith in 
R^ma is as the stream of the Ganges ; contemplation on 
Brdhma as the Sarasvati ; and ritual, dealing with precepts 
and prohibitions for the purification of this iron age, as the 
sun-god's daughter, the Jamuna. The united flood of the 
Tribeni is represented by the legends of Hari and of Hara, 
filling all that hear with delight : the sacred fig-tree, by 
faith firm in its own traditions ; and Prayd,g itself, by the 
assembly of the virtuous. Easy of access to all, on any day, 
at any place, curing all the ills of pious devotees, is this 

1. The simple actions are compared to rubies, which may be picked up 
on the surface of the ground ; the mysterious actions to diamonds, which 
have to be dug out of a mine. 



4 CHILDHOOD. 

unspeakable, spiritual chief tirtha, of manifest virtue and 
yielding immediate fruit. 

Dohd 2. 

At this PrayAg of holy men, whoever hears and under- 
stands, and in spirit devoutly bathes, receives even in this 
life all four rewards.^ 

Chaupdi 3. 

In an instant behold the result of the immersion ; the crow 
becomes a parrot and the goose a swan. Let no one marvel 
at hearing this, for the influence of good company is no 
mystery. Vilmlki, Narad and the jar-born Agastya^ have 
told its effect upon themselves. Whatever moves in the 
water, or on the earth, or in the air ; every creature in the 
world, whether animate or inanimate, that has attained to 
knowledge, or glory, or salvation, or power, or virtue, by any 
work, at any time or place, has triumphed through associa- 
tion with the good ; neither the world nor the Veda knows of 
any other expedient. Intercourse with the good is attainable 
only by the blessing of RAma and without it wisdom is 
impossible : it is the root of all joy and felicity ; its flowers 
are good works and its fruit perfection. By it the wicked 
are reformed: as when by the touch of the philosopher's 
stone a vile metal becomes gold. If by mischance a good 
man falls into evil company, like the gem in a serpent's 
head, he still retains his virtue. Brdhma, Visnu, MahAdeva, 
the wisest of the poets, all have failed to expound the 

1. Tbe four rewards are kdfiia. artfui, dharma, moksha ; that is, pleasure, 
wealth, reliRious merit and final salvation. 

2. Vilmiki confessed to Rdma that he had once been a hunter and taken 
the life of many innocent creatures, till he fell in with the seven Rishis, who 
converted him and taught him to express his penitence by constantly 
repeating the word nidra, mdra. As this contains exactly the same letters 
as the name Rima, it acted as a spell and advanced him to the highest 
degree of sanctity. 

Similarly N4rad confessed to VyAsa, the author of the Purina, that he 
was by birth only the son of a poor slave-girl, and had become a saint 
mmply by eating the fragment* of food left by the holy men who frequented 
bis master's bouse. 

Agastya also declared to Mahadeva that by birth he was the meanest 
of mil creatures, and had only attained to miraculous powers by the influ- 
ence of good company. 



CHILDHOOD. 

pre-eminence of a saint : for me to tell it is, as it were, for 

a costermonger to expatiate on the merits of a set of jewels. 

DoM3--4. 

I reverence the saints of equable temperament, who 

regard neither friend nor foe, like a gracious flower which 

sheds its fragrance alike on both infolding hands.^ Ye 

saints, whose upright intention, whose catholic charity, and 

whose ready sympathy I acknowledge, hear my child-like 

prayer, be gracious to me and inspire me with devotion to 

the feet of Rama. 

Ghaupdi 4. 

Again, T would propitiate those wretches^ who with- 
out cause delight to vex the righteous ; with whom a 
neighbour's loss is gain ; who rejoice in desolation and 
weep over prosperity ; who are as an eclipse to the full- 
moon glory of Hari and Hara ; who become as a giant with 
a thousand arms to work another's woe ; who have a thou- 
sand e^^es to detect a neighbour's faults but, like flies on ghi, 
settle on his good points only to spoil them ; quick as fire, 
implacable as the god of hell; ^ rich in crime and sin as 
Kuveris in gold ; like an eclipse for the clouding of friend- 
ship, and as dead asleep as Kumbha-karn'^ to everything 
good ; if they can do any injury, as ready to sacrifice them- 
selves as hailstones, that melt after destroying a crop ; 
spiteful as the great serpent with a thousand tongues ; and 
like Prithuraj'^ , with a thousand ears, to tell and hear of 
of others' faults : like the thousand-eyed Indra, too, ever 
delighting in much strong drink and in a voice of thunder. 

1. Though the right hand is the one by which it has been plucked, and 
the left that in which it is held and preserved. 

2. In the following lines the pot-t defends himself by anticipation against 
possible objections, and roundly abuses the whole army of critics. 

3. Yama, the Hindu Pluto, is here ctilled Msihishesa, from mahisha a. 
' buffalo,' that being the animal on which he is represented as riding. 

4. Rivan's gigantic brother, Kumbha-isarn, obtained as a boon from 
Brahma, that whenever he had satisfied his voracious appetite the slumber 
of repletion might be of the longest and deepest, and* that he might only 
wake to* eat again. 

.5, It is not related that Prithuraj had really ten thousand ears, but only 
that he prayed that he might be as quick to hear whatever redounded to 
the glory of God as if his ears were so many. 



6 CHILDHOOD. 

Dohd 5. 'c 

f I know when they hear of philosophers, who regard 
friend or foe as friends, they are enraged ; but I clasp my 
hands and entreat them piteously. 
Ghaupdi 5. 
I have performed the role of supplication, nor will they 
forget their part. However carefully you may bring up a 
crow, it will still be a crow and a thief. I propitiate at once 
the feet of saints and sinners, who each give pain, but with 
a difference : for the first kill by absence, while the second 
torture by their presence : as opposite as a lotus and a leech, 
though both alike are produced in water. Good and bad 
thus resemble nectar and intoxicating drink, which were 
both begotten by the one great ocean :^ each by its own acts 
attains to pre-eminence ; the one in honour, the other in 
dishonour ; compare with the good, ambrosia, or the moon, 
or the Ganges ; and with the bad, poison, or fire, or the 
river KarmnasA. Virtue and vice are known to all ; but 
whatever is to a man's taste that seemeth him good. 

Dohd 6. '/ 

The good aim at goodness, and the vile at vileness ; 

ambrosia is esteemed for giving immortality, and poison for 

causing death. 

Chaupdi 6. 

Why enumerate the faults and defects of the bad and 
the virtues of the good ? both are a boundless and un- 
fathomable ocean. Hence occasionally virtue is reckoned 
as vice, improperly and from want of discrimination. For 

1 The churning of the ocean is one of the coranionplaces of Hindti 
poetry, and the allusions to it in the RAmdvana are innumerable. With 
Mount Mandara as a churning-stick, the great serpent VAsuki as a rope, 
and Nilrdyan himself in tortoise form as the pivot on which to work, the 
jfods and demons combined to churn the milky ocean. Thus were produced 
from its depth the moon ; the sacred cow, Surabhi or KamAdhenu ; the 
goddess of wine, Varuni ; the tree of paradise, ParijAta, or Kalpa-taru ; the 
heavenly nymphs, the ApsarAs ; the goddess of beauty, Lakshmi or Sri ; and 
the physician of the gods, Dhanvantari. The cup of nectar which the latter 
held in his hand was seized and quaffed by the gods ; while the poison, 
which also was produced, was either claimed by the snake gods or swallowed 
by Mahadeva ; whence comes the blackness of his throat, that gives him the 
name of Ml-kanth. 



OfeLILDHOOt). 7 

God hath created both, but it is the Vada that has distin- 
guished one from the other. i The heroic legends and the 
Purdnas also, no less than the Vedas, recognize every kind 
of good and evil as creatures of the Creator : pain and plea- 
sure ; sin and religious merit ; night and day ; saint and 
sinner ; high caste and low caste : demons and gods ; great 
and small ; ambrosia and life ; poison and death; the visible 
world and the invisible God ; life and the lord of life ; 
rich and poor ; the beggar and the king ; K^si and Maga- 
dhA ;2 the Ganges and the Karamndsd, ; the desert of 
Mdrw^r and the rich plain of M^lwii ; the Brahman and 
the butcher : heaven and hell ; sensual passion and as- 
ceticism ; the Vedas and the Tantras, and every variety of 
good and evil. 

Doha 7. !7 

The Creator has made the universe to consist of things 
animate and inanimate ; good and evil ; a saint like a swan 
extracts the milk of goodness and rejects the worthless 
water.3 

Chaupdi 7. 

When the Creator gives men this faculty of judgment 
they abandon error and become enamoured of the truth ; 
but conquered by time, temperament, or fate, even the good, 
as a result of their humanity, may err from virtue ; but 
Hari takes their body so to speak and corrects it, and, 
removing all sorrow and sin, cleanses it and glorifies them. 
If the bad through intercourse with the good do good, their 
inherent badness is not effaced. An impostor of fair out- 
ward show may be honoured on account of his garb, but in 
the end he is exposed and does not succeed, like Kdla-nemi, 
or Ravan, or R^hu/* The good are honoured, notwithstand- 

1. ' I dill not know sin, but by the law." St. Paul. 

2. Mi.gadha (Bihar) i>* taken as the opposite to Kasi, in conaequence 
of its being the birthplace of Buddhism. 

3. To the swan (raj-hans) is ascribed th^ fabulous faculty of beinc' able 
to separate milk from water, after the two have been mixed together. * 

4. Kala-nemi by assuming the form of an ascetic imposed for a lime 
upon Hanuman, as Kavan did UDon 8ira : and even Vishnu, at the churning 
of the ocean, was at first deceived by Hahu, who appeared like one of the 
gods. 



ft OHILDHOOt). 

ing their mean appearance, like the bear J^mavant or the 
monkey Hanum^n. Tad company is loss, and good company 
is gain ; this is a trur recognized both by the world and 
the Veda. In company with the wind the dust flies heaven- 
wards ; if it joins water, it becomes mud and sinks. Ac- 
cording to the character of the house in which a parrot or 
maina is trained, it learns either to repeat the name of 
Rama or to give abuse. With the ignorant, soot is mere 
refuse ; but it may make good ink, and be used even for 
copying a Purina ; while water, fire, and air combined 
become an earth-refreshing rain-cloud. 

Doha S- II. ^3-ft 

The planets, medicines, water, air, clothes, all are good 
or bad things according as their accompaniments are good 
or bad ; and people observe this distinction. Both lunar 
fortnights are equal as regards darkness and light ; but a 
difference in name has been wisely made, and as the moon 
waxes or wanes the fortnight is held in high or low esteem. 
Knowing that the whole universe, whether animate or in- 
animate, is pervaded by the spirit of R^ma, I reverence with 
clasped hands the lotus feet of all gods, giants, men, ser- 
pents, birds, ghosts, departed ancestors, Grandharvas, 
Kinnaras, demons of the night 1 pray ye all be gracious 
to me. 

Ghaupdi 8. 

By four modes of birth^ are produced 84 laks of species 
inhabiting the air, the water and the earth. With clasped 
hand I perform an act of adoration, recognizing the whole 
world as pervaded by the spirit of Sita and Rjima. In your 
compassion regard me as your servant, and dissembling no 
longer, be kind and affectionate. I have no confidence in 



1 The four dkaras, or modes of birth, are named pindaja, or viviparous ; 
andaja, or oviparous ; swedaja, born in sweat, like lice ; and udbhija. pro- 
duced by sproutinK like a tree, rhe H4 lakhs of species are (iiv'id.d as 
follows : 9 lakhs of aquatic creatures, 27 lakhs of those attached to t he earth, 
1 1 lakhs of inserts, 10 lakhs of birds, 23 lakhs of quadiu|)e(is. anJ I I;iklis .)f 
men. The literal meaning of akara being a mine, khan'i, \vm, i, i, us the 
same primary signification, is used for it in Cliauimi 4i, 



CHILDHOOD. 9 

the strength of my own wisdom, and therefore I supplicate 

you all. I would narrate the great deeds of Raghupati, 

but my ability is little and his acts unfathomable. I am 

conscious that I have no skill or capacity ; my intellect in 

short is beggarly, while my ambition is imperial ; I am 

thirsting for nectar, when not even skim-milk is to be had. 

Good people, all pardon my presumption and listen to my 

childish babbling, as a father and mother delight to hear 

the lisping prattle of their little one. Perverse and 

malignant fools may laugh, who pick out faults in others 

wherewith to adorn themselves. Every one is pleased 

with his own rhymes, whether they be pungent or insipid ; 

but those who praise another's voice are good men, of 

whom there are few in the world ; there are many enough 

like the rivers, which on getting a rainfall swell out a 

flood of their own, but barely one like the generous ocean, 

which swells on beholding the fulness of the moon. 

Dohd 12. '" 

My lot is low, my purpose high, but I am confident of 

one thing, that the good will be gratified to hear me, though 

fools may laugh. 

Chaupdi 9. 

The laughter of fools will be grateful to me ; the crow 
calls the koiVs voice harsh, The goose ridicules the swan, 
and the frog the chata/c ; so the low and vile abuse pure 
verse. As they have no taste for poetry nor love for Rdma, 
I am glad that they should laugh. If my homely speech 
and poor wit are fit subjects for laughter, let them laugh ; 
it is no fault of mine. If they have no understanding of 
true devotion to Lord, the tale will seem insipid enough : 
but to the true and orthodox worshippers of Hari and Hara 
the story of Raghubar will be sweet as honey. The singer's 
devotion to Rdma will by itself be sufiicient embellish- 
ment to make the good hear and praise the melody. Though 
no poet, nor clever, nor accomplished ; though unskilled 
in every art and science ; though all the elegant devices of 



10 CHILDHOOD. 

letters and rhetoric, the countless variations of metre, the 
infinite divisions of sentiment and style, and all the 
defects and excellences of verse, and the gift to distinguish 
between them are unknown to me. 1 declare and record 
it on a fair white sheet 

Dohd 13. y, 
That though my style has not a single charm of its own, 
it has a charm known throughout the world, which men of 
discernment will ponder as they read 
Ghaupdi 10. 
The gracious name of Raghupati ; all-purifying essence 
of the PurAnas and the Veda, abode of all that is auspicious, 
destroyer of all that is inauspicious, ever murmured in 
prayer by Umd and the great Tripur^ri. The most elegant 
composition of the most talented poet has no real beauty 
if the name of Rdma is not in it : in the same way as a 
lovely woman adorned with the richest jewels is vile if 
unclothed. But the most worthless production of the 
feeblest versifier, if adorned with the name of R4ma, is 
heard and repeated with reverence by the wise, who ex- 
tract what is good in it, like bees gathering honey ; though 
the poetry has not a single merit, the glory of Rtoa is 
manifested thereby. This is the confidence which has 
possessed my soul ; is there anything which good company 
fails to exalt ? Thus smoke forgets its natural pungency and 
in incense yields a sweet scent. My language is that in 
vulgar use, but my subject is the highest, the story of 
Rdma, enrapturing the world. 

Chhand 1.^ 
Though rapturoas lays befit his praise, who cleansed a world accurst, 
Yet Tulsi's rivulet of rhyme may slake a traveller's thirst. 
How pure and blest on Siva's breast show the vile stains of earth 1 
So my poor song flows bright and strong illumed b^' Rdma's worth. 

1 The chfiands are {generally somewhat cuthusiastic outbursts, in which 
the oft-repcHteH rhyme i.s a little apt to run away with the sense. Thp 
better to indicate their special character, one-half of the 62 that occur in 
this book will be rendered metrically. The first line always repeats some 
emphatic word from the last line uf the preceding stanza. 



CHILDHOOD. 11 

DohdUio. M'*" 
From its connection with the glory of Rdma, my verse 
will be most grateful to every one. Any wood that comes 
from the Malaya sandal-groves is valued ; who considers 
what kind of wood it is? Though a cow be black, its 
milk is pure and wholesome, and all men drink it ; and so, 
though my speech is rough, it tells the glory of Sita and 
Rdma, and will therefore be heard and repeated with 
pleasure by sensible people. 

Chawpdi 11. 

So long as the diamond remains in the serpent's head, 
the ruby on the mountain top, or the pearl in its elephant's 
brow, they are all without beauty ; but in a king's diadem 
or on a lovely woman they become beautiful exceedingly. 
Similarly, as wise men tell, poetry is born of one faculty, 
but beautified by another ; for it is in answer to pious 
prayer that the Muse leaves her heavenly abode and speeds 
to earth ; without immersion in the fountain of Rama's 
deeds all labour and trouble count for nothing. An in- 
telligent poet understands this, and sings only of Hari, the 
redeemer, and his virtues. To recount the doings of 
common people is mere idle beating of the head, which the 
Muse loathes. Genius is, as it were, a shell in the sea of 
the soul, waiting for the October rain of inspiration ; if a 
gracious shower falls, each drop becomes a lovely pearl of 
poetry. 

Dohd 16. IJ 

Then dexterously pierced and strung together on the 
thread of Rdma's adventures, they form a beautiful chain 
to be worn on a good man's breast. 

Chawpdi 12. 

Men born in this grim iron age are outwardly swans, 
but inwardly as black as crows ; walking in evil paths, 



12 CHILDHOOD. 

abandoning the Veda,^ embodiments of falsehood, vessels 
of impurity, hypocrites, professing devotion to Rima, but 
slaves of gold, of passion, and of lust. Among them I give 
the first place to myself, a hypocrite, alas ! of the very first 
rank ; but were I to tell all my vices, the list would so 
grow that it would have no end. I have therefore said but 
very little, but a word is enough for the wise. Let none of 
my hearers blame me for offering so many apologies ; who- 
ever is troubled in mind by them is more stupid and dull 
of wit than I am myself. Though I am no poet, and have 
no pretensions to cleverness, I sing as best I can the virtues 
of Rdma. How unfathomable his actions, how shallow my 
poor world-entangled intellect ! Before the strong wind 
that could uproot Mount Meru, of what account is such a 
mere fleck of cotton as I am ? When I think of Rama's 
infinite majesty I tremble as I write. 

Dohd 17. ^ 
For Sarasvati, Sesh-nAg, Siva and Brdhma, the Sh^stras, 
the Veda, the PurAnas, all are unceasingly singing his per- 
fection, yet fail to declare it. 

Ghawpdi 13. 
All know the greetness of the lord to be thus unutter- 
able, yet none can refrain from attempting to expound it. 
For this reason the Veda also has declared many different 
modes of effectual worship. There is one God, passionless, 
formless, uncreated, the universal soul, the supreme spirit, 
the all-pervading, whose shadow is the world ; who has 
become incarnate and does many things, only for the love 
that he bears to his faithful people ; all-gracious and com- 
passionate to the humble ; who in his mercy ever refrains 
from anger against those whom he loves and knows to be 

1 By the Veda, to which Tulsi DAs so frequently appeals, must be un- 
derstood not the original Veda itself, with which he had absolutely nothing 
In common, but only the Upanishads, which are also popularly quoted as 
of Vedic authority. They are brief speculative treatises, over 200 in all, 
in a discursive and rhapsodical style and of an ultra- Pantheistic tendency, 
Though attached to the end of the Vedas, they are for the most part of 
nmcb Uiter date. 



CHILDHOOD. 13 

his own : restorer of the past ; protector of the poor ;i all- 
good, all-powerful, the lord Raghur^j. In this belief the 
wise sing the glory of Hari, and their song thus becomes 
holy and meritorious. I, too, bowing my head to Rdma's 
feet, am emboldened to sing his fame, following a path 
which has been made easy by the divine bards who have 
trodden it before me. 

Dohd 18. i 5 

As when once a king has prepared a bridge over a broad 
stream, an ant, insignificant as it is, is able to cross with- 
out difficulty. 

Chaupdi 14. 

In this manner re-assuring myself, I undertake to recount 
Rdma's charming adventures, as they have been reverently 
told by Vyasa and the other great poets, whose lofus feet I 
adore, praying, Fulfil ye my desire. I reverence also the 
poets of these latter days, who have sung of Raghupati, 
bards of high intelligence, who have written in Prakrit and 
the vulgar tongue. All who have been in time past, or who 
now are, or who hereafter shall be, I bow to all in the ut- 
most good faith and sincerity. Be propitious and grant this 
boon, that in assemblies of good men my song may be hon- 
oured I If the good and wise will not honour it, the silly 
poet has had all his labour in vain. The only fame, or poet- 
ry, or power, that is of any worth, is that which like Ganges 
water is good for all. The incongruity between Rama's 
glory and my rude speech makes me hesitate ; but by your 
favour all will turn out well ; for even coarse cloth, if embroi- 
dered with silk, becomes beautiful. Be kind enough to think 
of this, and my style will then match the excellence of my 
theme. 

Dohd 19. -?, - ^ 
A clear style and an exalted theme are both commend- 
able ; and when they are combined, an enemy even, forgett- 

1 Qharib nawdz. This is the first Persian word that has occurred 
in the poem. 



14 CHILDHOOD. 

ing his natural hostility, will repeat the strain. But such 
a combination is not to be acquired without genius, and 
genius I have none ; so again and again I beg of you to bear 
with me while I sing the glory of Hari. The great poets 
are like the swans sporting in the Manasa lake of Hari's 
deeds ; look on me as a well-meaning child and make allow- 
ances. ., . ^ # ^ 
Sorathd2. ^ ; ' 

I reverence the lotus feet of the great sage who com- 
posed the R^m^yana, smooth strains on rough topics, and 
faultless, though a story of the faulty, i I reverence the 
Vedas which are like a boat in which to cross the ocean of 
existence, without ever dreaming of weariness, while recount- 
ing Rama's excellent glory. I reverence the dust on the feet 
of Brdhma, creator of this ocean-like world, from which have 
been produced men, good and bad ; as of old from the same 
source came at once ambrosia, the moon, and the cow Kima- 
dhenu, and also poison and intoxicating liquor 

Dohd 20. -^ ^ 

Reverencing with clasped hands gods, Br^hmans, phi- 
losophers, and sages, I pray * Be gracious to me and 
accomplish all my fair desire.' 

Chaupdi 15. 

Again I reverence the Sarasvati and the Ganges, both 
holy and beautiful streams cleansing sin by a single draught 
or immersion, whose name as soon as uttered or heard at 
once removes error. I adore as I would my guru, or my 
natural parents, Siva and Pirvati, protectors of the humble, 

1 Id Hindi poetry it is considered a beauty if a phrase is so worded as 
to be capable of two or more different interpretations. It is sufficii-nt to 
note this peculiarity once for all ; but there are an immense number of 
passages in which, though the meaning which I have adopted seems to me, 
on the whole, the one most appropriate to the context, it by no means fol- 
lows that other interpretations are not, from the grammarian's point, of 
view, equally correct. Thus, the line rendered as above would literally 
stand thus Uough, soft, beautiful, faultless, full of faults. And this con- 
veys the general meaning which I have expressed. Bnt there are two plays 
upon words ; for *aA/wrrt, ordinarily 'rough,' and therefore contrasted with 
MAomaZ, 'soft,' is also intended to bear the meaning ' relating to the demon 
Khara' ; and similarly duithan mhit, 'full of faults,' can be forced into 
meaning ' with the demon Dushan.' 



CHILDHOOD. 



15 



daily benefactors, servants and courtiers in attendance on 
Sita's lord and in every way Tulsi's true friends ; who, in 
their benevolence and considering the degeneracy of the 
times, have themselves composed many spells in a barbarous 
language, incoherent syllables and unintelligible mutterings, 
mysterious revelations of the great Siva.^ By his patronage 
I may make ray story an agreeable one, and by meditating 
on Siva and Parvati may relate Rama's adventures in a way 
that will give pleasure. It is only by his favour that my 
verse can be beautified, as a dark night by the moon and stars. 
Whoever in a devout spirit, with intelligence and attention, 
hears or repeats this lay of mine, he shall become full of 
true love for Rama, and, cleansed from worldly stains, shall 
enjoy heavenly felicity. 

Dohd 21. 

Whether I am awake or dreaming, if Siva and Gauri 
grant me their favour, all that I say shall come true as to 
the effect of my song, though it be in the vulgar tongue. 
Chaupdi 16. 

I reverence the holy city of Ayodhyd, and the river 
Sarjii, cleansing from all earthly impurity. I salute also 
the inhabitants of the city, for whom the Lord had no 
little affection ; seeing that he ignored all the sin of Sita's 
calumniator and set men's minds at rest. 2 I reverence 
Kausalya, eastern heaven, from which glory was diffused 

1 The allusion is to the magic spells and mystical formularies of the 
Tantras, which are for the mosc part mere strings of uncouth and utterly- 
unmeaning words, such as OM, AiN, Hbik Srin, and again AN, HUN Phat, 
two mantras recited during the ceremonies of the Durga Puja. They all 
purport to have been revealed by Siva himself to Parvati. 

2 The calumniator was a washerman, whose wife had gone away, without 
asking his permission, to her father's house and had stayed there three days. 
On her return her husband refused to take her in, saying 'Do you think I 
am a Rama, who takes back his Slta after she has been living for eleven 
months in another man's house V When this came to Rima's ears, he showed 
his respect for the delicacy of his subjects by dismissing Sita, and, instead 
of punishing the washerman, promoted him to honour. This incident would 
naturally find a place in t he 7th canto of the poem ; and from the allusion to it 
here, it may be presumed that Tulsi D^s orignally intended to relate it. But 
by the time he had written so far, the enthusiasm of his devotion had 
waxed too great to allow of his admitting that such an insinuation of evil had 
ever been made against the immaculate Sita. 



16 CHILDHOOD. 

over the whole world ; whence Raghupati arose as a lovely 
moon, giving joy to the world, but blighting like a frost 
the lotus leaves of vice. To King Dasarath and all his] 
queens, incarnations of viriue and felicity, I make obeisance 
in word, deed and heart, saying * Be gracious to me as to 
a servant of your son, parents of RAma, that come of 
greatness, ye in whose creation the creator surpassed 
himself.' ^ * 

Sorathd S. ^^ 

I reverence the King of Avadh, who had such true love 
for Rama's feet that, when parted from his lord, his life 
snapped and parted too like a straw. 

Ghaupdi 17. 

I salute the King of Videha, with all his court, who Had 
the greatest affection for Rdma ; though he concealed his 
devotion under royal state, yet it broke out as soon as he 
saw him. Then, next, I throw myself at the feet of 
Bharat, whose constancy and devotion surpass description ; 
whose soul like a bee thirsting for sweets was ever hovering 
round the lotus feet of R4ma. I reverence too the lotus feet 
of Lakshman, cool, comely and source of delight to their 
worshippers, whose glory is as it were the standard for the 
display of RAma's pure emblazonment. Thou who to 
remove the terrors of the world didst become incarnate in 
the form of the thousand-headed serpent for the sake of the 
universe, be ever propitious to me, son of Sumitr^, ocean 
of compassion, storehouse of perfection. I bow also to Ripu- 
siidan (i. c, Satrughna), the generous hero, Bharat*s 
constant companion ; and to the conqueror Hanum^n, 
whose glory has been told by Rdma himself. 

Sorathd 4. 
The Son of the Wind, of profound intelligence, like a 
consuming fire in the forest of vice, in whose heart Rdma, 
equipped with bow and arrows, has established his home. 



CHILDHOOD. 17 

Chaupdi 18. 
The monkey lord, the king of bears and demons, Angad 
and all the monkey host, I throw myself at the benign feet 
of them all, for though conteniptible in appearance they yet 
found Rdma. I worship all his faithful servants whether 
birds, beasts, gods, men or demons all his unselfish ad- 
herents. I worship Sukadeva, Sanat-kumara, Ndrad, and 
the other sages of excellent renown, putting my head to the 
ground and crying : ' My lords, be gracious to your servant.' 
I propitiate the lotus feet of J^nak's daughter, JAnki, mother 
of the world, best beloved of the Fountain of Mercy ; by 
whose grace I may attain to unclouded intelligence. Again 
in heart, in word and deed I worship the all-worthy feet of 
Raghundth ; the glance of whose lotus eyes, like an arrow 
from the bow, rejoices his votaries by destroying all their 
misfortunes. ^ ^ 

Doha 22. - 

As a word and its meaning are inseparable, and as a 

wave cannot be distinguished from the water of which it is 

composed, the difference being only in the name ; so with 

R^ma and Sita, the refuge of the distressed, whom I adore. 

Chaupdi 19. 

I adore the name of RAma as borne by Raghubar,i the 
source of all light, whether of the fire, or the sun, or the moon; 
substance of the triune god ; vital breath of the Veda ; the 
passionless ; the incomparable ; the source of all good ; the 
great spell muttered by Mahddeva and enjoined by him as 
necessary to salvation even at K^si. By confessing its 
power, Ganes obtain the first place among the gods ;2 by its 

1 For there are two other Mmas besides Rdma-chandra, viz., Parasurd- 
raa and Balarama. 

2 According to the legend, the gods were disputing among themselves as 
to which of them should be accounted the greatest. Vo settle the matter 
Brdhma proposed that they all should race round the world. They started 
accordingly, each on the animal which he most delighted to ride ; and 
Ganes being mounted, as was his custom, on nothing better than a rat, was 
of course soon left far behind In his distress the sage Ndrad appeared to 
him and suggested that he should write the word Rdma in the dust and pace 
round that, for in it was virtually included all creation. This he did, and 
returned to Brihma, who at once awarded him the prize. 

R-6 



18 CHILDHOOD. 

power, though he muttered it backwards, the great poet 
V^lmiki attained to purity ; by its repetition, after she had 
heard from Siva that it was equal to a thousand names, 
Bhav^ni was able to join her husband ;^ while he, Maha- 
deva, in his delight on beholding her simple faith, assumed 
the woman, making that ornament of her sex the ornament 
of his own body. Again, it was by the power of this name 
that the poison swallowed by Mah^deva was converted into 
ambrosia. 

Dohd2S. ^'^ 

Devotion to Rdma is for the faithful Tulsi DAs like the 
rainy season for the rice-fields ; the two glorious conso- 
nants in Rdraa's name are like the months of S^wan and 
Bhadon. 

Ghaupdi 20. 

Two sweet and gracious syllables, the eyes as it were of 
the soul, easy to remember, satisfying every wish, a gain in 
this world and felicity in the next ; most delightful to utter, 
to hear, or to remember ; as dear to Tulsi as the inseparable 
R4ma and Lukshman. My love is inflamed as I speak of 
these mystic syllables, as intimately connected as the univer- 
sal soul and the soul of man ; twin brothers like Nara and 
Nir^yan ; preservers of the world ; redeemers of the elect ; 
bright jewels in the ears of beauteous Faith ; pure and bene- 
ficent as the sun and the moon ; like sweetness and content- 
ment, the inseparable attributes of ambrosia ; like the tor- 
toise and serpent, supporters of the world ; like the bee and 
lotus of a pious soul ; and as sweet to the tongue as Hari 
and BalarAma were sweet to Jasodi. 



1 One day when Siva had finished eating, be called to his wife PArvati 
to come and take her food too before it got cold. She pleaded that she had 
not yet finished repeating, according to her daily wont, the thousand names 
of Vishnu : whereupon her husband instructed her that it would suffice 
If she said the mere name of R4ma once, for that had as much virtue as all 
the thousand. She at once believed him and complied ; and the god was so 
pleased at her ready faith that in her honor he assumed the ArdhanAri, 
or half male, half female form. 



CHILDHOOD. 19 

Doha 24. : i V 

Like a royal umbrella and jewelled diadem over aU the 
other letters of the alphabet shine the two consonants in 
Emma's name.i 

Ghaupdi 21. 
A name may be regarded as equivalent to what is named, 
the connection being such as subsists between a master and 
servant. Both name and form are shadows of the lord, who, 
rightly understood, is unspeakable and uncreated. They are 
sometimes wrongly distinguished as greater and less, but the 
wise will understand my explanation of the difference be 
tween them. See, now, the form is subordinate to the name, 
for without the name you cannot come to a knowledge of the 
form ; if the very form be in your hand, still without know- 
ing the name it is not recognized ; but meditate on the name 
without seeing the form, and your soul is filled with devo- 
tion.2 The mystery of name and form is unspeakable and 
cannot be told, but delightful to those who have intuition 
of it ; the name acting as a witness between the material 
and immaterial form of the deity, and being a guide and 
interpreter to both. 

Dohd 25. 
Place the name of RAma as a jewelled lamp at the door 

1 The allusion is to the form the letters / and w take when written 
above the line. 

2 To the European reader all this panegyric of the Divine name will 
probably at first sight appear extravagant and absurd. But from the 
Hindu point of view it is reasonable enough , and mutatis mutandis, may be 
paralleled by many similar expressions in the writings of Catholic theolo- 
gians, as for example the following : 

Sancta oratio, brevis ad legendum, facilis ad tenendum, dulcis ad 
cogitandum, fortis ad protegendura. r/<'5. a Kempis. 

Suo sanctissimo nomine, quod quinque Uteris constat, confert quotidie 
veniam peccatoribus. /". Pelhert. 

Noraen tiium devote nominari non potest sine nominantis utilitate. 
S, Bo7iaventura. 

Nomen solum sufficit ad raedendum ; nam pestis tam efficax nulla sic haeret, 
quae ad nomen non cedat continuo. Ricardus de S. Laurentio. 

Spiritus maligni difEugiunt, audito nomine, velut ab igne. 5. Bridget. 

Omnes daemones verentur hoc nomen, et timent, qui audientes statim 
Irelinquunt animam de unguibus quibus tenebant eam. S. Bridget. 

Gloriosum et admirable est nomen ; qui illud retinent, non expavescent in 
puncto, mortis. S. Bonaventura. 

Nomen plenum est omni dulcedine et suavitate divina. Honorius, 



00 CHILDHOOD. 

of your lips and there will be light, as you will, both inside 
and out. 

Chaupdi 22. 

As his tongue repeats this name, the ascetic wakes to 
life, his thoughts free from passion and all detached from 
the world; he enjoys the incomparable felicity of God, who 
is unspeakable, unblemished, without either name or form. 
Those who would understand mysteries, by repeating this 
name understand them ; the religious who repeat this name 
absorbed in contemplation, become workers of miracles^ and 
acquire the power of rendering themselves invisible and 
the like ; those who repeat it when burdened with affliction 
are freed from their troubles and become happy. Thus 
there are in the world four kinds of RAma- worshippers, all 
four good, holy, and beneficent ; but of these four sages 
they are the most dear to the lord who wisely rely upon his 
name. His name is great in the four Vedas and in all the 
ages of the world, but in this fourth age especially there is 
no other hope. 

Doha 26. 

Free from sensual passions and absorbed in devout 
affection to RAma, the soul disports itself like a fish in the 
ambrosial lake of his beloved name. 
Chaupdi 23. 

The Supreme may be regarded either as unconditioned 
or as incarnate ; under either aspect it is unspeakable, un- 
fathomable, without beginning and without parallel. To 
my mind the name is greater than both, for it has prevailed 

1 The miracalouB powers that can be acquired by perfect saints, or 
fiddahs, are reckoned as eight in number, and are called animd^ mahima, 
garitna, laghhiii, prdpti,prdkdmya, igittva, and rasittwd. These words denote 
the faculty 1st, of becoming infinitely small ; 2nd, of becoming infinitely 
great; 3rd, of becoming infinitely heavy; 4th, of becoming infinitely light; 5th, 
of obtaining whatever one wishes ; 6th, of doing whatever one wishes ; 7th, 
of absolute supremacy ; 8th, of absolute subjugation. Compare the four gifts 
of beatitude as enumerated by Catholic theologians : viz. Ist, Agility, by 
which the soul can in an instant descend from the height of heaven to earth ; 
2ndly, Brightness, by which [according to 8. Augustine] each blessed soul 
is so much more luminous than the sun as the sun is brighter than any other 
celestial body ; 3rdly, Subtilty, by which the soul can penetrate a mountain, 
in the same way as a ray of light passes through a crystal ; and 4thly, 
Impassibility, by which it is exempt from suffering, disease, or death. 



CHILDHOOD. 2^1 

to bring both under its sway. My friends must not take 
this as an exaggeration on my part, for I say it confidently 
and with sincere devotion. This dual distinction of the Sup- 
reme is like the two kinds of fire, which is either potential 
in the wood or visible externally ; each is in itself unap- 
proachable but is easily approached by means of the name; 
and therefore I say that the name is greater than either 
Brahm or R^ma. For the one immortal, true, sentient, 
complete, and blissful Brahm is all-pervading ; yet though 
such an unchangeable lord is in our very soul, the whole 
creation is in slavery and wretchedness, till he is revealed 
in definite shape, and is energized by the name ; as a jewel 
is not valued till it is so called. ^ q 

Doha 27. ^ 

Thus the virtue of the name is infinite and transcends 
the Supreme, and in my judgment is greater that R<ima 
himself. 

Ghaupdi 24. 

From the love that he bore to his followers, R^ma took 
the form of a man and by himself enduring misery secured 
their happiness. By incessantly and devoutly repeating 
his name, all the faithful may attain to felicity. R^ma 
himself redeemed only one woman, the ascetic's wife ;i but 
his name has corrected the errors of millions of sinners. 
To gratify the Rishi Visvamitra, Rdma wrought the de- 
struction of Suketu's daughter Tdraka with her son M^rfcha 
and his army ; but as the sun puts an end to night, so his 
name has scattered all crime and pain and despair. In 
his own person RAma broke the bow of Siva, but his 
glorious name has broken the fear of death ;2 the Lord 

1 Ahalyd, the wife of the Rishi Gautama, bavin sjt been seduced by the 
god Tndra, was cursed by her indignant lord, and doomed to remain alone 
and invisible in the forest for thousands of years, till Rdma should come 
and redeem her 

2 Here is a olay upon words which cannot be preserved in the trans- 
lation, for in the first half of the couplet the word bhava is to be taken as 
a name of Siva, while in the second half it means life or rather death, since, 
according to Hindii ideas, all conscious life is merely a preparation for 
inevitable death. Compare Milton's expression : " This earthly load of 
death called life, which us from life doth sever." 



ft CHILDHOOD. 

himself restored to life only the forest of Dandaka,^ but 
his name has sanctified countless generations ; the son of 
Raghu destroyed many demons, but his name has destroy- 
ed all the evil of the world. 

Dohd 28. Mr^ 
Raghunith conferred immortality on Savari and the 
vulture Jat^yu2 and his other faithful servants ; but his 
name, precious theme of the Vedas, has delivered innumer- 
able wretches. 

Ghaupdi 25. 

Rama, as all men know, extended his protection to 
Sugriva and Vibhishana ; but his nime has protected 
countless supplicants, shining forth gloriously in the 
world and Veda. R^ma assembled a host of bears and 
monkeys, and even then had no little trouble to build his 
bridge ; his name can dry up the ocean of life ; meditate 
thereon, ye faithful. RAma killed in battle Ravan and 
all his family, and returned with Sfta^ to his own city, a 
king to Avadh, his capital, while gods and saints hymned 
his praises ; but his servants, if only they affectionately 
meditate on his name, have no difficulty in vanquishing the 
whole army of error, and absorbed in devotion live at ease, 
without even a dream of sorrow. 

Dohd 29. ^\ 

The name is greater than either Brahm or R^ma, and is 
the best gift of the best giver; this Mahddeva knew when 
he selected it from the hundred crorea* of verses in the 
Rdmayan^. 

1 Dandaka is the name of the pathless forest near the Godavari, where 
Sfta was stolen away by Rivan. 

2 The bird JatAyu stopped the chariot in which Slta was being carried 
off by R^van and was mortally wounded by the giant, but lived long enough 
to give R4ma tidings of his beloved. In return for his faithful services 
R&ma and Lakshnian themselves performed his funeral rites. 

3 Sugriva, the monkey chief, as told at full length later on in the 
poem, assisted R^ma in his search for Sita ; and Rdma rewarded him by 
installing him as sovereign of KishindhyA in the place of his brother B6ii. 
Similarly, Vibhishana was made king of Lank^ in the room of R4van. 

4 Of these hundred crores it is said that Siva distributed 33 crores to 
each of the three worlds. The one crbre that remained over he similarly 
divided into three sets of 33 l*khs each ; the odd lakh into three sets of 33 
thousand each ; thn odd thousand again into three sets of three hundred 
each ; the odd hundred into three sets of thirty-three each, and finally the 
one remaining xloka iuto three sets of ten letters each. The two letters 
that remained over, being the two consonants in the name of R^ma, he kept 
for himself, as containing the gist of the whole matter. 



CHILDHOOD. 



23 



GJiaupai 26. 

By the power of this name the blessed god of curst 
attire, even the great Siva, acquired immortality ; by the 
power of this name Sukadeva, Sanat-kumdra, and all 
saints, sages, and ascetics have enjoyed heavenly raptures : 
Ndrad too acknowledged its power, himself as dear to Hara 
and Hari as Hari is dear to the world ; by repeating this 
name PrahUd, through the Lord's grace, became the crown 
of the faithful. 1 Dhruva in his distress repeated the name 
of Hari, and was rewarded by a fixed and incomparable 
station in the heavens \^ by meditating on his holy name 
Hanuman won and kept the affection of Rama ; by the 
power of Hari's name Ajdmil-^ and the elephant and the 
harlot all three obtained salvation ; why further extend the 
list ? not even the incarnate R^ma could exhaust it. 
Doha 30. tfV 

The name of RAma is as the tree of paradise, the centre 
of all that is good in this wicked world ; and whoever 

1 Prahlid, the pious son of the impious Hiranya Kasipu, who was de- 
stroyed by Vishnu in the Narsinh avatar, was made equal to Indra for life 
and finally united with Vishnu. 

2 Dhruva, the son of Uttanapida, being slighted by his step-mother, left 
his home with the determination of winning himself a name in the world. 
By the advice of the seven Rishis, he devoted himself to the service of 
Vishnu and was finally exalted by the god to the heavens, where he shines 
as the pole-star. 

3 According to the history given in the 6th Skandha of the Sri Bhagavat, 
Ajdmil was a Brahman of Kanauj, of most dissolute and abandoned life, 
by a happy chance the youngest of the ten sous whom he had by a prostitute 
was named Ndrdyan, and the father when at the point of death happened to 
summon him to his side. But the god Narayan, thus casually invoked, him- 
self came in answer to the call and rescued the guilty soul from the demons 
that were about to carry it off to hell. 

The story of the elephant is given in the 8th Skandha of the same Purana. 
An alligator bad seized him by the foot while bathing, and though he strug- 
gled desperately for 2,000 years, he was unable to rid himself on his enemy, 
and at last was deserted by all his wives and children. He then began to 
give himself up for lost; but reflecting on the pertinacity of the alligator, he 
came to the conclusion that the creature must be the embodiment of all the 
sins he had committed in previous existences and that God alone could save 
him. He therefore addressed a fervent prayer to N^rdyan, who thus invoked 
by name came down from heaven and with his discus Sudarsan cut off the 
alligator's head and delivered the suppliant. 

The 8th chapter of the llth Skandha gives the story of the penitent 
prostitute, Pingala. 



24 CHILDHOOD. 

meditates upon it becomes (says Tulsi D^s) transformed as 
it were from a vile heiup-stick into a sweet-smelling tulsi 
plant. 

Chavpdi 27. 

In all four ages of the world ; in all time, past, present, 
or future ; in the three spheres of earth, heaven and hell ; 
any creature that repeats this name becomes blessed. This 
is the verdict of the Veda, the Pur^nas and all the saints 
that love of RAma is the fruit of all virtue. In the first age, 
contemplation ; in* the second age, sacrifice ; in the Dv^par 
age, temple-worship was the appointed propitiation ; but 
in this vile and impure iron age, where the soul of man 
floats like a fish in an ocean of sin, in these fearful times, 
the name is the only tree of life, and by meditating on it all 
commotion is stilled. In these evil days neither good deeds, 
nor piety, nor spiritual wisdom is of any avail, but only 
the name of R^ma : his name is as it were the wisdom and 
the might of Hanum^n to expose and destroy the Kdlanemi- 
like^ wiles of the wicked world. ^ 

As narsinh was manifested to destroy the enemy of 
heaven, Hiranya-kasipu, and protect Prahlnd, so is Rama's 
name for the destruction of the world and protection of the 
pious. 

Chaupai 28 

By repeating this name, whether in joy or in sadness, 
in action or in repose, bliss is diffused all around. Meditat- 
ing upon it and bowing my head to Raghun^th, I compose 
these lays in his honour ; he will correct all my defects, 
whose mercy is mercy inexhaustible. Thou art my good 

1 K^lanemi was the uncle of K4vaD, who commissioned him to kill 
Hanum&n. Accordingly, he assumed the garb of a devotee and retired to a 
magic hermitage, where he was soon after visited by HanumAn. The latter 
accepted the hospitality of the holy man as he took him to be, but before 
eating went to a pond close by to bathe. As soon as be put his foot in the 
water, it was seizt-d by a crocodile, which, however, he soon killed ; when 
from its dead body sprung a >eautiful nymph long under a curse, who in- 
formed him of K^lamemTs true character. Hanum^n thereupon threw his 
tail round the demon's neck and strangled him. The incident is related in 
Book vi, doh^i 66, 66. 



OBlLDfiOOD. ^ 

lord, I t6y poor servant ; bear this in mind and gi'aciously 
protect me. The world and scripture alike declare these 
to be the characteristics of a good master, that he hears 
prayer and acknowledges affection. Rich or poor, villagei^ 
or citizen, learned or unlearned, pure or impure, good poet 
or bad poet, all according to their f^bility extol their king- 
as being good, amiable, and gracious, lord of incomparable 
compassion ; and he hears and accepts their honest attempts, 
recognizing in their words both devotion and a measure of 
ability. This is the way with earthly kings, and R^ma is 
their crown : he is satisfied with simple piety, though in 
one who is duller and feebler of intellect even than I am. 
DoTia 32-33. lA^-ifir 
The merciful Rdma will regard the love and zeal of his 
poor servant, he who made a ship out of a rock and wise 
ministers out of monkeys and bears; although I am a byword, 
and every one says RAma is exposed to ridicule, in that he, 
being such a lord, has such a servant as Tulsi DAs. 

Chaupdi 29. 

My presumption is indeed very sad and villainous 
enough to disgust hell itself ; I am quite aware of this and 
tremble to think of it ; but Rdma never dreamt of taking 
notice. The lord listened and with his own eyes attentive- 
ly considered my faith, and thereupon applauded my 
devout intention. Though my story is spoilt by the telling, 
Rama is satisfied and accounts it good, since the will is good. 
The lord is not mindful of a chance fault, but on every 
occasion he considers the heart. Thus the very crime for 
which he like a huntsman killed B^li was in turn the sin 
of Sugriva, and again of Vibhishan ; but in their case Rdma 
did not dream of censure, but honoured them both at his 
meeting with Bharat and commended in open court, 

Dohd 34-36. tfC - m ^Mil^ . 

The monkeys too that scrambled up in the boughs of the 
tree under which the lord sat, even these he held dar as 

R-7 



26 CHILDHOOD. 

himself : says Tulsi, there is no master so generous as 
lUma. R^ma, thy goodness is good to all, and if so, 
then good to Tulsi also. Thus declaring my merits and 
defects and again bowing my head to all, I proceed to tell 
the glorious acts of Raghubar, by the sound of which all the 
sin of the world is effaced. 

Ghaupdi 30. 

Now listen all in friendly wise while I relate the story 
as I have heard it, as it was communicated by Y^jnavalkya 
to the great sage Bharadvdja. It was first of all composed 
by Siva and graciously revealed to Uma, and again declared 
to Kdka-bhusundi, known to be chief among the votaries of 
RAma. From him Y^jnavalkya received it and he recited 
it to Bharadvdja. These listeners and reciters were of 
equal virtue and had an equal insight into Hari's sportive 
actions. Their intellect comprehended all time, as it were 
a plum in the palm of the hand. Other intelligent votaries 
of Hari have also in different ways heard, understood and 
spoken. , 

Dohd 37-38. "^^'^ 

As for myself, I heard the story from my master at 
Sukir-khet (i.e., Soron),^ not understanding it, when I was 
quite a child and had no sense. How could such a dull 
creature, being both ignorant and eaten up with wordly im- 
purities, understand so mysterious a legend and a dialogue 
between such sage interlocutors ? 

Ghaupdi 31. 

But my master repeated it time after time, till at length 
I understood as much as could be expected ; and I now put 
it down in the vulgar tongue for the better comprehension 
of my ideas ; with a heart inspired by Hari and using all 
the little sense, judgment, and ability that I possess. The 

1 Soron, the modern name, is a corruption of Silkara-grdma (Boar-town). 
The place is still much frequented by pilgrims, the principal concourse 
being on the festival of the Variha (or Boar) avatAr, Siikara-grAma-Siiar- 
g&WD m Si;iar4D w m Soron. 



CHILDHOOD. 27 

Story that I have to tell clears my own doubts as it does 
every other error and delusion, and is a raft on which to 
cross the ocean of existence. The story of Rdma is a 
resting-place for the intellect ; a universal delight ; de- 
stroyer of wordly impurity ; an antidote to the venom of 
passion ; a match to enkindle the fire of wisdom ; the cow of 
plenty in this iron age ; an elixir to make good men immor- 
tal ; a terrestrial stream of nectar ; a destroyer of death ; a 
snake to devour toad-like error ; the annihilator of hell, like 
as Pdrvati on behalf of gods and saints annihilated the 
army of demons ; like as Lakshmi was born of the sea, so 
conceived in the assembly of saints ; immoveable as the 
earth that supports all the weight of creation ; like the 
Jamun^, to put to shame the angel of death ; like KAsi, the 
saviour of all living creatures ; as dear to Rdma as the pure 
tulsi ; as dear to Tulsi DAs as his own heart's desire ; as 
dear to Siva as the daughter of Mount Mekal (i.e., the 
Narmad^), bestower of all perfection and prosperity ; like 
Aditi, gracious mother of all the gods ; the perfect outcome 
of love and devotion to Raghubar. 

Doha 39. S^l 

The story of Rdma is as the river Mand^kini and a good 
intention like Mount Chitrakut, while sincere affection is 
the forest where RAma and Sitd disported themselves. 
Ghaupdi 32. 

The legend of Rdma is like the delectable wishing 
stone ; or as a fair jewel for the bridal adornment of saint- 
ly wisdom ; His perfection is the joy of the whole world, 
fraught with the blessings of virtue, wealth, and eternal 
salvation : a true teacher of wisdom, asceticism and spiri- 
tual contemplation ; like the physician of the gods to heal 
the fearful diseases of life ; the very parent of devotion to 
Sita and Rdma ; the seed of all holy vows and practices ; 
the destroyer of sin, of pain, and of sorrow ; our guardian 
in this world and the next ; the Prime Minister and the 



*58 CHILDHOOD. 

Greneral of Kingly Counsel; a very Agastya,^ to drink up 
the illimitable ocean of desire ; a young lion in the forest 
of life to attack the wild elephants of lust, anger, and 
sensual impurity ; as dear to Siva as the presence of a 
highly honoured guest ; as an abundant shower to quench 
the fire of meanness ; a potent spell against the venom of 
the world ; effacing from the forehead the deep brand of 
evil destiny ; dispelling the darkness of error like the rays 
of the sun ; like a shower on a rice-field refreshing the 
aridity of prayer; like the tree of paradise granting every 
desire ; like Hari and Hara, accessible and gracious to all 
servants ; like the stars in the clear autumn sky of the 
poet's mind ; like the richness of life enjoyed by Rama's 
votaries ; like the perfect felicity that is the reward of 
virtue ; like the assembly of the faithful in benevolence 
and composure ; like a swan in the pure lake of the be- 
liever's soul ; like the abundant flood of Ganga's purifying 

stream. i.v% 

DoTia 40-41. f'^'* ^ ' 

Rama's perfect merit is like a strong fire to consume 

the dry wood of schism and heresy, evil practices and 

worldly deceit, hypocrisy and infidelity. His acts are like 

the rays of the full moon that give pleasure to all, but are 

specially consoling to the souls of the pious like the lotus 

and the chakor. 

Chaupdi 33. 

All the questions that Bhavdni asked, with Sankara's 

replies thereto, I now proceed to give in substance, with 

agreeable diversity of style. No one is to be astonished if 

he should happen not to have beared any particular legend 

before. A philosopher, on hearing for the first time any 

marvellous acts, will feel no surprise, reasoning thus with 

himself; I know well that there is no limit in the world to 

the stories about Rima, for he has in various forms become 

I As Agaatya was one day worshipping by the sea-side, a wave came and 
wMhed away some of his altar furniture, thereupon in three draughts he 
drank the whole ooean dry. 



CHILDHOOD. 20 

incarnate, and verses of the Rdmdyana are some thousand 
millions in number ; his glorious acts are of myriad diver- 
sity, and have been sung by sages in countless ways.^ So in^ 
dulge no doubts, but listen reverently and devoutly. 

Doha ^2. j-j^t 

Rdma is infinite, his perfections infinite, and his 
legends of immeasureable expansion ; men of enlightened 
and understanding will therefore wonder at nothing they 
hear, 

Chaupdi 34. 

Having in this manner put away all doubt, I place on 
my head the dust from the lotus feet of my master, and 
with folded hand-making a general obeisance, that no fault 
may attach to my telling of the story, and bowing my head 
reverently before Siva, I proceed to sing of Rdma's excel-. 
lent glory. In this Sambat year of 1631, I write with my 
head at Hari's feet, on Tuseday the 9th of the sweet month 
of Chait, at the city of Avadh, on the day when the script- 
ures say Rama was born ; when the spirits of all holy 
places there assemble, with demons, serpents, birds, men, 
saints, and gods, and there offer homage to RaghunAth, 
while the enlightened keep the great birthday festival and 
hymn Rama's high glory. 

I Doha 43. 

Pious crows bathe in the all-purifying stream of the 
Sarjd and murmur Rdma's name, while his dark and beau- 
tiful form is imprinted on their hearts. 
Chaupdi 35. 

The Vedas and Purdnas declare that sin is cleansed by 
the mere sight or touch of this holy stream as well as by 
bathing in or drinking of it. Its immeasurable grandeur 
is indescribable even by the pure intelligence of Sarasvati. 

1 " Truth has never been grasped on all sides, nor has ever been 
embraced entirely by the mind of man ; and no one can gaze attentively on 
that truth which is always old, without discovering there beauties that 
are always new." These words of Abp. Dechamps express in abstract 
form the very same idea that the Hindii poet has presented in the concrete. 



30 CHILDHOOD. 

The city, exalting to Rama's heaven,^ beautiful, celebrated 
through all worlds, is so all-purifying that countless as is 
the number of animate species that result from the four 
modes of birth, yet every individual that is freed from the 
body at Avadh is free for ever. Knowing it to be in every 
way charming, a bestower of success and a mine of auspi- 
ciousness, I there made a beginning of my sacred song, 
which will destroy in those who hear it the mad phrensy of 
of lust ; its mere name lake of Rama's acts serves to 
refresh the ear, while the soul like an elephant escaping 
from a forest on fire with lust, plunges into it and gains 
relief ; delight of the sages, as composed by Sambhu, holy 
and beautiful ; consuming the three ill conditions of sin, 
sorrow and want ; putting an end to the evil practices and 
impurities of the wicked world ; first made by Mah^deva 
and buried in the deep lake of his own soul till at an auspi- 
cious moment he declared it to Um 6; thus vSiva looking 
into his own soul and rejoicing gave it the excellent name 
of Rdm-charit-mdnas.2 And this is the blessed legend that 
I repeat : hear it, good people, reverently and attentively. 

Dohd 44. i(\j 

Now meditating upon Um^ and upon him who has a 
bull emblazoned on his standard (i.e., Mah^deva) I explain 
the connection, showing how it is a lake and in what man- 
ner it is formed, and for what reason it has spread through 
the world. -^ 

Chavpdi 36. 

By the blessing of Sambhu a bright idea has come into 
the poet Tulsi's mind regarding the R^m-charit-mdnas, 



1 The compound may also mean giving a home to Rima and pro- 
bably both meanings are intended. 

2 From this it will be seen that the name which Tulsi DAs himself gave 
to his poem was not 'the ii^miyana,' but the Rim-chtnit-rainas,' a name, 
which may be interpreted to mean either the lake or the soul of Kama's 
acta. In the ^^tanza above translated the word is first taken in the one sense 
and then in the other, and as there is no English word with the same double 
signification, some obscurity is unavoidable. 

S The words may also bear the following secondary meaning; I relate 
the whole history, showing how the great soul became incarnate, and why 
it dwelt in the world. 



} 



dHILDHOOi). SI 



which I will state as well as I can, subject to the correctioii 
of those good people whose attention I invite. The heart 
is as it were a deep place in a land of good thoughts, the 
Vedas and Puranas are the sea, and the saints are as clouds, 
which rain down praises of Rdma in sweet, grateful and 
auspicious showers ; the sportive actions related of him are 
like the inherent purity and cleansing power of rain-water ; 
while devotion, which is beyond the power of words to 
describe, is its sweetness and coolness. When such a 
shower falls on the rice-fields of virtue, it gives new life to 
the faithful, and as its holy drops fall to the earth they are 
collected in the channel supplied by the ears, and flowing 
into the lake of the soul fill it and then settle down perma- 
nently, cool, beautiful and refreshing. 

Doha 45. n 

This pure and holy lake has four beautiful ghats, viz., 
the four charming dialogues contrived by divine wisdom. 
Chaupdi 37. 

The seven Books are its beautiful flights of steps, which 
tli^ eyes of the soul delight to look upon ; the unqualified 
and unsullied greatness of Raghupati may be described 
as its clear and deep expanse ; the glory of Rdma and Sita as 
its ambrosial water ; the similes as its pretty wavelets ; the 
stanzas as its beautiful lotus beds ; the elegance of expres- 
sion as lovely mother-of-pearl : the chhanda, aorathas, and 
couplets as many-coloured lotus flowers : the incomparable 
sense, sentiment, and language as the pollen, filaments and 
fragrance of the lotus ; the exalted action as beautiful 
swarms of bees ; the sage moral reflections as swans ; the 
rhythm, involutions, and other poetical artifices as diverse 
graceful kinds of fish ; the precepts regarding the four ends 
of life, the wise sayings, the thoughtful judgments, the nine 
styles of composition,! the prayers, penance, abstraction 

1 The nine poetical styles (or Indian Muses) are the Sringar-ras, or erotic ; 
the Hasyaras, or comic; the Karuii4-ras, or elegiac ; the Bir-ras, or heroic; the 
Raudra-ras, or tragic ; the Bhavanak-ras, or melancholic ; the Vibhatsa-ras, or 
satiric: the Shant-ras, or didactic : and the Adbhut-ras, or sensational. 



3t OHILDHOOt). 

and asceticism, of which examples are given, are all beauti- 
ful living creatures in the lake; eulogies on the faithful, 
the saints and the holy name are like flocks of water-birds; 
the religious audience are like circling mango groves, and 
their faith like the spring season ; the expositions of all the 
phases of devotion and of tenderness and generosity are 
like the trees and cannopying creepers ; self-denial and holy 
vows are their flowers, and wisdom their fruit ; the love for 
Hari's feet as the sound of the Vedas : and all other stories 
and episodes as the parrots and cuckoos and many kinds 
of birds. 

Dohd 46. ^^ 

The hearer's emotion is some grove, garden or parterre, 
where sportive birds symbolise his delight and Piety the 
gardener pours a stream of devotion from the water-pot of 
his eyes. 

Chaupdi 38. 

Those who diligently recite these lays are like the vigi- 
lant guardians of the lake ; the men and women who rever- 
ently hear them, these excellent people are like its owners. 
Sensual wretches are like the cranes and crows that have 
no part in such a pond nor ever come near it ; for here are 
no prurient and seductive stories like snails, frogs and scum 
on the water, and therefore the lustful crow and greedy 
crane, if they do come, are disappointed. There is much 
difi&culty in getting to this lake, and it is only by the 
favour of R4ma that any one reaches it. For bad company 
makes much steepness and difficulty in the road; their evil 
sayings are so many tigers, lions and serpents ; the various 
entanglements of domestic affairs are vast insurmountable 
mountains ; sensual desires are like a dense forest full of 
wild delusion ; and unsound reasoning is a raging flood. 

Dohd 47. ^ 

For those who have not the support of faith, nor the 
company of the saints, nor fervent love for Raghundth, for 
them this lake is very hard of access. 



CHILDHOOD. , 33 

Chaupdi 39. 

Again, if any one laboriously makes his way to it, but 
becomes over- powered by sleep and feverishness, strange 
torpor and numbness settle on his soul, and though he is on 
the spot, the luckless wretch makes no ablation. Having 
neither bathed in the lake nor drunk of it he goes away in 
his pride, and when some one comes to inquire of him he 
abuses it. But no difficulties deter those whom Rdma re- 
gards with affection. They reverently bathe, are relieved 
from the fierce flames of sin, sorrow, and pain, and being 
sincerely devoted to Rima will never abandon it. If, my 
friend, you would bathe in this lake, be diligent to keep 
company with the good. As for myself, having thus with the 
mind's eye contemplated it, my poetical faculty has become 
clear and profound, my heart swells with joy and rapture 
and overflows in a torrent of ecstatic devotion. My song 
pours on like a river flooded with Rama's bright renown ; 
like the river Sarju, fountain of bliss, with piety and 
theology for its two fair banks ; a holy stream rejoicing the 
pious soul {or born of the Manas lake,) sweeping away all 
worldly impurities like trees and roots on its bank. 
Dohd 48. \yi) 

The three hinds of hearers in the assembly are like the 
towns, villages, and hamlets on the river-side ; while the 
saints are like the incomparable city of Avadh, full of all 
that is auspicious. 

Chaupdi 40. 

The beautiful Sarju, as it were the glory of Rd-ma has 
united with the Ganges of devotion ; and the magnificent 
river Son, like the warlike power of Rama and his brother, 
has joined them as a third. Between the two, the Ganges 
stream of devotion shines clear in its wisdom and self-con- 
trol, while the combined flood destroying the triple curse of 
humanity is absorbed in the mighty ocean of very Rama. 
The united stream of the Manas- born Sarju and the Ganges 
purifies the pious listener, while the various tales and 

R-8 



-o 



84 CHILDHOOD. 

episodes interspersed here and there are the groves and 
gardens on its opposite banks ; the details of the marriage 
and wedding procession of Um^ and Siva are like the in- 
numerable fish in the water; the joy and gladness that at- 
tended Rama's birth are like beautiful awa^mft d^ %ees and 

the ripple of the lake. 

Doha 49. 

The childish sports of the four brothers are like the 
goodly lotus flowers ; the virtuous king and queen and 
their court like the bees and water-birds. 
Chaupdi 41. 

The charming story of Site's marriage like the bright 
gleam of the flashing river ; the many ingenious questions 
like the boats on the stream ; the appropriate and judicious 
answers like the boatmen ; again, the argumentative discus- 
sions show like crowding travellers ; the wrath of Bhrigu- 
n6th like the rushing torrent ; Rama's soft speech like the 
well-arranged ghats ; the marriage festivities of Rdma and 
Lakshman like the grateful swell of the tide ; the thrill of 
pleasure that spreads through the delighted audience like 
the ecstatic feelings of the virtuous bathers ; the auspicious 
preparations for marking Rdma's forehead with the tilak 
like the crowds assembled on holidays ; and like fiv^f-mthd 
is Kaikeyi's evil counsel, the cause of many calamities. 
Dohd 50. 

Like prayers and sacrifices effectual to remove every 
misfortune are Bharat's virtuous acts ; while the corrup- 
tions of the world and sinful men and slanderers are like 
the Bcum on the water and the cranes and crows. 
Chaupni 42. 

This river of glory is beautiful in each of the six seasons, 
bright and holy exceedingly at all times. The story of the 
marriage of Siva with the daughter of the snowy mountains 
is like the winter ; the glad rejoicings at the Lord's birth 
are like the dewy season ; the account of the preparations 
for RAma's wedding are like the delightful and auspicious 



CHILDHOOD. 35 

spring; Rama's intolerable banishment is like the hot 
weather, and story of the rough journeyings like the 
blazing sun and the wind ; his encounters with fierce 
demons, by which he gladdens the hosts of heaven, are 
like the rains, that refresh the fields ; the prosperity of 
his reign, his meekness and greatness are like the clear, 
bountiful and lovely autumn ;^ the recital of the virtues of 
Sfta, that jewel of faithful wives, is as the undefiled and 
excellent water ; the amiability of Bharat as its unvarying 
coolness. / 

Doha 51. If I 
Their looks and words at meeting, their mutual love and 
laughter, the true fraternal affection of the four brothers, 
are as the water's sweet odour. 

Chaupdi 43. 

My suppliant address and self-depreciation and modesty 
correspond to the singular lightness of good water, which is 
anything but a defect. This marvellous lymph works its 
effect by the mere hearing, quenching the thirst of desire 
and cleansing the soul of impurity ; it resuscitates true love 
to Rama and puts an end to all the sin and sorrow of the 
world ; draining life of its weariness ; comforting with 
true comfort ; destroying sin and pain and poverty and 
error ; dispelling lust and passion and phrensy and in- 
fatuation, and promoting pure intelligence and detachment 
from the world. Those who reverently drink or bathe in 
this stream, from their soul is effaced all sin and distress ; 
those who do not cleanse their heart in it are wretches whom 
the world has ruined, turning back, hapless creatures, 
like a panting deer that has seen a river in a mirage ! 
Doha 5254. ^H ' ^,- - 

Thus I have declared to the best of my ability the virtues 
of this excellent water, and having plunged my own soul 

1 The six Hindu seasons to which allusion is here made are Hemant, 
winter ; Sisir, the early spring ; Basant, the spring ; Grishm, the hot weather ; 
V^rsha, the rains ; and Sarad, the autumn. 



36 CHILDHOOD. 

in it, and ever remembering Bhavdni and Sankara, I pro- 
ceed with my delectable story. I will first repeat in sub- 
stance the original conversation, with the questions put by 
Bharadv^ja when he found the Muni Y^jnavalkya; and 
laying my soul at the lotus feet of Raghupati and thus se- 
curing his patronage, I will sing the meeting of the two 
great saints and their auspicious discourse. 
Ghaupdi 44. 

At Pray^g lives the saint Bharadvdja, devoted beyond 
measure to Rama's feet, a self-restrained ascetic full of so- 
briety and benevolence, supremely skilled in divine know- 
ledge. In the month of M4gh, when the sun enters the 
sign of Capricorn, every one visits this chief of holy places ; 
gods, demi-gods, kinnars, and men in troops, all devoutly 
bathe in the triple flood and worship the lotus feet of 
MAdhava while they have the happiness of touching 
the imperishable fig-tree. At Bharadv^ja's hallowed her- 
mitageso charming a spot that even the saint loved it 
is ever a concourse of seers and sages come to bathe at the 
holiest of all holy places ; and having with gladness per- 
formed their ablutions at break of day, they converse to- 
gether on the glories of Hari. 

Doha 55. 

Discussing the nature of the deity, the kinds of religious 
observance and the classification of primordial entities ; 
and declaring faith in God to be the epitome of wisdom and 
spiritual detachment.^ 

Chaupdi 45. 

After thus bathing every day that the sun is in Cap- 
ricorn, they again return each to his own cell, and every 
year there is a similar rejoicing when the saints meet for 

1 This cuplet sums up the chracteri8tics of the principal systems of 
Hindu philosophy : tho VcdAnta heinp chiefly concerned with and indeed 
defined as, Brahma Jijn'Hta. 'an inquiry into the nature of God ' ; the MimAna 
heing asyRt'm of litualism and Vedic oliservjuiees ;' the SAiil<hya 'a syriKietic 
enumeration' of the primary ^:t^ims, or elt'mtM)t8, out of which creation has been 
evolved ; and the later eclectic Vaishnava school declaring that the only one 
thing needful is hhahti^ ' religious faith.' 



CHILDHOOD. 37 

the annual ablution. On one occasion, when the bathing 
time was over, and all the holy men had left, Bharadvdja 
clasped by the feet and detained the supremely wise saint 
Ydjnavalkya, and having reverently laved his lotus feet 
and seated him on a pre-eminent throne, he with religious 
ceremony extolled the saint's glory, and finally thus addrest 
him in mildest of tones, " Sir, I have a great doubt, while 
in your grasp are all the mysteries of the Veda ; I am 
afraid and ashamed to speak, but if I speak not, I lose 
a great opportunity. 

Doha 56. 
This, sir, is a maxim of all the saints, and is also de- 
clared by the Vedas and PurAnas, that there is no sound 
wisdom in his breast who conceals aught from his ghostly 
father. 

Ghaupdi 46. 

Remembering this, I lay bare my folly take pity, my 
lord, on your faithful servant and dispel it. The might of 
Rama's name is immeasurable ; so tell the saints, the 
Purdnas and the Vedic commentaries ; the immortal Sam- 
bhu, who is the Lord Siva, the perfection of wisdom and 
goodness, is ever repeating it; though all the four groups 
of animate beings in the world attain to salvation if they die 
in his city K^si, yet king of saints, it is by the virtue of 
Rdma's name ; and therefore Siva in his compassion enjoins 
its use. I ask of you, my lord, who isthisRdma? be 
gracious enough to instruct me. There is one Rdma, the 
prince of Avadh, whose acts are known throughout the 
world who suffered infinite distress by the loss of his wife, 
and waxing wrath slew Ravan in battle. 
Doha 57. 

Is it this Rama, my lord, or another, whose name Tri- 
pur^ri is ever repeating ? Ponder the matter well and tell 
me, wisest and most faitliful of men. 
Chaupdi 47. 

Tell me the whole history in full, my master, so that my 
overpowering perplexity may be solved." Said Yajnavalkya 



38 CHILDHOOD. 

with a smile," All the glory of Raghupati is known to you; 
you are a votary of his in heart, word and deed ; I un der- 
stand your stratagem. Wishing to hear the marvellous tale 
of Rama's achievements, you have questioned me with an 
affectation of great simplicity. Listen then, my son, with 
devout attention while T repeat the fair legend, which van- 
quishes every monstrous error, as dread Devi vanquished 
the demon Mahish^sur, but which is drunk in by the saints 
as the light of the moon by the ehakor. When a similar 
doubt was suggested by Bhavdni, MahAdeva expounded the 

matter : 

Doha 58. 

And I now, as best I can, repeat their conversation, 
noting both its time and occasion ; on hearing it, my friend, 
all difficulties vanish. 

Ghaupdi 48. 

Once upon a time, in the second age of the world, Sam- 
bhu visited the Rishi Agastya ; with him went the mother 
of the world, the faithful BhavAni. The hermit made 
obeisance, for he recognized them as the sovereigns of the 
universe, and recited the story of Rima, with which 
Mahddeva was delighted. The hermit then asked him 
about true faith in Hari ; and Sambhu instructed him, for 
he saw him to be deserving. In such converse the moun- 
tain-lord Mahadeva passed some days there, but finally 
took his leave and returned home with the daughter of 
Daksha. Now at that time there had become incarnate, in 
the family of Raghu, Hari the detroyer of the burdens of 
the world, who at his father's word sorrowfully left the 
throne and wandered, immortal god though he was, in the 
Dandaka forest. 

Dohd 59. 1 ^ 

Siva kept pondering as he went,-! * How can I obtain a 
sight of him ? for every one knows that the lord has become 
incarnate secretly ; if I visit him, every one will know who 
he is.* 



CHILDHOOD. 



39 



V 



Sorahtd 5. 

In Sankara's heart was a great tumult, but Sati did not 
comprehend the mystery ; says Tulsi, the hope of an 
interview filled his soul with agitation and his eyes with 
wistfulness. 

Chaupdi 49. 

* R^van has obtained the boon of death at the hands of 
man only and the lord has willed Brdhma's word to come 
true. If I do not go to meet him, I shall ever regret it : but 
all that he could do he could not hit upon a plan. At the 
very time that he was thus lost in thought, the ten-headed 
Ravan, taking with him the vile Mdricha, all at once 
assumed the form of a false deer and treacherously in his 
folly carried off Slta, not knowing the lord's great power. 
When Rdma returned with his brother from the chase and 
saw the empty hermitage his eyes filled with tears ; like a 
mortal man distressed by the loss of his mistress, he 
wanders through the forest in search of her, he and his 
brother ; and he who knows neither union nor bereavement 
manifested all the pangs of separation. 

Dohd 60. 

Rdma's ways are most mysterious ; only the supremely 
wise can comprehend them ; the dull of soul and the sensual 
imagine something quite different. 
Chaupdi 50. 

Then it was that Sambhu saw Rama, and great joy 
arose in his soul. His eyes were filled with the vision of 
the most beautiful, but it was no fitting time to make him- 
self known, and he passed on exclaming: 'Hail, Supreme 
Being, redeemer of the world.' But as he went on his way 
with Sati, his whole body thrilled with delight ; and in 
Sati's soul, when she observed her lord's emotion, a great 
doubt arose, 'To Sankara, the universally adored and 
sovereign lord, gods, men and saints all bow the head; yet 
he has made obeisance to this prince, saluting him as the 



40 CHILDHOOD. 

Supreme God, and is so enraptured with his beauty that it 
is only to-day he has felt what love is. 

Dohd 61. 

What! the omnipresent and unbegotten God, the crea- 
tor, who has neither parts nor passions, and is no respecter 
of persons, whom not even the Veda can comprehend, ^ 
has he taken the form of a man ? 

Chaupdi 51. 

According to what Siva says, though Vishnu in heaven's 
behalf assumes a human shape, he remains all-wise : yet 
here, as if quite at a loss, he is hunting for his wife, this 
fountain of wisdom, this lord of Lakshnii, this vanquisher 
of demons. Still Sambhu's words cannot be false, nor can 
his knowledge be gainsaid. Thus an infinite doubt has 
come into my mind, and there is no way of solving it.' Al- 
though Bhav^ni did not speak out, Mahddeva can read the 
heart and knew her thoughts, and said, " Listen to me, 
Sati ; you are just like a woman, but you should not enter- 
tain these doubts ; this is that Rdma, my special patron, 
whose story was sung by the Rishi Agastya ; in whom I 
exhorted the saint to have faith, and who is ever worship- 
ped by seers and sages. 

Chhand 2. 
Seers and sages, saints and hermits, fix on him their reverent gaze, 
And in faint and trembling accents Holy Scripture hymns his praise. 
He, the omnipresent spirit, lord of heaven and earth and hell, 
To redeem his people, freely has vouchsafed with men to dwell." 

Sorathdd. ^l*^ 
Though he spoke thus time after time, his words made 
no impression upon her ; and at last MahAdeva, recogniz- 
ing Rama's deceptive power, smiled and said : 

1 The reference is to such texts as the following in the UpanishAds ; 
"From whom words turn back, together with the mind, not reaching him" 
( raiuirivii. II, 9). ''The eye goes not thither, nor speei-h, tior mind" (Kena, 
I, r,). " Onthi[jknblc, unapeakiible" [Mandukya, 7]. The process of ('hris- 
tian theology is simihirly negative and agnostic: it sets forth what God is 
not, rnther than what He is ; since it is impossible for the lower nature to 
know the higher. 



CHILDHOOD. 41 

Chaupdi 52. 

" As the doubt in your mind is so great that it will not 

leave you till you have put the fact to the test, I will stay 

here in the shade of this fig-tree till you come back to me, 

after having evolved some device by which to satisfy your 

overpowering doubt." So Sati went by Siva's order, saying 

to herself, ' Come now, what shall I do ? ' while Sambhu 

'eflected, -*' There is mischief in store for Sati ; her doubts 

vill not yield to my arguments ; truly no good can ever be 

Drought about against the will of fate ; whatever Rdma has 

)rdained will come to pass, so why spin out any longer 

iiscussion ? " So saying, he began the repetition of Hari's 

lame, while Sati drew nigh to the Lord of grace. 

DohdQ2. ^^^ 
After many an anxious thought she assumed the form 
-f Sita and went and stood in the way where the king of 
leaven was coming. 

Chaupdi 53. 
When Lakshman saw her in her disguise, he was much 
stonished and perplext. Wise as he was, he could say 
othing, but discreetly waited for the revelation of the lord, 
le, the heavenly king, detected the deceit ; for he sees all 
things alike and knows the heart, the all-wise lord Rama, 
the mere thought of whom disperses error. Yet even him 
Sati attempted to deceive see how inveterate woman's 
nature is. But Rama, acknowledging the effect of his own 
delusive power, with a sweet smile and folded hands saluted 
her, mentioning both her own name and that of her father, 
and added, ' Where is Mah^deva, and why are you wan- 
dering alone in the forest ? ' . 
Doha 63. 1 
When she heard these simple but profound words, a 
great awe came upon her and she returned to Mahddeva, 
full of fear and distress. 

R-9 



42 CHILDHOOD. 

Ghaupdi, 54. 
* I would not listen to Sankara, but must go and expose 
my folly to Rdma ; now what answer can I give ? ' Her dis- 
tress was most grievous. Then R^ma, perceiving her vexa- 
tion, manifested in part his glory, and as Sati went on her 
way she beheld a marvellous vision ; in front of her were 
RAma, Sfta and Lakshman ; when again she looked back, 
there too she saw the Lord with his brother and Sita in 
beauteous apparel ; whichever way she turned her eyes, 
there was the lord enthroned with saints and learned 
doctors ministering to him. Innumerable Sivas and 
Brdhmas and Vishnus, each excelling in majesty, bowing 
at his feet and doing homage ; all the host of heaven with 
their different attributes. 

Dohd 64. 1 1 
Sati too and Sarasvati and Lakshmi in marvellous multi- 
plicity of form, according to the various appearances 
assumed by their lords, Brahma, Vishnu and Mah^deva. 

Ghaupdi 55. 
Each separate vision of R^ma was attended by all the 
gods and their wives, and by the whole animate creation 
with all its multitudinous species. But while the adoring 
gods appeared in diverse dresses, there was no diversity 
of form in R^ma. Though she saw many R^mas, and with 
him an oft-repeated Sita, it was always the same Rima, the 
same Lakshman, and the same Sita. Sati was awe-striken 
as she gazed ; with fluttering heart and unconscious frame 
she closed her eyes and sank upon the ground. When 
again she looked up, she saw nothing, and oft bowing her 
head at Rdma's feet, she returned to the spot where Mah^- 
deva was waiting for her. 

Dohd 05. 
When she drew near, he smiled and asked if all were 
well, saying, * Tell me now the whole truth, how did you 
put him to the test ?' 



CHILDHOOD. 43 

Chaupdi 56. 

Sati remembered the glory of the lord and in her awe 
concealed the truth from Siva, saying : * sir, I tried no 
test, but like you simply made obeisance. I was confident 
that what you said could not be false.' Then Sankara 
perceived by contemplation and understood all that Sati 
had done, and bowed to the might of Rama's delusive power, 
which had been sent forth to put a lying speech into Sati's 
mouth. ' The will of heaven and fate are strong ;' thus he 
reflected, in great distress of mind ; ' as Sati has talxen 
Sita's form, if now I treat her as my wife, my past devotion 
will be all cancelled, and it will be a sin to me. 

Doha 66. ^ -^ 

My love is too great to be forgotten, yet to indulge it is 
criminal.' He uttered not a word aloud, but in his heart 
was sore distress. 

Chaupdi 57. 

At last, having bowed his head at Rdma's feet and 

meditated on his name, he thus resolved and made a vow in 

his mind, * So long as Sati remains as she is now, I will 

never touch her.' With this firm determination he turned 

homewards, repeating his Rdma rosary, and as he went 

there was a jubilant cry in the heaven, ' Glory to thee, 

Mahadeva, for thy staunch devotion ; who other but thou, 

lord most strong in faith, would make such a vow ? ' 

Sati was troubled when she heard the heavenly voice and 

tremblingly asked Siva,' Tell me, true and gracious 

lord, what was the vow ? ' But though she asked once and 

again he told her not. / 

Doha 67. 

Then she guessed of herself,' The all-wise has dis- 
covered it all, though I attempted to deceive him ; silly and 
senseless woman that I am.' ^ 

Sorathd 7. ' . 

Water and milk if mixed together are both sold as 
milk ; but see how like the union is to that of lovers ; the 



44 CHILDHOOD. 

introduction of a drop of acid, or of a lie, at once causes a 
separation. 

Chaupdi 58. 
Deep in thought and reflecting on what she had done, 
no words could express her infinite sorrow, and she kept 
saying to herself, * The gracious but impenetrable Siva 
has not openly mentioned my offence, but my lord has 
abandoned me.' Thus disturbed in soul by Sankara's 
sternness and thinking of her sin, she could say nothing, 
but all the more smouldered within like a furnace. When 
MahAdeva saw her so sorrowful, he began to amuse her 
with pleasant tales, relating various legends all the way till 
he came to KaiUs. Then recalling his vow, he seated 
himself under a fig-tree in the attitude of contemplation 
and by an immediate control of all his members passed 
into a long and unbroken trance. ^ 

Dohd 68. 

There Sati dwelt in Kail^s, sorrowing grievously; not 
a soul knew her secret, but each day that she passed was 
like an age. 

Chaupdi 59. 

Ever growing more sick at heart, " When shall I 
emerge from this sea of trouble ? I who put a slight upon 
Rama and took my husband's word to be a lie. The Creator 
has repaid me and has done as I deserved. Now, God, 
think not thus within thyself that I can live without 
Sankara. The anguish of my heart is beyond words ; but 
I take comfort when I remember R^ma, whom men call 
the lord of compassion, and whom the Vedas hymn as 

1 Literally translated, the above passage would stand thus :-" Vrisha- 
ketu, perceivine that Sati was distrest, began to amuse her with pleasant 
tales, relating various legends all the way till VisavnAth arrived at Kailds. 
Then recalling his vow, Sambhu seated himself under a fig-tree in the 
attitude of contemplation arid by an immediate control of all his members 
Sankara passed into a lonjr and unbroken trance." As the use of many 
different names, Vrisha-ketu, VisvanAth, Sambhu, and Sankara all to 
designate the same uerson, viz., Mahadeva is likely to perplex an English 
reader, I have in this and similar passages omitted them and simply sub- 
stitated the personal pronoun. 



CHILDHOOD. 45 

remover of distress. Him I supplicate with folded hands. 
May this body of mine be speedily dissolved. As my love 
for Siva is unfeigned in thought, word and deed, and as 
his word cannot fail, 

Doha 69. 

Do thou, impartial lord, hear my prayer and speedily 
devise a plan by which I may die without pain and avoid 
this intolerable calamity." 

Ghaupdi 60. 

Thus sorrowing and weighed down by grievous and un- 
utterable pain, the royal lady had passed 87,000 years, 
when the immortal Sambhu awoke from his trance and* 
began to repeat Rdma's name. Then Sati perceived that 
he had returned to consciousness and*went and bowed her- 
self at his feet. He gave her a seat in his presence and 
began reciting the divine praises. Now at that time 
Daksha was reigning, and the Creator seeing him to be 
thoroughly fit had made him a king of kings. But when he 
had obtained great dominion he waxed exceeding proud. 
Never was a man born into the world whom kingship did 

not intoxicate. 

Doha 70. 

By the priests' suggestion all began preparing a great 
sacrifice for Daksha, and the gods who accept oblations 
were all courteously invited to attend. 
Ghaupdi 61. 

Kinnars, serpents, saints, Gandharvas, all the gods and 
their wives, except Vishnu, Brahma and Mahadeva, pro- 
ceeded thither in their chariots. Sati saw the strangely 
beautiful procession going through the sky, with the .heaven- 
ly nymphs singing so melodiously that any saint's medi- 
tation would be broken by the sound of it, and she asked 
Siva its reason ; whereupon he explained. Then was she 
glad when she heard of her father's sacrifice and thought, 
" If my lord will allow me, I will make it an excuse for 
going to stay a few days with him." It was such sore pain 



46 CHILDHOOD. 

to leave her lord, that she long dare not speak, remember- 
ing her transgression ; but at last with soft and timid voice, 
overflowing with modesty and affection, she said : 
Doha 71. 

' There is great rejoicing at my father's house ; with 
my gracious lord's permission I will duteously go and see it.' 
Chaiipdi 62. 

Said he, -' It would please me well ; but there is a diffi- 
culty, as you have not been invited. Daksha has summoned 
all his other daughters, but has left you out on account of 
his quarrel with me, for he took offence at my behaviour in 
Brdhma's court, and that is the reason he slights me to-day. 
If you go without being asked, there will be loss of temper, 
love and honour. On^ may go, no doubt, without an invita- 
tion to the house of a friend, or master, or father or confes- 
sor ; but no good can result from going where an enemy is 
present.' Thus Sambhu warned her over and over again ; 
but fate was too strong, she would not be convinced. Said 
the lord,' To go unasked is not right, as I take it.' 

Doha 72. 

When Mahadeva saw that no amount of talking would 
make her stay, he appointed his chief ministers as her escort 
and allowed her to depart. 

Ghaupdi 63. 

When BhavAni came to her father's house, from fear of 
Daksha no one greeted her ; only her mother met her kindly 
and her sisters received her with a smile. Daksha uttered 
not a word of salutation and burned with rage to see her. 
When Sati went to look at the sacrifice, she could nowhere 
find anything for Sambhu : then Sankara's words came back 
into her mind, and her heart so burned within her at the 
slight upon her lord, that the former pain she had felt was 
not to be compared to her present emotion. There are 
grievous pains in the world, but nothing so bad as a family 
slight. The more she thought of it, the more furious she 
grew, though her mother tried hard to pacify her. 



CHILDHOOD. 47 

Dohd 73. 

This insult to Siva could not be borne ; her soul refused 
to be pacified : and thrusting away from her the shrinking 
crowd, she cried in wild accents : 
Chaupdi 64. 

" Hear, all ye elders of the assembly, who have talked 
over this slight upon Sankara. Speedily shall ye reap your 
due reward, and dearly shall my father rue. it. Whenever 
blasphemy is spoken against the saints, or Sambhu, or 
Vishnu, the ordinance is either to tear out the blasphemBr's 
tongue, if it is in your power, or else to close your ears and 
run away. The universal spirit, the great lord, Purdri, the 
father of the world, the friend of all, he it is whom my be- 
sotted father has reviled Therefore this body of mine, be- 
gotten of his seed, I hasten to abandon, and impress on my 
soul the image of him who bears the moon as his crest and 
a bull as his device." As she thus spoke, the flames con- 
sumed her body ; a gr^at cry of lamentation went up from 

the whole assembly. 

Dohd 74. 

When Sambhu's attendants heard of Sati's death, they 
began to destroy all the sacrificial offerings ; but the great 
saint Bhrigu, seeing the destruction, came and saved them. 
Chaupdi 65. 

When Sambhu got the news he sent Birbhadra in his 
wrath, who went and scattered the sacrifice and requited all 
the gods as they deserved. Daksha's act is famous through- 
out the world as an example of hostility to Sambhu ; and 
as the story is so well known, I have told it in brief. Sati 
at her death asked this boon of Hari, that in every successive 
birth she might show her love to Siva. On this account she 
was born in the form of Pdrvati, as the daughter of King 
Himalaya. From the time that she entered the house of the 
monarch of mountains, it was pervaded by fortune and pros- 
perity, and hermits made their homes all about it, in fit 
places assigned them by the king. 



48 CHILDHOOD. 

Dohd 75, ^\ 
Strange trees of many kinds, with never-failing flowers 
and fruits, appeared on the beautiful hills, and mines of 
jewels discoverd themselves. 

Ghaupdi 66. 

All the rivers flowed with the purest water ; birds, deer 
and bees were all equally joyous ; every animal forgot its 
instinctive antipathies and dwelt lovingly on the mountain, 
which was as glorified by Girija's coming as a man is glori- 
fied by the spirit of faith. Every day was some new delight 
in the king's palace, and Briihma and all the gods vied in 
singing its praises. On hearing the news, Ndrad went to 
visit the mountain king, who received him with high honour 
and bathed his feet and led him to a throne. The queen 
too bowed her -liead before him and sprinkled the whole 
house with the water sanctified by his use. Then the king 
told all his good fortune and summoned his daughter also to 
the presence and said ; 

Dohd 76. 

" Thou who knowest all time, past, present, or future, 
and who hast traversed the whole universe, tell me, best of 
saints, after well considering the matter, what there is good 
and what bad about my daughter." 

Ghaupdi 67. 
The saint replied with a smile, in soft but profound 
words, " Your daughter is a mine of perfection, beautiful, 
amiable and intelligent, whether she be called Umd, or Am- 
biki, or Bhav^ni ; a maiden with every quality that endears 
a wife to a husband. Firm as a rock her good fortune, 
and in her her parents are blessed ; she shall be worship- 
ped throughout the whole world, and in her service shall be 
fruition of every desire. Through her name woman shall be 
enabled to walk the path of wifely duty, though it be like 
the edge of a sword. Such, king, are thy daughter's 
merits ; but you have now to hear two or three drawbacks. 



0,0 



CHILDHOOD. 49 

A person who has neither beauty nor dignity, without father 
or mother, an ascetic with no thought for any one, 

Dohd 77. cj I 

A mendicant recluse with matted hair, a celibate with 
naked body and hideous accoutrements such a one shall be 
her lord, as I read by the lines on her palm." 

Chaupdi. 68. 

When the father and mother heard the saint's words, and 
knew they must be true, they became sad ; but UmA rejoic- 
ed ; nor did Ndrad even understand, for all seemed affected 
alike, though the cause was different.^ All Girijd's atten- 
dants, and she herself and her father and her mother 
Maina, were trembling and had their eyes full of tears ; 
but Umd cherished the saint's words in her heart, saying, 
' They cannot be false :' and her love for Siva's lotus feet 
revived ; though the doubt remained. How difficult to find 
him ! But as it was no fitting time for a disclosure, she 
suppressed her emotion and went back to the bosom of 
her playmates. They and the parents were distrest by the 
thought of the saint's infallible utterance, and the king, 
with an effort, cried aloud, " sir, tell me what remedy 
to devise." 

Dohd-7S. 

Said the saint, "'Hear, Himavant, what fate has 
written on the forehead, nor god nor demon, man, serpent, 
nor saint, is able to efface. 

Chaupdi 69. 

Yet one mode of escape I will tell you, which by the 
help of heaven may avail. Umd's bridegroom will in- 
fallibly be such a one as I have described to you ; but all 
the bad points that I have enumerated I find to exist in Siva. 
If a marriage with him can be brought about, every one will 
account his vices as virtues. Though Hari takes a serpent 
for his couch, the wise hold it no fault in him ; though 

I That is to say, they all shed tears, but the parents wept for sorrow 
and Uraa for joy. 

R-10 



50 CHILDHOOD. 

fire and the sun devour anything they come across, no one 
therefore calls them blind; though its stream flows in one 
place pure and in another sullied, no one would call the 
Ganges impure. The powerful, my friend, are always 
faultless, like the sun, fire, or the Ganges. 

DohdlO. 

The fool who in the pride of knowledge presumes to copy 
them, saying * it is the same for a man as for a god,' shall 
be cast into hell for as long as the world lasts.* 
Chaupdi 70. 

Though they know that wine is made with Ganges 
water, yet saints will never taste it ; but the Ganges itself, 
wherever found, is always pure ; and herein is seen the 
difference between mastery and subjections. The lord Sam- 
bhu is all-powerful and an alliance with him is in every way 
auspicious. But it is hard to propitiate him ; yet if penance 
is undergone, he is quickly satisfied. If, then, your 
daughter will practise penance, Tripuriri will be able to 
erase the lines of fate ; and though there may be many 
bridegrooms in the world, the only one for her is Siva, and 
none else. He answers prayer, relieves the distress of the 
faithful, is full of compassion and a delight to his servants ; 
unless he is propitiated, no one will attain his heart's desire, 
though he practise infinite penance and authority." 

1 A similar doctrine is inculcated in the Xth Book of the BhAgavata 
PurAna : " The transgression of virtue and the daring acts which are with- 
nessed in superior beings must not be charged as faults against those glorious 
persons. Let no one but a superior being ever even in thought practise the 
same. Seeing, then, that the saints are uncontrolled and act as they please, 
how can there be any restraint upon the Supreme, when he has voluntarily 
assumed a body." Granted those reasonable limitations which the Hindu 
mind, with its tendency to exaggeration, was unfortunately so prone to neglect, 
the sentiment is essentially true and is recommended by Catholic theolo- 
gians Thus Cardinal Newman writes. " It never surprises me to read any- 
thing unusual in the devotionp of a saint. Such men are on a level very 
different from our own, and we cannot understand them. I hold this to be 
an important canon in the lives of the saints, according to the words of the 
ai.ostle. -'The spiritual man judges all things, and he himself is judged of 
no >ne.' But we may refmin from judging, without proceeding to imitate. 
The sains are beyond ua. and we must use them as patterns, not as copies. 

2 The meaning ig. wine, though made of Ganges water, is sfillimpure 
but the Ganges itself is always pure, even though wine may have been 
poured into it. 



CHILDHOOD. 51 

Dohd 80. 
So saying, and with his thoughts fixed on Hari, Njlrad 
gave his blessing to the king and added,' Now fear not, 
all will turn our well ' 

Ghaupdi 71. 

Having thus spoken, the saint returned to Brahma's 
court. Hear now the end of the story how it came about. 
Maina finding her husband alone said to him," My lord, I 
do not understand the saint's meaning. If the bridegroom 
and his position and family are unobjectionable and such as 
befit your daughter, then conclude the marriage ; but if not, 
let her remain a maiden : for, my lord, Umd is as dear to me 
as life If she does not get a husband worthy of her, every one 
will say the mountain-king is himself a mere block. Re- 
member this, and so marry her that there may be no heart- 
burning hereafter." With these words she laid her head 
at his feet. The king affectionately replied," Sooner shall 
fire break out in the moon than Ndrad's word be gainsaid. 
Dohd 81. 

Put away all anxiety, my dear, and fix your thoughts 
on the good God who has created Pdrvati and who will 
protect her. 

Ghaupdi 72. 

Now, if you have any love for your child, go and thus 
admonish her, 'Penance is the means of approach to Siva, 
and there is no other way of escaping sorrow. N^rad's 
words are pregnant and full of meaning ; Mahddeva is in 
fact beautiful and accomplished ; recognize this truth and 
doubt not; he is in every way irreproachable.' " When she 
heard her husband's words she was glad of heart and at 
once rose and went where Uma was. On seeing the girl her 
eyes filled with tears, and she affectionately took her in her 
lap and again and again pressed her to her bosom ; but 
could not say a word for the choking in her throat. Then 



52 CHILDHOOD. 

the mother of the universe, the all-wise Bhav^ni, her 
mother's delight, said softly : 

Dohd 82. 

** Listen, mother, to the vision I am about to tell you ; a 
fair and lovely Brdhman prince has thus instructed me : - 
Chaupdl 73 . 

Go, mountain-maid, and practise penance, reflecting 
that Ndrad's words are infallibly true. Your parents, too, 
are pleased with the idea, for penance is full of peace and 
puts an end to pain and sin. By the virtue of penance the 
Creator made the world ; by the virtue of penance Vishnu 
redeems the world ; by virtue of penance Sambhu destroys 
it. It is by the virtue of penance that the Great Serpent 
supports the burden of the earth, and in short the whole 
creation, Bhavdni, depends upon penance ; do you then 
practise it.'* On hearing these words her mother was 
astounded, and sent for the king and declared to him the 
vision. Then, after consoling her parents in every possible 
way, Umd in gladness of heart commenced her penance ; 
while they and all their loving dependants grew sad of 
face, nor could speak a word. 

Dohd 83. 

Then came Vedasiras^ and instructed them all ; and 
when they had heard of Pdrvati's glory they were comforted. 
Chaupdi 74. 

But Um/i, cherishing in her heart the feet of her dear 
lord, went into the forest and began her penance. Though 
her delicate frame was little fit for such austerities, she 
abandoned all food and became absorbed in prayer, her 
devotion so growing day by day that all bodily wants were 
forgotten, and her soul was wholly given to penance. For 
a thousand years she ate only roots and fruits ; for a 
hundred years she lived on vegetables ; for some days her 
only sustenance was water and air, and on some she 

1 Vedasiras, a son of Mirkandeya and Murdhanya was, by his wife 
Plvari, the Progenitor of the BhArgava Br^hmans. 



CHILDHOOD. 53 

maintained a yet more absolute fast. For three thousand 
years she ate only dry leaves of the heU tree that had 
fallen to the ground, and at last abstained even from dry 
leaves, whence she acquired the name of aparna (' the leaf- 
less'). At the sight of her emaciated frame, Brihma's 
deep voice resounded through the heavens, 

Doha 84. 
" Hear, daughter of the mountain -king ! your desire is 
accomplished ; cease all these intolerable afflictions : 
Tripur^ri will soon be yours. 

Chaupdi 75. 

Though there have been many saints, both resolute and 
wise, not one, Bhav^ni, has performed such penance as this : 
submit now to my commands, knowing them to be ever 
true and ever good. When your father comes to call you, 
cease to resist and go home with him ; and when the seven 
sages meet you, know this to be the test of the heavenly 
prediction." When she heard Brdhma's voice thus speak- 
ing from on high, Girija thrilled with delight. Now with 
her we have done for a time, while we turn to Sambhu. 
From the day when Sati's spirit left the body he became a 
rigid ascetic, ever telling his beads in Rama's name, and 
attending the public recitations in his honour : 

Doha 85. 

Even he, Siva, the pure intelligence, the abode of bliss, 
exempt from lust, frenzy and delusion, wanders about on 
earth with his heart fixed on Hari, the joy of the whole 
world ; 

Chaupdi 76. 

Now instructing saints in wisdom, now expounding 
Rdma's praises, and though himself the all-wise and pas- 
sionless lord god, yet saddened by the sadness of a bereaved 
disciple. In this way many ages passed, while his love for 
R^ma daily increased. Then the generous and merciful 
1 The bel tree (^gle Marmelos) is specially sacred' to Siva. 



54 CHILDHOOD. 

god, full of grace and benignity, seeing his steadfastness 
and affection, and the unchangeable stamp of devotion on 
his soul, became manifest in all his glory and lauded him 
highly, for none other had ever accomplished such a vow. 
In diverse ways he instructed him, telling him of P^rvati's 
birth and of her virtuous deeds, all at full length, in his 
infinite compassion. 

Dohd 86. \ ^^ 
*' Now, Siva, if you have any love for me, listen to my 
request : go and marry the mountain-maid and do as I ask 
you." 

Chaupdi 77. 
Said Siva, " Though it is not what I approve, yet when 
a master speaks he must not be gainsaid. I must needs 
bow to your order, for obedience is the highest duty. If a 
man would prosper, he must do, without thinking, as he is 
told by his parents, or his confessor, or his superior ; you are 
in every way my benefactor, and I bow to your commands." 
The lord was pleased when he heard Sankara's reply so full 
of faith, knowledge, and religious feeling, and said, 
" Hara, your vow has been kept ; attend bow to what I 
have told you." So saying he vanished, but the vision 
remained impressed in Sankara's soul. Then came the 
seven Rishis to visit him, and he addressed them thus in 
pleasant wise : 

Dohd 87. 
'* Go to Pirvati and make trial of her love, and then 
send her father to fetch her home and remove all his 
doubts." 

Chaupdi 78. 
When the Rishis saw Gauri, she seemed to them like 
Penance personified, and they cried Hear, daughter 
of the mountain ! Why practise such grievous self-morti- 
fication ? Whom do you worship and what do you desire ? 
Tell us the whole secret truly." Whn BhavAni heard their 
speech, she replied in strangely moving terms, " I greatly 



CHILDHOOD. 55 

shrink from telling my secret, for you will smile at my folly 
when you hear it ; but my soulis obstinately set and refuses 
to hear instruction, though I am like one building a house 
upon the water, or as one who would fly without wings, 
relying only on the truth of Nd.rada's prophecy. See, 
saints, the extent of my madness. I long for the unchange- 
able Sankara as my husband." 

Doha 88. 
The Rishis smiled on hearing her speech, and said : 
" You are a true daughter of the parent rock ; but tell me 
who has ever listened to Ndrada's advice and had a home ? 

Ghaupdi 79 
" Did he not advise Daksha's sons, and they never saw 
their father's house again ? It was he, too, who ruined Chitra- 
ketu's family, and also Hiranya kasipu's.i Whoever listens 
to Ndrada's advice, be it man or woman, is certain to be- 
come a homeless beggar. Seemingly pious, but deceitful at 
heart, he would make every one like himself. And now you 
are'led away by his words, and are longing to marry a very 
outcast, a worthless, shameless, tattered wretch; with a 
necklace of serpents and skulls, and without either family 
or house or even clothes. Tell me now what pleasure is 

I It was by Narada's advice that the sons of Daksha were dissuaded 
from multiplying their race and scattered themselves all over the world in 
the hope of acquiring knowleHge. Not one of them ever returned, and the 
unhappy father, thus deserted by all his children, denounced as a curse upon 
Narada that he, too, should always be a homeless wanderer on the face of 
the earth. 

King Chitraketu was childless, though be had a thousand wives. At 
last, by the blessing of a saint, one of them bore him a son ; but when it 
was a year old they all conspired together and poisoned it. The king was 
weeping sorely with the dead child in his arms, when Narada came and 
after much persuasion consented to restore it to life It at once sat up and 
began to speak, saying that in a former state of existence it ha been a 
king, who had retired from the world into a hermitage. There one day a 
woman in charity gave him a cake of fuel, which he put on the fire without 
perceiving that there were in it a thousand little ants These innocent 
creatures all perished in the flames, but were born again in a more exalted 
position as Chitraketu's wives ; while the woman who gave the fuel, and the 
hermit who used it, became the mf)ther and trie child, whom inexorable 
fate had thus punishe i for their former sinful inadvertence -After finish- 
ing this explanation the child again fell back dead, and Chitraketu, 
giving up all hope of au heir, abandoned the throne and began a course of 
penance. 



56 CHILDHOOD. 

to be had from such a bridegroom as this ? Better for- 
get the ravings of the impostor. For he married Sati only 
because other people suggested it, and soon abandoned 
her and left her to die. 

Doha 89. 

And now he never gives her a thought, but goes about 
a-begging, and eats and sleeps at his ease. What respect- 
able woman could ever stay with such a confirmed solita- 
ry' 

Ghaupdi 80. 

To-day if you will hear my words, I have thought of an 
excellent bridegroom for you, so beautiful and honourable, 
so pleasant and amiable, that even the Veda hymns his 
praise the faultless and all-perfect lord of Lakshmi, who 
reigns at Vaikuntha. He is the husband that I will bring 
you. " On hearing this Bhavdni smiled and replied, ** You 
said true that I inherit a rock-nature, and would sooner 
die than yield. Gold, again, is another product of the 
rock that cannot be changed by any amount of burning. 
Nor will 1 change my faith in Narada's word ; whether 
my house be full or desolate, I fear not : whoever doubts 
the word of his spiritual adviser must never dream of 
obtaining either happiness or riches. 

Doha 90. 

Mah^deva is full of faults, while Vishnu is all-perfect; 
but the heart concerns itself only about the object it 
happens to fancy. 

Ghaupdi 81. 

If, reverend sirs, I had met you sooner, I would have 
submitted to your advice; but now that I have given my 
life for Sambhu, it is too late to weigh his merits and 

When Kayidhu, the wife of demon-king Hiranya-kasipu, was about to 
bring forth, she received instruction from the sage Narada, whose words reach- 
ed even to the ear.i of tne child in her womb. Accordini;iy from the mo- 
ment he was born he devoted himself to the service of Visbnu, an<l thus 
provoked his impious lather to the acts of persecution which resulted in his 
own destruction and the extinction of his royal line. 



CHILDHQOJD. $7 

defects. If you are firmly resolved upon making a match, 
you need not stand idle ; the world is full of young men 
and maidens : but as for me, though I hold out for a mil- 
lion lives, I will either wed Sambhu or remain a virgin. 
I will not forget N^rada's admonition, even though Mah^- 
deva himself and again told me to do so. I, who am styled 
the mother of the world, fall at your feet and bid you 
return home ; your time is lost." When the sages beheld 
her devotion, they cried" Glory, glory, glory to the great 
mother Bhav^ni, 

Doha 91. 
United as Maya to the god Siva, the parents of the uni- 
verse !" then bowing the head at her feet and thrilling 
with rapture they left, 

Chaupai 82. 

And sent King Himavant, and with many entreaties 
brought Girijd back. When they returned to Siva and told 
him Umd's whole history, he was delighted to hear of her 
affection, and* they went gladly home. Then the all-wise 
Sambhu, firmly directing his intention, began a meditation 
on Rdma. Now at that time was a demon T^raka, of 
gigantic strength of arm and high renown, who had sub- 
dued the sovereigns of every region and robbed the gods 
of all their happiness. Knowing neither age nor death, 
he was invincible ; and the powers of heaven were van- 
quished in innumerable battles. At last they all went and 
cried to the (creator, and he seeing them so dismayed, 
Dohd 92. 

Re- assured them, saying," the demon shall die when 
a son is born of the seed of Sambhu, who shall conquer 
him in fight. 

Chaupdi 83. 

Having heard what I say, devise a plan by which such a 
lord may arise and assist you. After Sati quitted the body 
at Daksha's sacrifice, she was born again as the daughter of 

R-11 



58 CHILDHOOD. 

the HimaUya, and has been practising penance in the hope 
of obtaining Sambhu to husband. He, on the other hand, 
has left all and sits absorbed in contemplation. Though it 
will be a difficult business, yet list to what I propose. Send 
Kima, the good of love, to Siva to agitate his soul, and then I 
will approach with bowed head and arrange the marriage, 
and in this way your object will be attained." All exclaimed 
that the plan was good, and heartily applauded it. ' Then 
came the god with the five arrows and the fish-standard ; 
Dohd 93. \ Ki^ 
And they told him their distress. He heard, and after 
reflecting a little replied with a smile, " Sambhu's dis- 
pleasure will work me no good, 

Chaupdi 84. 
Yet I will do you this service. The scriptures say charity 
is the highest of virtues, and one who gives his life for an- 
other is ever the praise of the saints." So saying he bowed, 
and took his leave, he and his attendant,! with his bow of 
flowers in his hand. And as he went he thought within him- 
self,' Siva's displeasure will surely be my death.' There- 
fore he hastened to exhibit his power, and for a time reduc- 
ed to subjection the whole world. If Love is provoked, the 
stepping-stones of the law are swept away in a moment ; 
religious vows and obligations, self-control, ceremonial ob- 
servances, knowledge and philosophy, virtuous practices, 
prayer, penance, self-mortification, the whole spiritual army, 
is panic-stricken and put to flight. 
Chhand 3. 

Virtue's grand force is routed in panic and dismay, 

And in dark nooks of holy books her champions skulk away. 

Great god of fate ! in this dread state what saving power is nigh ? 

* Gainst man's one heart Love's fivefold dart wins easy victory. 

DohdU. Ic^ 
Every creature in the world, animate or inanimate, male 
or female, forgot natural restraint and became subject to 
love. 

1 K&madeva's attendant is Riturdja, or Basanta, the spring season. 



CHILDHOOD. 59 

Ghaupdi 85. 
In every heart was a craving for love : the tree bent its 
boughs to kiss the creeper ; the overflowing river ran into 
the arms of ocean ; lakes and ponds effected a meeting. 
And when such was the case with inanimate creation, what 
need to speak of man ? Beasts on land and birds in the air, 
under the influence of love, were unmindful of time and 
season ; all were agitated and blind with desire, and the 
swan regarded neither night nor day.^ Gods, demons, men, 
kinnaras, serpents, ghosts, witches, goblins and imps were 
all at once enslaved by love ; even saints and hermits, sages 
and ascetics, became again sensual under his influence. 

Chhand 4. 
When saints and hermits own his sway, why speak of serf and thrall, 
God's whole creation, recreant grown, swore love was all in all ; 
Each jocund dame, each amorous swain, found heaven in love's embrace ; 
Two hours sped past, love still stood fast and reigned in Brdhma's place. 

SorathdS. '0'^ 

None is so bold but love steals his heart, and only they 
whom R^ma protects can then escape. 
Ghaupdi 86. 
For two hours this triumph lasted, till Kilmadeva drew 
nigh to Sambhu. On seeing him Love trembled, and the 
whole world returned to itself. Every living creature at once 
grew calm, as when a drunkard recovers from his drunken- 
ness. When Love looked at Siva, the invincible and unap- 
proachable god, he feared ; then returned shame too strong 
for words and, resolved upon death, he formed his plan of 
attack. Forthwith lusty Spring stepped forth, and every 
tree broke into blossom ; wood and grove, lake and pond, 
every quarter of the heaven, gladdened and overflowed as 
it were with love, and even the deadest soul quickened 
at the sight. 

1 The male and female chakwa (swan, or rather Brdhmani duck) are 
doomed for ever to nocturnal separation, and are said to pass the night on 
the opposite banks of a river, vainly calling to each other to cross. During 
Love's brief triumph the curse was for once removed. 



db CHILDHOOD. 

Chhand 5. 

At love's touch the dead were quickened, blossomed all the wood so dark, 
While a breeze soft, cool and fragrant, fanned the love-enkindled spark. 
Laughs the lake with many a lotus, hum the bees with drowsy sound. 
Swans and parrots chatter gaily, gladly dance the nymphs round. 

Dohd 95. 

Though he tried every trick and manifold device, yet 
he and his army were defeated ; Siva's unbroken trance 
still continued, and Love grew furious. 
Ghaupdi 87. 

Seeing a mango tree with spreading boughs, he in his 
folly climbed up into it ; then fitted a shaft to his flowery 
bow, and in his great passion taking aim and drawing the 
string home to the ear, he let fly and lodged the five arrows 
in his breast. Then the trance was broken and Sambhu 
awoke. In the lord's soul was great agitation ; he opened 
his eyes, and looking all round saw Kdmadeva in the mango 
tree. At his wrath the three worlds trembled. Then 
Siva unclosed his third eye, and by its flash K^madeva was 
reduced to ashes. A confused cry went up through the 
universe from the gods in their dismay, from the demons 
in exultation ; the rich were sad when they remembered 
love's delights, while saints and hermits felt relieved a of 
thorn. 1 

Chhand 6. 

The saints were freed from torment : but Rati swooned for woe, 
And in sad guise with weeping eyes at Siva's throne fell low. 
Sore wailing and lamenting her dear lord's hapless fate : 
Till quick to pardon spoke the god in words compassionate : 

Dohd 98. 
*' Henceforth, Rati, your husband's name shall be called 
Anang (the bodiless), and thus etherealized he shall 
pervade all things. But hear how you will again find him 
hereafter. 



I With this whole narrative compare that in the KuMra Sambhdva of 



KilidAsa. 



i 



CHILDHOOD. 61 

Ghaupdi 88. 

When Krishna becomes incarnate in the family of Jadu 

to relieve the world of its burdens, your husband shall be 

born again as his son (Pradyumna) ; this my word shall not 

fail." On hearing this prophecy of Sankara's, Rati retired. 

I now turn to another part of my story. ' When Brdhma 

and the other gods heard these tidings they first went to 

Viakuntha, and thence, with Vishnu, Brahma and all the 

rest, into the presence of the merciful Siva, and each of 

them separately sang his praises. Then the gracious 

power whose crest is the moon and whose standard a bull, 

said, " Tell me, ye immortals, why ye have come." 

Said Brahma," My lord, you can read our hearts, but as 

ordered I speak. 

Doha 97. 

In the mind of all the gods is one idea. Sankara is 
love-smitten, and we would fain with our own eyes see his 
marriage. 

Ghaupdi 89. 

destroyer of the pride of love, let us feast our eyes on 
this glad event. In granting a husband to Rati after 
Kdmadeva had been consumed you have done well, sea 
of compassion, in punishment remembering mercy ; the 
great have ever an easy temper. Accept now the inter- 
minable penance that Parvati has endured." On hearing 
Brahma's speech and perceiving its purport, he exclaimed 
joyfully, " So be it ! " Then the gods sounded their kettle- 
drums and rained down flowers, and cried," Victory, 
victory to the King of heaven ! " Then, perceiving it was 
the proper time, the seven sages came and were despatched 
by Brdhma to the Himalaya where first they sought 
Bhavdni and addressed her in mild but deceptive terms : 

Dohdm. ]\^ 

*' You would not listen to us, but rather took Ndrada's 
advice; now again is your vow proved vain, for the god of 
love has been consumed by Mahsideva." 



6^ CHILDHOOD. 

Chaupdi 90. 

Bhavdni replied with a smile, " wisest of sages, you 
have said well. Your words * Love has been consumed 
by Mahddeva' imply a belief that aforetime Sambhu was 
liable to change. But I know him to be from everlasting 
an ascetic, faultless, loveless, passionless: and if, knowing 
him to be such as he is, I have served him devotedly in 
heart, word and deed, so gracious a lord (be assured, 
sages) will bring my vow to accomplishment. Your saying 
that Hara has destroyed Love betrays great want of judg- 
ment. Fire, my friend, has an unalterable nature, and ice 
cannot exist near it; brought near it must inevitably 
perish ; and so must Love in the presence of Mah^deva." i 
Doha 99. 

On hearing this speech and seeing her love and confi- 
dence the sages were delighted and bowed the head before 
her, and went to King Himdchal, 

Chaupdi 91. 

And told him the whole history. When he heard of 
Love's annihilation he was much distressed, but was again 
comforted when told of Rati's promised husband. After 
pondering on the majesty of Sambhu, he reverently 
summoned the wise men, and at once had the day fixed 
according to Vedic prescription, selecting an auspicious 
date, and planet and hour. Then he gave the letter to the 
seven sages, humbly falling at their feet, and they took it 
to Brahma, who could not contain himself for joy on read- 
ing it, but at once proclaimed it aloud. The whole com- 
pany of heaven was delighted : there was music and a 
shower of flowers, and in every quarter festive preparations 

were commenced. , , C 

Dohd 100. V^ 
All the gods began adorning the different vehicles on 

1 The line thus translated stands in the original AH ManmLitha 
Mahfim ko nai. There is an entirely different reading in some copies iji/wi 
Sampdthi nij paehrh ganwdi, 'like as 8mpdthi lost his wings ;' Sarapdthi was 
the brother of Jat&ju. and in his pride flew so high into the heaven that his 
wings were consamed by the heat of the sun. See Book IV, dohd 27. 



oaiLDHOOD. 63 

which they ride abroad, the Muses sung for joy, and all was 
bliss and happiness. 

Chaupdi 92. 

Siva's attendants began to dress their lord, arranging 
his serpent-crest and crown of matted locks ; with snakes 
for his earrings and bracelets of snakes for his wrists ; his 
body smeared with ashes, and a lion's skin about his loins ; 
the moon on his brow, the lovely Ganges on the crown of 
his head, his eyes three in number, and a serpent for his 
Brdhmanical cord ; his throat black with poison ; a wreath 
of dead men's skulls about his breast. In such ghastly 
attire was arrayed the great god Siva. With trident in 
hand he advanced riding on a bull, while the drums beat 
and instruments of music were played. The female 
divinities all smiled to see him, and said, *' The world has 
no bride worthy of such a lover." Vishnu and Brjihma 
and all the company of heaven followed in the procession, 
each on his own carriage. ' The gods make a fine sight, 
but still the procession is not worthy of the bridegroom.' 
Doha 101. ' J 

So cried Vishnu with a smile and then commanded all 
the heavenly warders" March separately, each one with 
his own retinue, 

Chaupdi 93. '^ 

Otherwise on going into a strange city they will laugh 
and say what a sorry procession for such a bridegroom." 
The gods smiled to hear this speech, and marched separ- 
ately, each at the head of his own followers. Mahddeva 
smiled too, not understanding Hari's joke, but taking it as 
a most friendly suggestion, and sent Bhringi to bring all 
his attendants. On receiving Siva's order they all came 
and bowed the head at his lotus feet. Then Siva laughed to 
see the host in their motley attire, riding every kind of 
vehicle ; some with monstrous heads, some with no head 
at all ; some with many hands and feet, and some with 
none ; some with great eyes, some with no eyes ; some very 
stout, some very slim. 



64 CHILDHOOD. 

Ghhand 7. 

All, stout or slim, or foul or trim, in gruesome panoply, 
With skulls for wine-cups filled with blood, from which they quaffed with glee ; 
With head of dog, or ass, or hog, a host no tongue can tell. 
Ghosts, goblins, witches, every kind of denizen of hell. 

Sorathd 9. \\^ 

All the demons went singing and dancing with wonder- 
ful contortions, such as never were seen, and uttering all 
sorts of strange cries. 

Ghaupdi 94. 

Like bridegroom, like procession an extraordinary 

sight as it went along the road. There King Him^chal 

erected a canopy more splendid than words can tell ; and 

every hill in the world, small and great, more than man 

can count, and every wood and sea, river, stream and lake, 

all were invited to attend ; and assuming forms of exquisite 

beauty, with all their retinue, male and female, they 

flocked to the palace singing songs of gladness. First of 

all the king had built a number of guest-houses, and so 

tastefully arranged them, that, after a glance at the beauty 

of the city, the Creator of the world seemed a contemptible 

architect. 

Ghharid 8. 

Little seemed the world's Creator, and his skill of nothing worth : 
Lake and fountain, tjrove antl garden, shone more fair than aught on earth. 
Wreaths and arches, flags and banners, made each house a goodly show ; 
Qullant youth and lovely maidens set a saint's heart all aglow. 

Dohd 102. I ! *? 

The city in which the great mother had taken birth 
surpassed description ; joy, prosperity and abundance 
were ever on the increase. 

Ghaupdi 95. 

When it was known that the marriage procession was 
close at hand, the stir in the city and the brilliancy of the 
decorations grew more and more. With numerous carriages 
and all due equipment the heralds started for the 
formal reception. When they saw the army of gods they 



CHILDHOOD. 65 

were glad of heart, and yet more so when they beheld Hari. 
But when they perceived Siva's familiars, every beast they 
rode started back in affright. Grown men summoned up 
courage to stand, but the children all ran for their lives 
straight back home, and when their parents questioned 
them could only reply trembling all over, " What can we 
say ? it is beyond telling ; it is no marriage procession, 
but the army of Death ; the bridegroom, a maniac, mounted 
on a bull ; with snakes and skulls and ashes to adorn him. 
Ghhand 9. , 

Skulls and snakes and streaks o ashes, matted locks and body bare, 
Witches, imps, and frightful goblins, and appalling ghosts are there. 
Happy man who sees such horrors nor dies at once of fright !" 
So from house to house they babbled on Uma's wedding night. 
Doha 103. 
The fathers and mothers smiled, for they recognized 
Siva's familiars, and reassured the children in every pos- 
sible way, saying, " Do not be afraid ; there is no cause 
for fear." 

Ghawpdi 96. 

The heralds brought in the procession and assigned 
them all pleasant quarters. And Maina, having prepared 
an elegant sacrificial lamp, and lustrous water in a golden 
bowl, proceeded gladly to move it round over Siva's head 
while her attendants sang festive songs. When they saw 
his terrible attire, the women feared greatly and ran inside 
the house all of a tremble. Mahadeva advanced to the 
guest-room and Maina, sorely grieved at heart, called her 
daughter, and in the most loving manner took her in her 
lap, while her lotus eyes overflowed with tears, *' To think 
that the Creator should have made you so beautiful, and 
then give you such a raving fool for a bridegroom ! 

Ghhand 10. 

How can God send such a raving groom for such a lovely bride ? 

What a thorn bush is our wishing- tree, the fruit for which we cried 1 

From mountain-top, in sea or Are, I'll cast me down with thee ; 

Welcome disgrace, so they be gone ; this wedding ne'er shall be." 

R 12 



66 CHILDHOOD. 

Dohd 104. ' ^ 

All the ladies were distrest when they saw the queen so 
sad, who in her deep affection for her daughter began to 
weep and make great lamentation, 
Ghaupdi 97. 

* What harm had I done to Ndrada that he should make 
my home desolate and give Umd such advice, to undergo 
penance for the sake of a mad bridegroom ? In good sooth 
he is fancy free and passionless, an ascetic who wants neither 
money, nor house, nor wife, and therefore in destroying 
another's home he has neither shame nor compunction ; for 
what does a barren woman know of the pangs of child- 
birth ?" When Bbavdni saw her mother's distress, she 
answered thus placidly and discreetly, " Be not troubled, 
my mother, with these thoughts, for God's plans are unal- 
terable. If fate decrees me a mad husband, then why 
should any one be blamed ? Can you blot out the hand- 
writing of the Creator ? Then refrain from profitless re- 
proaches. 

Ghhand 11. 
Cease from profitless reproaches, uor in vain bemoan my fate, 
I must go where'er my destined joys and sorrows for me wait." 
Hearing Uma's pious answer, all her ladies felt surprise. 
Much they talked of God's injustice, while the tears bedewed their eyes. 
Dohd 105. 

At that time came Narada, and with him the sages (for 
they had heard the news), and at once betook themselves to 
the king's palace. 

Chaupdi 98. 

Then Narada instructed them all, and recited in full 
the past history, saying, " Hear, Maina ! my words are 
true ; your daughter is Bhavdni, the mother of the world, 
the everlasting female energy ; without birth or beginning ; 
Sambhu's inseparable half ; the creator, supporter, and des- 
troyer of the universe ; who at will assumes the semblance 
of human form. First she was born in Daksha's house, 



CHILDHOOD. 67 

Sati by name, of excellent beauty. Then as Sati she married 
Sankara, and her story is famous throughout the world, 
how once, with Siva, she met the sun of Raghu's lotus line 
(ie., R^ma), and in her infatuation was not obedient to 
Siva, but was beguiled into assuming the form of Sita. 
Chhand 12. 
For the crime of this assumption she was widowed many a day, 
Till in the fire before her sire her sins were burnt away. 
Now born your daughter, for her lord in penitence she stayed ; 
And Siva aye shall be her lord ; know this, nor be dismayed. " 
Dohd 106. "\ ^ 
On hearing N^rada's explanation the sadness of all was 
dispersed, and in a moment his words were spread from 
house to house throughout the city. 
Chaupdi 99. 
Then Maina and Himavant were glad and fell again and 
again at Parvati's feet. All the people of the city, what- 
ever their age, men and women alike, were equally delight- 
ed. Songs of joy began to sound in the streets ; golden 
vases were displayed ; meats were dressed in various ways 
according to the rules of gastronomic science. But the 
banquet table in the palace inhabited by the great mother 
Bhav^ni was altogether beyond description. The marriage 
guests Vishnu, Brdhma and all the heavenly orders- 
were courteously entreated and took their seats line after 
line. Then the skilful servers began to serve and the 
women, when they found the gods were sat down, began to 
jest and banter in pleasant strain. 
Chhand 13. 
In pleasant strain with dark refrain they hint at love's delight ; 
Charmed with the song, the gods sit long, nor heed the waning night , 
With growing zest each jovial guest prolongs the festive hour : 
At last they rise ; each bids adieu and seeks his separate bovver. 

Dohd 107. 
Again the sages came and reminded Himavant of the 
marriage ; and he, seeing the time was fit, sent and sum- 
moned all the gods, 



68 CHILDHOOD. 

Ghaupdi 100. 
Whom he courteously addressed, and assigned to each 
an appropriate seat. An altar was prepared according to 
Vedic ritual, while the women chanted festal strains ; and a 
divinely beautiful throne was erected, the handiwork of a 
god, beyond description. Then Siva, after bowing to the 
Brihmans, took his seat, remembering in his heart his own 
lord, Rdma. Then the sages sent for Um^, who was brought 
in by her handmaids, richly adorned. All the gods behold- 
ing her beauty were enraptured. What poet in the world 
could describe such loveliness ! The divinities who re- 
cognized in her the universal mother, the spouse of Mah^- 
deva, adored her in their inmost soul Bhav^ni, the crown 
of beauty whose praises would still be beyond me even 
though I had a myriad tongues. 

Chhand 14. 
A myriad tongues were all too few to sing her matchless grace : 
When gods and muses shrink abashed, for Tulsi's rhyme what place ? 
With downcast eyes the glorious dame passed up the hall, and fell, 
Bee-like, at Siva's lotus feet, the lord she loved so well. 

Doha 108. \'>''^ 

At the injunction of the priests, both Sambhu and 
BhavAni paid divine honours to Ganes. And let no one be 
perplexed on hearing this, but know well that they are 

gods from everlasting. 

Chawpai 101. 

The whole marriage ceremony was performed by the 

priests in accordance with Vedic ritual, and the father, 

with Uuia grass in his hand, took the bride and gave her 

to Siva. When the two had joined hands, all the gods 

were glad of heart ; the chief priests uttered the scriptural 

formulae, and the cry went up of " Glory, glory, glory to 

Sankara ! " all kinds of music began to play, and flowers 

were rained down from heaven. Thus was accomplished 

the marriage of Hara and GirijA amidst general rejoicing. 

The dowry given defies description men-servants and 

maid-servants, horses, carriages, elephants, cows, raiment, 



CHILDHOOD. 69 

jewellery, things of all sorts, and wagouloads of grain and 
golden vessels. 

Chhand 15. 

Thus great and more the dowry's store that King Himachal brought ; 

Yet falling low at Siva'.s feet he cried that all was nought. 

The gracious lord cheered his sad sire in every way most meet, 

Then Maina came, most loving dame, and clasped his lotus feet : 
Doha 109. 
"UmA, my lord, is dear to me as my own soul ; take her 
as one of your servants, and pardon all her offences : this is 
the boon I beg of your favour." 

Chaupdi 102. 
After Sambhu had in every possible way reassured his 
wife's mother, she bowed herself at his feet and went home, 
there called for Umd, and taking her into her lap gave her 
this excellent instruction, " Be ever obedient to Sankara ; 
to say * My lord and my god ' is the sum of all wifely duty." 
At these words her eyes filled with tears, and again and 
again she pressed her daughter to her bosom," Why 
has God created woman in the world, seeing that she is 
always in a state of subjection, and never can even dream 
of happiness ?" Though utterly distracted by motherly 
love, she knew it was no time to display it, and restrained 
herself. Running to her again and again, and falling on 
the ground to clasp her feet, in a transport of affection 
beyond all words, Bhavdni said adieu to all her companions, 
and then again went and clung to her mother's breast. 
Chhand 16. 

Still clinging to her mother's breast she cheered her weeping train, 
Then with her handmaids sought her spouse, yet oft looked back again. 
' Midst beggar's blessing, richly bought, forth rode the royal pair : 
The glad gods rained down flowers, and sounds of music filled the air 

Dohd 110. 
Then went Himavant most lovingly to escort them, till 
with many words of consolation Mahddeva bid him return. 
Chaupdi 103. 
Then he came speedily to the palace, called all the hills 
and lakes, entreated them courteously with words and gifts, 



70 CHILDHOOD. 

and allowed them to depart. They proceeded each to his 
own realm, and Sambhu arrived at Kail Asa. How shall I 
tell its delights when thus occupied by Sambhu and Bha- 
vAni, the father and mother of the world, and their attend- 
ants ? They began to indulge in sport and dalliance, and 
every day was some new pleasure. Thus a length of time 
was passed and the six-headed child (Kartikeya) was born, 
who vanquished in battle the demon T^raka. His birth is 
sung by all the sacred books, and his deeds are known 
throughout the world. 

Ghhand 17. 
All the world knows the story of the birth and the glory 

* of Mahddeva's six-headed son ; 
And this is the cause why so briefly I pause on the 

generous deeds he hath done . 
Man or maid, who shall tell, or sing true and well, how 

Siva took UmA to wife, 
Shall be happily wed, and, with blessings bestead, live 
at ease all the days of his life. 

Dohd 111. 

The amorous doings of Girij^ and her beloved are an 
ocean-like depth that not even the Veda can sound ; how 
then can an ignorant clown such as Tulsi DAs succeed in 
describing them ? 

Chaupdi 104. 

When the sainted BharadvAja had heard all this pleas- 
ant and delectable history of Sambhu's doings, he was de- 
lighted and longed to hear yet more. With overflowing 
eyes and every limb thrilling, he was so mastered by love 
that his tongue could not utter a word. On seeing his 
condition the great sage was pleased, *' Blessed is thy 
birth, to whom Gauri's lord is dear as life. He who loves 
not Siva's lotus feet can never dream of pleasing Rdma : a 
guileless love for Siva's feot is the surest sign of faith in 
Rdma. For who is so faithful to R^ma as Siva, who for 
no fault thus left his wife Sati and made a vow, the pledge 



*4 

her be 



OHILDHOOt). 71 

of unswerving fidelity ? And whom does Rdma hold more 

dear than Siva ? 

Dohd 112. 

I have begun by telling you of Siva's deeds, knowing 
well your secret, that you are are a true servant of Rama, 
without any variableness. 

Chaupdi 105. 

I understand your character and disposition ; listen 
therefore while I proceed to recount Rama's adventures. I 
cannot say how glad I am at this meeting with you to-day. 
Though Rama's deeds are beyond measure, and not a 
myriad serpent kings could tell them all, yet I repeat the 
tale as it has been revealed, after fixing my thoughts on 
the god with bow in hand, who is the lord of the queen of 
speech. For Sarasvati is as it were but a puppet, and R^ma 
the manager who plays the hidden strings. When he finds 
a true believer, he graciouly sets her to dance in the 
courtyard of the poet's fancy. To him, the merciful Ragh- 
un^th, I bow before commencing the recital of his glory. Of 
all mountains the most beautiful was Kailds, since Siva and 
Umd had made it their home : 

Dohd lis. ' 

Saints, hermits ascetics, gods, Hnnaras, sages, and all 

pious souls came there to dwell and adore Mahddeva, the 

root of all good. 

Chaupdi 106. 

But enemies of Hari and Hara, who had no love for 

virtue, could never even in a dream find their way to the 

place. On this mountain was an enormous bar tree, which 

no time nor season could rob of its beauty ; ever stirred by 

soft, cool, fragrant breezes and a shade from the hottest 

sun ; the Vitap tree famous in sacred song as Mahadeva's 

favourite haunt. Once on a time the lord had gone under 

it, and in an excess of delight spread with his own hands 

his tiger-skin on the ground and there sat at ease : his body 

as fair in hue as the jasmine or the moon, his arms of great 



72 CHILDHOOD, 

length, a hermit's cloth wrapt about his loins, his feet 
like lotus blossoms, and his toe-nails like gleams of light 
to dispel the darkness of faithful souls ; his face more 
splendid than the moon in autumn : and his decorations, 
serpents and streaks of ashes. 

Dohd 114. 

With his twisted coils of hair for a crown ; with the 

Ganges springing from his head ; with full-orbed eyes like 

the lotus, and with the crescent moon on his brow ; the 

dark -throated god shone forth in all his brilliancy. 

Ghaupdi 107. 

So sat the enemy of Love, as it were Quietism embodied 
Then Pdrvati, who is the great mother BhavAni, approach- 
ed, seeing her time. In recognition of her love he received 
her most courteously and enthroned her on his left side. 
Joyously she sat beside him and recalled her former life ; 
and reckoning on his augmented attachment she spoke, 
being fain to hear the salutary tale, "0 lord of the world, 
my lord Purdri, your greatness is known throughout all 
three worlds ; things moving or motionless, serpents, men 
and gods, all do homage to your lotus feet. 

Dohd 115. \W 

You are the lord of all power and of all knowledge ; the 
centre of art and science ; the great storehouse of medita- 
tion, of wisdom and of asceticism ; and your name is as the 
tree of life to the afflicted. 

Ghaupdi 108. 

If, blissful being, I have found favour in your sight, 
and you know me to be your own devoted slave, then, my 
lord, disperse my ignorance by reciting to me the story of 
Rfima. How can he who dwells beneath the tree of para- 
dise know aught of sorrow that is born of want ? Consider, 
moon-crowned god, and relieve my mind of this per- 
plexity. The saints, who preach salvation, declare that 
Blima is the uncreated god ; SeshnAg, 8arasvati, the Veda, 



v 



CHILDHOOD. 73 







the Pur^nas, all sing his praises ; you too, oight and day, 
great conqueror of Love, reverently repeat his name. Is 
this R^ma the son of the King of Avadh, or some other 
uncreated, passionless, invisible Being ? 

DoM 116. /3^ 

If a king's son, and so distrest by the loss of his wife, 
then how the Supreme God ? When I compare his acts 
that I see with the eulogies that I hear, my mind is com- 
pletely distracted. 

Chaupdi 109. 

Instruct me, my lord, with regard to him who is the 
passionless, all-pervading, omnipresent god. Be not wroth 
at my ignorance, but take steps to remove it. In the wood, 
though I was too awe-stricken to tell you, I beheld the 
majesty of RAma, yet my mind was so dull that I did not 
understand, and 1 reaped a just reward. Again to-day I 
am in doubt, and with clasj)ed hands 1 beg of you to com- 
passionate me : be not angry, nor say you have been taught 
already ; the past is past ; my infatuation is gone, 
and I have a hearty longing to hear the sacred story of 
Rama's virtuous deeds. Declare it, glory of the serpent 
^ing. great lord of heaven. 

Dohd 117. 

Laying my head in the dust, I worship your feet, and 
with folded hands entreat you to tell me all Raghubar's 
excellent glory, as extracted from scripture and philosophy. 
Chaupdi 110. 

Though a woman is not entitled to initiation, yet I am 
in a special degree your servant ; further, the saints do not 
forbid mystic instruction to a woman in great distress, 
and it is in extreme distress that I call upon you, heavenly 
king, for an account of Rdma. First, weigh well and 
declare to me the cause why the invisible Brahm assumed 
a visible body. Then, my lord, tell me of his incarnation 
and his pretty actions when a child, and how he wedded 
Jrtnaki, and for what fault he left his father's kingdom, and 

E-13 



74 CHILDHOOD. 

what he did when living in the woods, and how he slew 
Rivan, and how he amused himself when he recovered the 
throne ; tell me all about him, most amiable Sankara. 
Doha 118. 

Then tell me, gracious lord, of his marvellous acts, and 
how with all his subjects the jewel of Raghu's line pro- 
ceeded to his own abode. 

Chaupdi 111. 

Next tell me, my lord what it all means ; explaining to 
me in full detail what is the intelligence that so absorbs the 
wisest saints ; what is faith, and wisdom, and supreme 
knowledge and detachment from the world. Tell me also, 
lord of purest understanding, the many other mysteries 
connected with Rdma ; and if there ]ye anything which I 
have omitted to ask, be kind enough not to suppress it. 
You, as the Vedas say, are the great teacher of the three 
worlds ; what can other poor creatures know ? " When 
Siva heard UmA's winning and guileless speech he was 
glad ; the whole of RAma*8 acts thronged in upon his soul, 
his eyes were bedewed with tears and his very limbs 
thrilled with rapture; for the vision of Rdma filled his 
heart, and his ecstatic joy was beyond measure. 

Doha 119. 

For a brief space MahAdeva was lost in contemplation ; 

then recovered himself and began with great joy to tell the 

tale of RAma. 

Chaupdi 112. 

"Not to distinguish between the false and the true 'is 
like mistaking a rope for a snake; while as a dream 
vanishes away on awakening, so is it with those who look 
well and make sure. I reverence the child Rima, most 
easy of access to all who repeat his name. Come to me, 
home of bliss and bane of woe, as when thou usedst to sport 
in Dasarath's courtyard." After thus paying homage to 
Rima, Tripuriri began his mellifluous recital, '* All bless- 
ings on thee, daughter of the mountain-king, there is 



CHILDHOOD. 75 

no such benefactor as thou art. Thou hast asked for 
Rdma's history as potent as the Ganges to sanctify tlie 
world ; and it is on the world's account that thou hast 
asked, being thyself full of love for Rama's feet. 
Doha 120. 

By the blessing of Rama, P^rvati, not even in sleep 
can doubt, error, delusion, or distress enter into your mind ; 
this 1 know well : 

Chaupdi 113. 

But you have so ordered your certainty as to benefit all 
who speak or hear. For the ears that hear not Rama's 
name are mere snake-holes ; the eyes that have not seen his 
true vision are like the false eyes in a peacock's tail ; the 
heads that have not bowed at the feet of Bari's priest are of 
no more worth than bitter pumpkins. They whose heart 
is not inspired with faith in Hari are mere animated corp- 
ses ; those who sing not his praises are like croaking frogs ; 
and hard and impenetrable as a thunderbolt is their breast 
who hear his deeds and take no delight in them. Listen 
Girija, to the deeds of RAma, which are to gods a delight 
and to demons a delusion ? 

Dohd 121. 13"] 

Who is the good man that will not listen to the story of 
RAma, which is like the heavenly cow, that fulfils every 
desire of the gods who tend it. 

Ghanpdi 121. 

The story of Rdma is like a fair pair of cymbals to 
frighten away the birds of doubt, or like an axe at the root 
of the tree of sin; listen reverently, daughter of the moun- 
tain-king. How sweet is the name of R^ma, and his ways 
and his deeds ; his lives and his actions are declared by the 
scriptures to be beyond number. And as there is no end 
to RAma, so the legends about him and his glory are 
endless : yet, seeing the greatness of your love, I will 
attempt to tell them to the best of my ability and as the 
scriptures have revealed. Your inquiries, Umji, are most 



76 CHILDHOOD. 

becoming and profitable, such as the saints approve, and I 
too am pleased to hear: but there was one thing I did not 
like, though you spoke under the influence of a delusion ; 
for you said, ' Is there some other Rama whom the Vedas 
sing, and whom sages love to contemplate ? ' 
Doha 122. \'5S 

This is what is said by the vile wretches whom the 
demon of delusion has in his clutch : heretics, who are the 
enemies of Uari and know no difference between truth and 
falsehood. 

Ghaupdi 115. 

Ignorant, unlearned and blind reprobates ; the mirror 
of whose mind is clouded by a film of sensuality ; lustful, 
treacherous and desperately perverse, who have never even 
in a dream attained to a vision of true faith. They utter 
doctrines repugnant to the Veda, with no understanding of 
loss or gain ; their glass Is dim, their eyes are naught : how 
then can such hapless wights see the beauty of RAma ? 
Unable to distinguish between the material and immaterial, 
they jabber many lying words, and under Hari's delusive 
influence go utterly astray in the world ; for whom no 
words are too strong. Windy, devilish, drunken, they can 
utter nothing to the purpose, and are so intoxicated with a 
strong delusion that no one should give ear to their 
ravings. ..c^^ 

Soarthd 10. ' 

Being thus assured in your heart, discard all doubt and 
fall in adoration at Rama's feet. Listen, daughter of the 
mountain-king, and the sun of my words shall disperse all 
the mists from your soul. 

Ghaupdi 116. 

There is no difference between the material and the 
immaterial ; so declare saints and sages, the Veda and the 
Purdnas. The formless, invisible and uncreated Immaterial, 
out of love for the faithful, becomes materialized. How can 
this be ? In the same way as water is crystallized into ice- 



CHILDHOOD. 77 

But how can He be subject to sensual detusion whose very 
name is like the sun to disperse the darkness of error ? In 
Rdma, who is the Supreme Being and the sun of the world, 
the night of delusion can have no part whatever ; and in 
the Lord, who is himself true light, there can be no dawn 
of understanding ; neither joy nor sorrow, knowledge nor 
ignorance ; neither personal piety, nor the sins of vanity 
and pride : but Rama is the omnipresent God, the blissful 
Lord of all, the ancient of days ; ^ A 

Dohd\2S. 

The Great Spirit, the glorious fount of light ; the 
Revealed, the Incomprehensible, the jewel of the family of 
Raghu, my own lord :", and so saying Siva bowed the 
head. 

Chaupdi 117. 

" Fools do not perceive their own error, but senselessly 
attribute delusion to the lord ; like simple folk, who, seeing 
a clouded s'?y, say that the sun itself is dim, or who gaze 
at the moon through their finsfers and fancy they see it 
doubled. Umel, delusion affects R^ma in the same way 
as smoke, or a cloud, or dust affects the brightness of the 
heavens. The five objects of sense, the organs of sense, 
the gods of sense, as well as the soul, are all in their degree 
possessed of intelligence ; ^ but the great enlightener of 
them all is the eternal Rdma, the lord of Avadh. Whatever 
in the world is susceptible of enlightenment, Rama enligh- 
tens ; every delusion is subject to him : in him centre all 
knowledge and virtue ; and by his truth the dulness of 
material creation shines bright as the Ideal, the senses 
contributing to the deception. 

Doha 124:. /' 

Though false as the gleam of a polished shell, or as a 
mirage caused by the sun's rays, yet no one, at any time, 
past, present or future, can rid himsf^lf of the delusion. 

1 Even inanimate nature has an uncons(;i()us intellifretice ; reason. 
' order and activity pervade the material universe, the mineral as well 
as the animal and vegetable kingdoms. Mivart. 



78 CHILDHOOD. 

(haupdi 188. 
And such is the world in its connection with Hari : yet 
though unreal it can cause pain; in the same way as a 
man who dreams that his head is cut off, is in pain till he 
awakes. None can declare his beginning or his end, though 
holy scripture has hymned him as best it could. He moves 
without feet, I he hears without ears, and works in manifold 
ways, yet without hands. Without a mouth lie enjoys all 
tastes, and without a voice is the aptest of speakers ; he can 
see without eyes, touch without limbs, and without a nose 
catch every scent. His actions are thus in every way 
supernatural, and his greatness is utterly beyond descrip- 
tion. ^ 
Doha 125. m^ 

He whom Scripture and Philosophy have thus sungf, and 
whom the saints love to contemplate ; even the Lord GoD ; 
he is the son of Dasarath, the beneficent King of Kosala. 
Chaupdi 119. 

By the power of his name I exalt to the regioris of the 
blest any creature whom I see dying at K^si ; he is the 
sovereign of all creation, animate and inanimate, my lord 
Raghubar, who reads all hearts. By repeating his name 
the most abandoned of sinners cancels the accumulated 
crimes of many previous existences ; and by those who 
devoutly meditate upon him the ocean of life is as easily 
crossed as a puddle in the road. Rama, Bhav<ini, is the 
Supreme Spirit, and the error to which you gave utterance 
on this point was most improper. Such doubt, when 
entertained in the heart, destroys knowledge, sobriety and 
every virtue." On hearing Siva's luminous exposition, the 
whole structure of heresy fell to pieces ; her love and devo- 
tion to Raghupati grew strong, and her sore incredulity 
passed away. 



1 None hath beheM hini, none, 
8epn above other goHs anH shapes of things, 
Swift without feet and fl/ing without wings. 

Swinburns. 



CHILDHOOD. 7Q 

Dohd 126. ft^ 3 

Again and again, clasping her lord's lotus feet and sup- 
pliantly folding her hands, her whole soul overflowing with 
affection, Girij^ thus spoke and said, 
Chaupdi 120. 

" My grievous delusion, like the feverish heat of autumn, 
has yielded to the moon-like spell of your voice. In your 
compassion you have removed all my doubt, and 1 now 
understand the very Rdma. By my lord's mercy my dis- 
tress is all gone, and I am made glad by his favour. Now 
regarding me as your own immediate servant, though I 
am but a poor ignorant woman, if I have really found grace 
in your sight, reply to those my former questions. If R^ma 
is the invisible and immortal God, without parts and 
passions, and whose temple is the heart, why did he take 
the form of a man ? Declare and explain this to me." On 
hearing Umd's modest speech, and perceiving her sincere 
desire to be instructed in Rama's history, 

Ihhd 127. /^*/ 

The all-wise Sankara, the destroyer of Kdmadeva, was 
glad of heart, and with many words of praise was thus 
pleased to speak, ^ 

Sorathd 11- 13. ^^>'"'' f^^ 

" Listen, Bhavani, while 1 recite in auspicious strains 
the Rdm-charit-manas, or pure lake of Rdma's deeds, as of 
old Bhusundi^ declared it in the hearing of Garur, the king 
of the birds. First I will relate the manner of their exalted 
converse, after which you shall hear of Rdma's incarnation 
and his all-glorious and sinless deeds. Hari's virtues and 
names are infinite, and his history and his manifestation 
beyond number or measure ; I tell them as best I can; 
listen, Umd with respect. 

1 Kdka-kihnsuiifii, oiiinuall}^ a 5Su(1ra of A.yodhya, was by virtue of his 
birth in that bolv place and the intercession of a saint of Ujjain born again 
as a Bid man His exclusive demotion to H&ma could not suffer him to 
lisien to the Hishi Lonias whtn he made Brahin the theme of his discourse, 
and the sage was so annoyed that he cbanfred him for a time into a crow 
{Adka). His story is told at length in Book VI (. 



80 CHILDHOOD. 

Chaupdi 121. 
Listen, GirijA, to the grateful tale of Hari's great and 
holy acts, as they liave been recorded in the scriptures. The 
cause of Hari's incarnation is not to be dogmatically 
defined ; for to my mind, Bhavdni, E^ma is beyond the 
grasp of intellect, or soul, or speech ; yet, as saints and 
sages, the Veda and the Purtinas have partly and to the 
extent of their capacity explained the matter, so I, fair 
dame, will now declare to you the cause as I understand it. 
Whenever virtue decays, and evil spirits, waxing strong in 
pride, work iniquity that cannot be told, to the confusion 
of Br^hmans, cows, gods and earth itself, the compassion- 
ate Lord assumes some new bodily form ; relieves the 
distress of the faithful ; 

Dohd 128. 

Destroys the evil spirits ; reinstates the gods ; maintains 
the way of salvation ; and diffuses the brightness of his 
glory throughout the world. Such are the motives of Rama's 
incarnations. 

Chaupdi 122. 

Singing his glory, the saints escape the waves of life, 
and it is for their sake only that the Compassionate assumes 
a body. The causes of Rtima's incarnations have been 
many and various, each more wonderful than the other. 
I will relate one or two of his previous births, if, Bhavdni, 
you are prepared to give me your devout attention. Hari 
had once two loving door-keepers, the famous Jaya and 
Bijaya : both brothers, in consequence of a Brahman's 
curse, were born again in the form of the malignant demons 
Hiranya-kasipu and Hirany^ksha, who became celebrated 
throughout the world as the tamers of the pride of the king 
of heaven. Incarnate as a Boar, he triumphed in battle 
over the first illustrious hero and destroyed him, and again, 
in the Narsinh avatAr, slew the second ; the fame of the 
laithful PrahUd is widespread. 



If 



CHILDHOOD. 8^1 



Dohd 129. 

Then the evil spirits went and took birth as the bold 
and powerful warriors Kumbha-karn and R^van, who, as 
all the world knows, subdued even the gods. 
Chaupdi 123. 

Though killed by the deity, they did not attain to salva- 
tion, for the Brahman had doomed them to three births. 
They then were once the cause why the cherisher of the 
faithful assumed a body, and at that time his parents 
Kasyapa and Aditi were incarnate as Dasarath and 
Kausalya of glorious memory. Thus it was that in that 
age of the world he descended from heaven and wrought 
savingf deeds on earth. In another age, seeing the gods 
distrest and waging ineffectual battle with Jalandhar, 
Sambhu warred against him times without number, but 
could not subdue the valiant giant, for the exceeding virtue 
of his wife protected him against Pur^ri's every attack. 

Dohd 130. 
By a stratagem the Lord broke her vow and effected 
the will of the gods. When she discovered the deception, 
then in her wrath she cursed him. 

Chaupdi 124. 
And Flari did according to her curse ; for though the 
Lord God, he is full of playfulness and of mercy. So Jalan- 
dhar was born as Rdvan, and being killed in battle by Rdma 
attained to high glory. This then was the cause of one birth 
and the reason why Rama then assumed a human form. 
Each avatiir has its legend, which the poets have sung in 
various ways and according to tradition. *' On one occasion 
it was N^rad's curse that caused him to become incarnate." 
At this saying Girijd was astounded, " Ndrad is a wise 
saint and a votary of Vishnu's ; what was his reason for 
uttering a curse ? What offence had Lakshmi's lord com- 
mitted ? Tell me the whole story, PurAri ; it is passing 
strange that a saint should be subject to passion." 

R-14 



^ CHILDHOOD. 

Dohd 131. irf 

Then answered Mahddeva with a smile, "There is 
neither wise wor fool ; man is ever such as Raghupati will 
have him to be. 

Sorathd 14. I^'^ 

I sing the glory of Rima; listen devoutly, Bharad- 
v^ja ; and do thou, Tulsi, put away the intoxication of 
pride and worship Raghundth, the destroyer of death. 
Chaupdi 125. 

In the Himalaya mountains is a very sacred cave close 
to the holy Ganges. Seeing this pure and delightful her- 
mitage, the divine sage N^rad was greatly pleased ; and as 
he gazed upon the beauty of the rocks and the forest glades 
he was filled with love to God, and as he thought upon 
Hari the curse was broken i and his spotless soul fell all at 
once into a trance. When the king of heaven saw the sage's 
state he feared, and in terms of high respect addressed 
himself to Kdmadeva, " Go, I beg, with your assistant.'* 
He then, the god of love, went very gladly ; but in Indra's 
mind was great alarm, for he thought,' The saint would 
rob me of my kingdom.' All the world over, a gallant or a 
miser is as much afraid of interference as is a thievish 

crow. 

Dohd 132. 
Like a wretched dog that on seeing a lion runs away 
with the dry bone it has in its mouth, for fear it should be 
taken from him, so was Indra in his shamelessness. 

Chaupdi 126. 
. When Love reached the hermitage, his deceptive 
power created a false spring. All the trees broke out into 
many-coloured blossoms, there was a murmuring of cuckoos 
and a humming of bees. A delightful air, soft, cool and 
fragrant, sprung up, fanning the flame of desire ; while 
Rambhd and the other heavenly nymphs, all well skilled 
in the art of love, began singing songs in every variety of 
1 The curse had been pronoanced by Daksba. 



ri 



CHILDHOOD. 83 



measure and disporting themselves in the dance with 
waving hands. When Love saw himself so well supported, 
he was glad and again manifested his creative power in 
diverse ways ; but his devices had no effect upon the saint ; 
and guilty Love began to tremble for himself. Who dare 
trespass on his bounds who has the great Ramapati for a 
guardian ? 

In dire dismay both Kamadeva and his accomplice 

confessed themselves defeated, and went and clasped the 

holy man's feet, addressing him in accents of the deepest 
humility. 

Chaupdi 127. 

There was no anger in Narad's soul, who in friendly 
terms replied to KAmadeva and reassured him. Then, bow- 
ing the head at his feet and accepting his commands, they 
both retired, the god and his companion ; and repairing to 
Indra's court there related all their own doings and the 
saint's clemency. As they listened to the tale all were as- 
tonished, and bowing the head to Hari extolled the saint. 
Then went N^rad to Siva, greatly proud of his victory over 
Love, and told him all Love's doings. In acknowledgment 
of his affection Mah*ideva gave him good advice," great 
saint, again and again I beg of you never to repeat to Hari 
this story that you have now told me : should it happen to 
be brought forward, keep it as dark as possible." 
Doha 134. 

Good as the advice was, it did not please Ndrad. 
Bharadvdja, listen to the strange recital and see the strength 
of Hari's will. 

Chaupdi 128. 

What R^ma wills to have done is done, and there is no 
one who can alter it. As Sambhu's words did not please 
the saint, he went straight to Brahma's court, and, to the 
accompaniment of the famous lute that he had in his hand, 
sang right through the excellent song of Hari's praises. 



84 CHILDHOOD. 

Then he passed on to the milky ocean, where abides Vishnu, 
the glory of revelation. The Lord ran to meet him in great 
joy, and side by side they sat ogether. Said the sovereign 
of the universe with a smile, * Reverend sir, 'tis long 
since you last did me this honour.' Then Ndrad declared all 
Love's doings, though Siva had beforehand cautioned him ; 
the deceptive power of Raghupati is so strong that there is 
no man living who can resist it. i , 

Dohd 135. V ^ 

Then spoke the great god, with an austere look, but in 
flattering terms, *' Seli-delusion and the intoxicating arro- 
gance of love shall perish at the rmembrance of your 
doings.^ 

Ghaupdi 129. 

Know, saint, that infatuation prevails in a soul that is 
devoid of wisdom and self-control; but what pain can Love 
cause to one so steadfast in asceticism as yourself? " Said 
Ndrad in his pride, ' It is all your favour, my Lord.' The 
Compassionate saw into his heart and thought within him- 
self,** Pride like a huge tree has sprouted in his soul : I 
must at once tear it up by the roots ; ever to relieve my ser- 
vants is the vow that I have made. I will surely contrive 
some sportive device on behalf of the saint." Then Ndrad 
bowed his head at Hari's feet and took his leave, swelling 
with pride ; while Vishnu gave orders to the spirit of delu- 
sion. Listen now to his strange contrivance. 
Dohd 136. . 's^^ 

He constructed on the road a city a hundred leagues in 
circumference, with everything more perfect than even in 
Vishnu's own capital, 

1 "Siva's speech is so ambiguously worded that it really conveys a censure, 
while Ndrad interprets it as a compliment. The hidden meaning is : 
Hereafter when you Reflect upon this incident and all its consequences, 
you will take a lesson by it and be more humble, remembering your weakness; 
but the more obvious meaning of the words and that in which Narad took 
them is : By meditating on your triumph over Love, other men will triumph 
too. 



CHILDHOOD. 85 

Ghaupdi 130. 

And inhabitbd by such graceful men and women that 
you would take tliem all to be incarnations of K^madeva and 
Rati. The king of the city, by name Sila-nidhi, had horses, 
elephants and troops beyond number ; his royal pomp like 
that of a hundred Indras ; himself a centre of power, policy 
and magnificence. His daughter Visva-mohaui was so 
beautiful that even Lakshmi would be put to the blush and 
by Hari's delusive power was in every way so exquisite that 
no words could describe her. As the princess was selecting 
a husband, kings beyond number came as suitors. The 
saint, too, came to the fairy city and began making inquiries 
of the people. When he had heard all that was going on, he 
proceeded to the palace, where the king most respectfully 
gave him a seat, . 

Doha 137. / i>^ 

And then brought his daughter for him to see, saying, 

* Tell me, good sir, after consideration, all that is good or bad 

about her.' 

Ghaupdi 131. 

When Ndrad saw her beauty, he forgot his vow of chas- 
tity and continued long gazing upon her. Her features 
quite fascinated him ; yet he would not in words express his 
heart's delight. " Her bridegroom must be one of the im- 
mortals, invincible in battle, reverenced by all creation ; such 
a one must Sila-nidhi's daughter wed." But, though he 
calculated her fortune thus correctly, he kept it to himself, 
and after saying something or other to the king, to the effect 
that his daughter would be of good fortune, he went away 
full of anxiety, considering,*' What scheme can I devise 
now, so as to make her marry me? No time is this for prayers 
or penance ; good God, how am I to get the girl ? 
Dohd 138. C ' 

I must on this occasion make myself exceedingly charm- 
ing and beautiful, so that the princess may be pleased 
when she sees me and give me the wreath of victory. 



86 CHILDHOOD. 

Chaupdi 132. 

I will ask Hari for the gift of beauty ; in going to him 
there will be much delay ; but I have no other such friend, 
and this is an opportunity for him to help me" So he 
offered up a fervent prayer and the merciful Lord appeared 
to him in a vision. The saint's eyes brightened at the sight 
and he rejoiced in heart, saying,* My object will be accom- 
plished.' He then with the utmost humility told his tale, 
and added, '*0, my Lord, be gracious and assist me. 
Bestow on me beauty equal to your own ; for in no other 
way can I get possession of her. Make haste to accomplish 
my success ; for lo, I am your slave." When the Compas- 
sionate saw the mighty influence of the deception he had 
wrought, he smiled to himself : 

Dohd 139. 

" Hear, N^rad ; I will assuredly bring about your 

highest good that and naught else; nor shall my words 

prove vain. 

Chaupdi 133. 

If a sick man in the weariness of disease ask for what 
will harm, mark me, holy ascetic, the physician will not 
grant it. In the same way will I act as is best for you." 
So saying the Lord vanished. The saint was so demented 
by the power of the delusion that he did not understand 
Hari's hidden meaning, but hastened at once to the spot 
where the marriage arena had been prepared. The R^jas 
were seated rank upon rank, each with his retinue in grand 
attire. The saint thought joyfully within himself, * My 
beauty is such that she will never leave me to wed another.* 
But the merciful God, the saint's true friend, had made him 
hideous beyond all description. Every one recognized him 
as N^rad and bowed the head, knowing nothing of what had 
taken place. 

Doha 140. 

Now there were there two of Siva's attendants who 
knew the whole secret. Dressed like Br^hmans, they seemed 



II 



CHILDHOOD. 87 



to be spectators of the show, walking here and there and 

looking about. 

Chaupdi 134. 
Both went and sat down in the same group with the saint 
so proud of his beauty ; and in their Br^hmanical attire 
they attracted no notice. They say in jest so that Ndrad 
might hear, 'Hari has given this man such excellent beauty 
that the princess will be charmed with his appearance and 
will certainly wed him, taking him for Hari himself.' The 
saint was so utterly subjugated by passion that Sambhu's 
servants could laugh and jeer as they liked, and though he 
heard their mockery, his intellect was too bewildered to 
understand it. No one perceived the transformation save 
only the princess, who, on beholding him just as he was with 
his monkey face and deformed body, was quite disgusted at 
the sight, 

Dohd 141. 

And with her handmaids glided like a swan through 
the long line of kings with the wreath of victory in her 
lotus hands. 

Chaupdi 135. 

She would not let her eyes rest for a moment on the spot 
where NArad was sitting in his pride. The saint in his 
anxiety kept fidgetting about, and Siva's attendants smiled 
to see the state he was in. Then entered the Compassionate, 
in form as a king, and gladly the princess cast on him the 
garland. Thus Lakshmi's lord carried off the bride, to 
the despair of the assembled kings. The saint was much 
disturbed ; in his infatuation his reason was quite gone, 
like a diamond dropt out of a hole in a bag. Then Siva's 
attendants said with a smile, 'Get a glass and look at 
yourself; and having so said both ran away in great alarm. 
The saint looked at his reflection in the water. When he 
saw himself, he was furious and cursed them with a grievous 
curse : 



88 CHILDHOOD. 

J \ 

Dohd 142. ^' " 

* Go false and guilty pair, and take birth as demons of 
the night. Be this your reward for mocking me ; mock 
again a saint, if you dare.' 

Chaupdi 136. 

Looking again in the water he saw himself in his proper 
form ; yet still he was not content at heart, but his lip 
quivered with rage, and in haste he betook himself to 
Vishnu. 'Shall I curse him or kill myself, seeing that he 
has made a mock of me throughout the world ?' On the way 
the conqueror of demons met him, and with him RAma 
and the princess. With a smile and in gentle tones he said, 
* Where goes the saint, like one distracted ?' On hearing 
these words, his anger rose, and infatuation utterly mas- 
tered his reason, -*' You never could bear to look upon 
another's prosperity; your envy and deceit are notorious; 
at the churning of the ocean you drove Siva mad and made 
the gods quafE the poisoned cup. . 

Dohd 143. \\r^ 

Intoxicating liquor was the demon's share, and the 
poison was for Mah^deva ; but for yourself Rima and the 
Kauatuhha jewel. You have ever been selfish and perverse 
and treacherous in your dealings. 

Chaupdi 137. 

Utterly self-willed, with no one over you, and bent on 
doing whatever comes into your mind; confounding the 
good and exalting the bad ; with a heart incapable either of 
surprise or pleasure ; trying every one with your tricks, 
without the slightest consideration and in mere lightness of 
heart. Neither good deeds nor bad in any way affect you, 
nor has any one up to the present ever succeeded in restrain- 
ing you. Now for this fine treat that you have given me you 
shall receive a due return. Be born in the form in which 
you have now imposed upon me ; this is my curse. And as 
you have made me like a monkey, you shall have monkeys 
for helpmates ; and in the same way as you have sorely 



CHILDHOOD. 89 

wronged me, so shall you be distrest by the loss of your 
wife.'* A* 

Doha 144. ! ^'^ 

The lord gladly accepted the curse, thus working the 
will of the gods, and in his compassion withdrew the in- 
fluence of his deceptive power. 

Ghaupdi 138. 

When this was removed, there appeared neither RamA 
nor the princess ; and the saint fell in great fear at the feet 
of Hari, ever ready to heal the sorrows of a suppliant, cry- 
ing," May my curse be made of no effect." Said the gra- 
cious god, ' It is my will.' Said the saint,' I have spo- 
ken many injurious words ; how shall my guilt be expiated?' 
" Go and repeat Sankara's hundred names, and your soul 
will at once be relieved. There is no one so dear to me as 
Siva; never let your faith in this truth be shaken. He on 
whom Siva will not show mercy shall never know true love 
to me. Think on this as you wander over the earth; the 
delusion haunts you no longer." \ i 

DohdU5. \V>^ 

Having thus reassured the saint, the lord disappeared, 
and N^rad took his way to Paradise, chanting Rama's prai- 
ses as he went. 

Chaupdi 139. 

Siva's two followers saw him on the road rejoicing and 
in his right mind. In great alarm they drew near, and 
clasping his feet made their supplication : " great saint 
we are not Brdhmans, but servants of Mah^deva, and have 
reaped the fruit of our great sin : in your mercy remove the 
curse." Said the compassionate Ndrad, " You must both 
be born as demons of vast power, majesty and strength ; 
but when you have subdued the universe by the might of 
your arm, Vishnu shall take upon him human form, and 
dying in battle at his hands you shall attain to salvation, 
nor ever be born again." After bowing their head at his feet, 
both went their way and in due course were born as demons. 

R-15 



90 CHILDHOOD. 

!i < 
Doha 146. 1 iJ 

In one age this was the reason why the lord became in- 
carnate, to gladden the gods, to comfort the saints, and to 
ease earth of its burdens. 

Chaiipdi 140. 

Thus Hari's births and actions are many and various, 
but all of them glorious and beneficent. In every age he 
has manifested himself and wrought many excellent works ; 
and on each occasion great saints have sung his acts in 
holy strains of choicest verse, relating marvellous histories 
of diverse kinds, which the wise h^ar without any amaze- 
ment. For as Hari is without end, so are there endless 
verses about him, which are heard and repeated by 
scripture and the faithful. The delightful adventures of 
R^mchandra could not all be sung in a myriad ages. This 
story that I have now told, Bhavdni shows how Hari's decep- 
tive power can infatuate even saints and sages. He, the 
lord, is sportive, gracious to suppliants, accessible to his 
servants, and a remover of all sorrow, i o 
Sorathd 15. ^ v 

There is neither god, man, nor saint whom unreality 
has not infatuated. Reflect upon this and worship the 
great master of the unreal. 

Chaupdi 141. 

Hear, daughter of the Himalaya, a second reason, 
which I will proceed to relate at full length, why the un- 
created, the passionless, the incomparable Brahm became 
King of Kosala. The lord, whom you saw roaming in the 
forest with his brother in hermit's attire ; at whose doings, 
Bhav^ni, you in Sati's form lost your senses, and still to 
this day have a touch of disease ; the recital of his adven- 
tures will heal all your sickness. All his sportive acts in 
that incarnation I am now about to tell as best I can." 
BharadvAja, on hearing Sankara thus speak, the modest 
and affectionate Um^ smiled for joy, while her lord con- 
tinued, ** the cause of the incarnation. 



CHILDHOOD. 91 

Dohd 147. ^ ^ " ' 

I am now about to explain (listen, great saint, with 
attention to the delightful story of Rdma, which can cleanse 
all the stains of the world and bring man to heaven). 
Chaupdi 142. 

Manu, the son of the self-existing, had to wife Satariipa, 
and of them were born the whole human race ; even to this 
day the fame of their wirtue and conjugal fidelity is cele- 
brated in the scriptures. Their son was KingUttdnap^da, 
who begot Hari's faithful client Dhruva. The younger son, 
by name Priya-vrata, is mentioned with praise both by the 
Vedas and Pur^nas. Their daughter, Devahuti, became 
the devoted wife of Saint Kardama, and in her wpmb the 
eternal Lord God, in his mercy and compassion, planted 
Kapila, the author of the S4nkhya philosophy, the divine 
exponent of the theory of entities. This Manu reigned a 
long while, keeping all God's commandments. 
Sorathd 16. | ^' t 

But in a palace complete detachment from the senses is 

impracticable. Old age came upon him, and he thought 

with grief, ' My life has been spent without any true 

devotion to Hari.' 

Chaupdi 143. 

Then perforce he resigned the throne to his son, and 

with his queen repaired to the forest, to Naimisha, famous 

among all holy places as specially sacred and liberal of 

success. Glad of heart. King Manu sought the spot where 

dwelt the company of saints and sages ; and as the resolute 

IP P^ir passed along the way they seemed incarnations of 

Wisdom and Faith. On reaching the bank of the Gomati, 

they bathed with delight in the clear stream ; and there 

the inspired saints and sages came to meet them, recognizing 

in the king a champion of religion. Devoutly they took 

them to visit each different shrine, and with wasted body, 

clad in hermit's robes, they are ever in the assembly of the 

faithful listening to the Pur^nas. 



92 CHILDHOOD. 

r ' ' 

Dohd 148. 

Devoutly repeating the twelve-lettered charm i , and 
with their whole soul directed to the lotus feet of V^sudev^. 
Ghawpdi 144. 

Meditating on the Supreme Brahm, they live on leaves 
and fruits and roots. Then doing penance as before Hari, 
they gave up roots and fruits for water only. In heart an 
endless craving, " that we might see with our eyes the 
very God, without parts or passions ; without beginning or 
end ; whom the preachers of salvation contemplate ; whom 
the Vedas define as the unutterable ; the pure spirit, with- 
out attributes and beyond all comparison ; as part of vvhom 
are produced in various forms the lords Sambhu, Brahma, 
and Vishnu. Yet so great a god submits to his own 
servants, and for their sake assumes in sport a body. If 
this be true, as the scriptures have declared, our desire 
will of a surety be accomplished." ^ a 
Dohd 149. \ I ^ 

In this way they spent six thousand years living only 
on water ; and then seven thousand, living only on air. 
Ghawpdi 145. 

For ten thousand years they gave up even this and 
remained both standing on one leg. Now Brdhma, Hari 
and Hara saw this interminable penance and repeatedly 
came near to Manu and tempted him, saying, ' Ask your 
boon ;' but for all their persuasion he was too steadfast to 
move. Though his body was reduced to a skeleton, there 
was not the least pain in his soul. Then the omniscient 
lord knew that the king and queen were his servants and 
had this single object in practicing such austerities. A 
solemn voice full of ambrosial grace sounded in the sky, 
saying : Ask, ask ; a voice so blithe that it would wake the 
dead. As it dropped upon the ears of their soul, their 
bodies became again as comely and stout as if they had only 
that day left their home. 



1 The twelve-lettered charm is Om Namo Bhagavate VAmderaya. 



CHILDHOOD. 93 

Dohd 150. I \ 

As the ambrosial voice rang in their ears, their body 
quivered and thrilled ; and falling on the ground in an ir- 
repressible transport of love Manu thus spoke, 
Ghaupdi 146. 

" Hearken, thou that art as the tree of paradise or 

the sacred cow to thy servants ; the dust on whose feet is 

ever worshipped by Brahma, Hari and Hara ; accessible to 

the faithful ; bounteous of all good ; protector of suppliants ; 

lord of all creation : if, friend of the friendless, I have 

found fav^our in thy sight, then in thy mercy grant me this 

boon : Let me with mine own eyes behold thee in that form 

in which thou dwellest in Siva's breast, which the saints 

desire to see ; the swan in the lake of Bhiisundi's soul; the 

sum and the negation of all attributes ; the theme of the 

Veda : do me this grace, thou that healest the woes of 

every suppliant." This gentle, submissive and affectionate 

speech of the wedded pair went to the heart of the generous 

and merciful god ; and the sovereign of the universe 

manifested himself, i ^ / u 

Dohd 151. ! / ^ 

In hue as the lotus or the sapphire ; dark as a rain- 
cloud ; of such lustrous form that a myriad Loves could not 

be compared to it, 

Ghaupdi 147. 

With a face perfect in beauty like the autumnal moon ; 

with lovely cheeks and chin and dimpled neck, red lips and 

gleaming teeth, and a nose and smile more radiant than a 

moonbeam ; eyes bright as a lotus bud and a glance to 

fascinate the heart ; brows surpassing Love's bow ; on the 

forehead a sectarial mark and glistening star ; golden fish 

in his ears and a bright crown on his head ; crisp curling 

hair like a swarm of bees ; on his breast the Srivatsa jewel 

and a long wreath of sweet wild flowers, and jewelled 

adornments about his neck ; a waist like a lion, a comely 

Brdhmanical thread, and exquisite clasps upon his arms, 



94 CHILDHOOD. 

long and round as an elephant's trunk ; with a qUiver at 
his side and bow and arrow in his hand ; 

Dohd 152. \'|^ 

His yellow apparel more lustrous than the lightning ; 
his body charmingly dimpled, and his navel like a bee 
hovering over the dark wave of the Jamund ; 

Ghaupdi 148- 

His feet beautiful beyond description, lotus haunt of the 
bee-like souls of the saints. On his left side shines in 
equal glory the Primal Energy, queen of beauty, mother of 
the world ; of whose members are born countless Umas and 
R^mas and Brihmanis, all alike perfect ; by the play of 
whose eyebrows a world flashes into existence, even Slta, 
enthroned at Rama's side. As Manu and 8atanipa beheld 
this vision of Hari in all his beauty, gazing fixedly with 
open eyes, they adored his incomparable magnificence, nor 
could be satiated with the sight. Overcome with delight 
and transported out of themselves, they fell flat on the 
ground, clasping his feet in their hands. But the gracious 
lord putting his lotus hand upon their heads quickly raised 
them up, ^[^ 

Dohd 153. M 

And again said, "Be assured that you have found 
favour with me : ask whatever boon you will, the largest 
gift you can think of." 

Ghaupdi 149. 

On hearing the lord's words they clasped their hands in 
prayer, and taking courage thus spoke in timid accents, 
" lord, we have seen your lotus feet, and our every 
object has been accomplished. Yet one longing remains, 
and I know not whether to describe it as easy or difficult of 
attainment. It is easy, my master, for you to give; but so 
far as my meanness is concerned, it is difficult. Like a 
beggar who has found the wishing-tree, but trembles to ask 
for too good fortune, not realizing its full power, so my 



CHILDHOOD. 95 

heart is troubled by doubt. my god, you read all hearts 

and know what I wish ; grant me my desire." " king, 

fear not, but ask of me ; there is nothing I would not 

give you." , r^ I 

Doha 15^. I j I 

" gracious lord, I will declare honestly the crowning 
boon ; for what concealment can there be ? I would have a 
son like you." 

Ghaupdi 150. 

On seeing his love and hearing his sincere words, said 
the (Jompassionate, " So be it.*""^ Where can I go to find 
your equa l: ?^ '**'I myself, king, will be born as your 
son." Then seeing Satariipa with her hands still clasped, 
" lady, ask whatever boon you please." " my lord, the 
boon my husband has wisely asked is what I too should 
most desire. But it is great presumption ; though in your 
clemency you have confirmed it. You are father of all the 
gods, the lord of the world, the supreme spirit, the omnis- 
cient ; and therefore my mind doubts ; and yet the Lord's 
words cannot fail. my god, the bliss that is enjoyed and 
the future state that is attained by your own servants 
Dolici 155. 

In your mercy grant to me even that bliss, that state, 
that devotion, that love to your feet, that knowledge, and 
that existence." 

Ghaupdi 151. 

Hearing this modest and deeply touching petition, the 
Compassionate gently replied : " Fear not; whatever your 
mind desires that I have granted. mother, your super- 
natural wisdom by my favour shall never fail." Then 
again spoke Manu, bowing at his feet, " I too have an- 
other petition, my lord. Is there any one who will not call 
me fool for devoting myself to your feet simply on account 
of a son ? As a snake's hood without a jewel, or a fish 
without water, so is my life dependent upon you." Begging 
this boon, he remained clasping his feet till the All-merciful 



96 



CHILDHOOD. 



said," Be it so : now, as I order, go and dwell at Indra's 
capital. 

Sorathd 18. 

There,* father, enjoy yourself freely ; and again, when 
some time has passed, be born as the King of Avadh, and 
I will be your son. 

Chaupdi 152. 

Voluntarily assuming human guise, I will manifest 
myself in your house, father, and, with every element of 
my divinity incarnate will do great deeds for the consola- 
tion of my people. Blessed are they who listen reverently ; 
quitting the vain conceits of self they shall pass over the 
ocean of life. Even the Primal Energy, by whom the 
visible world was created, that self-same shadow of me here 
present, shall also become incarnate. I will accomplish 
your desire ; true is my promise, true, aye ! true." Again 
and again thus saying, the compassionate lord vanished 
out of sight, and the wedded pair, full of faith in the 
All-merciful, stayed for a while at the hermitage, and then, 
when their time was come, passed painlessly out of the 
body and took up their abode in Amaravati, the city of the 
immortals. 

Dohd 156. 

Such was the pious legend which Siva related to Um6. 
Hearken now, Bharadv^ja, to yet another motive for 
Rama's incarnation. 

Chaupdi 153. 

Listen, great saint, to the holy and hoary tale as it was 
repeated by Sambhu to Girij^. There is a world-famous 
country called Kekaya, and Satya-ketu was its king. A 
champion of religion ; a storehouse of good policy ; great 
in glory, magnificence, virtue and power. He had two 
gallant sons, staunch in fight, endowed with every good 
quality. The elder and the heir to the kingdom was named 
Prat^pabh^nu, and the other Ari-mardan, of unequalled 
strength of arm and like a rock to stand the brunt of battle. 



CHILDHOOD. 97 

The sympathy between brother and brother was perfect, 
and their mutual affection without either flaw or disguise.l 
To the elder son the king resigned the realm, and with- 
drew into the wood to devote himself to religion. 

Dohd 157. 
When Pratrfpa bhanu became king, proclamation was 
made throughout all the land : Ufider a sovereign so skilled 
in sacred lore not a speck of sin will be allowed anywhere. 
Chavpdi 154. 

The prime minister, Dharma-ruchi, a second Sukra,2 
was as devoted to the king as he was wise. With a 
prudent counsellor, valiant kinsmen, himself a glorious 
leader in war, with a countless host of horse and foot, and 
chariots and elephants, and fighting men beyond number, 
all eager for the fray, the king might well rejoice as he 
inspected his army * mid the clash of tumultuous music. 
Having selected an auspicious day, he marched forth 
with a special force, bent on universal conquest. In all his 
numerous battles, wherever they took place, the pride of 
kings was abased ; all the seven continents were reduced 
by the might of his arm, and their princes escaped only 
on payment of tribute. At that time Pratipa-bh^nu became 
the sole monarch of the whole round world. 
Doha 158. 

Having thus subdued the universe by the might of his 
arm, he re-entered his capital and devoted himself in turn 
to business, duty, love and religion. 
Chaupdi 155. 

The grateful earth, invigorated by Pratdpabh^nu*s 
sway, became a very Kdmadhenu, and all hissubjVcJs, both 
men and women, happy and free from all annoy, grew in 

1 I TRMfJ thii nouolet a.^ follows : Bhaihi hhaihi param snniti, nakal- 
d'uh-hbal-varjita priti : the penultimate syllable ot samiti being lengthened 
vietii gratia Such a license is of frequent occurrence ; but in this particu- 
lar instance in appears to have troubled the copyists, who have made vari- 
ous substitutions all more or less injurious to the sense. 

2 The regent of the planet Sukra (Venus) is the preceptor of the Daifcyas. 
or Titans. 

R-16 



^ 



y CHILDHOOD. 

virtue and beauty. The minister Dharma-ruchi devoted 
servant oE Hari, lovingly instructed his lord in state policy ; 
nor did the king ever fail in due reverence either to his 
spiritual teacher, or the gods, or the saints, or his departed 
ancestors, or the Brdhmans. All the duties which are 
enjoined upon kings in the Veda he carefully and gladly 
performed ; every day he made large offerings and heard 
the scriptures read, both the Veda and the Purdnas ; and 
he constructed many baths and wells and tanks, flower 
gardens and beautiful orchards, handsome monasteries 
and temples, and also restored every ancient shrine. 

Dohd 159. \9r^ 
For every single sacrifice enjoined in the scriptures or 
the Purdna the king in his zeal performed a thousand. 

Chaupdi 156. 

In his heart there was no aiming after advantage, but 
such was his supreme knowledge and intelligence that he 
dedicated to God the whole merit of all his thoughts, words, 
and actions. One day he mounted his gallant steed and 
went, with his retinue equipt for the chase, into a dense 
forest of the Vindhyachal mountains and killed many fine 
deer. As he ranged the wood, he spied a wild boar, show- 
ing amid the foliage like RAhu with the moon in his clutch ; 
its orb too large to bo contained in his mouth, though his 
rage will not suffer him to entirely disgorge it. The 
monstrous boar with its splendid tusks, as I have described 
them, and its vast limbs of immeasurable bulk, growled 
when he heard the tramp of the horse : it, too, at the sight 
started and pricked up its ears. 

Dohd 160. 



On seeing the huge boar, resembling some purple moun- 
tain-peak, the horse started aside, and it was only by much 
' spurring and persuasion that the king could prevent it from 
breaking away. 



li 



CHILDHOOD. 99 



Ghaupdi 157. 
When it saw the horse coming on with speed, the beast 
took to flight swift as the wind, keeping close to the ground 
as it went, and ever regarding the shaft which the king 
had at once fitted to his bow. Taking steady aim he let it 
fly ; but the boar saved himself by his wiliness, and rushed 
on now well in sight, and now altogether hidden, while the 
king in much excitement followed closely on his track. At 
length it reached a dense thicket impenetrable by horse or 
elephant. Though alone in the wood and distressed by his 
exertions, still the king would not abandon the chase; till 
the boar seeing him so determined slunk away into a deep 
cave. When the king perceived that there was no getting 
near him, he was quite sad, and moreover he had lost his 
way in this hunt through so great a forest. 

Doha 161. I ^ 
Hungry and thirsty and exhausted with fatigue the 
king and his horse kept searching in much distress for a 
stream or pond, and were half dead for want of water. 
Ghaupdi 158. 

As he wandered through the forest, he spied a hermi- 
tage where dwelt a king in disguise of a holy man. He 
had been despoiled of his kingdom by Prat^pa-bhAnu, and 
had left his army on the field of battle, knowing that his 
adversary's star was in the ascendant and his own in the 
decline. Too proud to meet the king, too much mortified 
to go home, nursing the rage in his heart, he like a beggar, 
though a prince, took up his abode in the wood in the garb 
of an anchorite. He at once recognized King Pratdpa- 
bh^nu as he drew near ; but the latter was too tired to 
recognize him, and looking only at his dress took him to 
be a holy man, and alighting from his horse saluted him ; 
he was, however, too astute to declare his name. 

Doha 162. 
Seeing the king to be faint with thirst, he pointed out 



100 CHILDHOOD. 

to him a fine pond, where he bathed and drank, both he 
and his horse, with much ghidness. 

Chaufdi 159. 
All his wparinpBs passed away and he was quite happy 
a^ain. The hermit took him to his cell and, as the sun 
had now set, showed him where he might rest ; but yet en- 
quired of him in courteous tones, "Who may you be, and 
why, thus young and beautiful, do you risk j^our life by 
roaming alone in the forest? You have all the marks of a 
great sovereign, and at the sight of you I am quite moved " 
* Know th^n, reverend sir, that I am the minister of King 
Pratdpabhdrju ; in pursuit of the chase I have lost my way, 
and by great good fortune have been brought into your 
presence. To get a sight of you was no easy matter, and I 
am satisfied that something good is about to befall me." 
Said the hermit, " My son, it is now dusk, and your city 
is seventy leagues away. ^ . <i^<^ 

Doha 163-4. lYl ^ 
The night is dark, the forest dense, and the road not 
easy to find. Tarry then here for to-day and start to- 
morrow at dawn." Says Tulsi Fate is furthered in its 
own way ; either you go to meet it, or itself comes and 
carries you off. 

Chaupdi 160. 
" Very well, my lord, I obey your command ; " and so 
saying the king tied up his horse to a tree and came and 
sat down. With many flattering speeches he bowed at his 
feet,' extolling his own good fortune, and at last in modest 
and winning terms put the question, "Regarding you, my 
lord, as a father, I make bold and beg of you to look upon 
me as your son and servant and to declare to me your 
name." Now the king did not recognize him, but he re- 
cognized the king, and was as false and crafty as the king 
was honest : moreover, being an enemy, and at the same 
time both a warrior by caste and of royal birth, he was 
bent on accomplishing his own ends, whether by fraud or 



CHILDHOOD. 101 

by right. In his enmity he was grieved to see the 
king's prosperity, and his heart within him burned as 
wiih the fire of a furnac^e ; but on hearing the prince's 
simple words he controlled his resentment and was glad at 
heart, ^^ 

Dohd 165. 1%^ 
and uttered yet another smooth but false and artful speech, 
" My name is now Bhikhari, a homeless beggar." 
Ghaupdi 101. 

Said the king, " Philosophers like you, with whom all 
self consciousness has been extinguished, ever conceal their 
own personality, and are in every way blessed, though 
their outer garb be wretched. Therefore the saints pro- 
claim aloud in men's ears that it is the poor whom Hari 
holds most dear. A poor and homeless beggar, such as 
you are, is an anxiety to Brdhma and Siva: at all events, 
I prostrate myself at your feet and beg of you to grant me 
your grace." When he saw the king's simple affection 
he waxed all the more confident, and won him over in 
every way, using words with a still greater show of friend- 
liness, " Hearken, king, while I relate the truth of the 
matter. I have for a long time dwelt here, 

Dohd 166. ^ ^ 
and till now neither has any one come to me, nor have I 
spoken to any one; for worldly honour is like a fire, and 
penance a forest for it to consume." 
Sorathd 19. 

Says Tulsi : Fools are deceived by fair appearances, 
but not wise men : though a peacock is fair to look upon 
and its voice is pleasant, i yet it devours the snake. 
Chaupdi 162. 

"Therefore I live retired in the world, and, save Hari, 
have no care whatever. The Lord knows everything with- 



l The peacock's voice can scarcely be called pleasant in itself, but it 
may be so by association as a sifjn of the coming rains Thus Cowper : 
" Sounds inharnoonious in themselves and harsh, 
Yet heard in scenes where peace for ever reigns, 
And only there, please highly for their sake." 



102 OHILDHOOD. 

out being told ; so what is to be gained by conciliating the 
world ? But you are so good and sensible that I cannot 
but love you in return for the faith and confidence you have 
placed in me : and if I were to send you away, my son, it 
would be a very grievous sin on my part." The more the 
hermit talked of his detachment from the world, the more 
trustful grew the king ; till at last the false anchorite, see- 
ing him completely in his power, said, "My name, 
brother, is Ektanu " (one body). The king bowed and 
asked further, "Tell me, I pray, the meaning of this 
name, for surely I am your servant." 

Dohd 167. I ^/^ 

*' At the first dawn of creation my birth took place, and 
my name was Ektanu, for this reason that I have never 
taken any other body. 

Chaupdi 163. 

" Marvel not in your mind, my son ; for nothing is too 
difficult for penance. By the power of penance the Creator 
created the world ; by the power of penance Vishnu is the 
great redeemer; by the power of penance Siva works de- 
struction ; and to penance there is nothing in the world im- 
possible." The king, as he listened, was charmed, for he 
commenced relating old-world stories ; many legends of 
pious deeds and holy lives ; examples of asceticism and 
divine wisdom ; tales of the birth, preservation, and des- 
tructi(m of the world, and innumerable other marvellous 
narratives. The king, as he listened, yielded completely 
to his influence, and proceeded to tell him his true name. 
Said the hermit, ** king, I knew you ; though you 
tried to practise a trick upon me, I took it quite in good 
part. . 

Sorathd 20. V ^ ^ 

" Hear, king ; it is a political maxim that on some oc- 
casions a king should not declare his name ; and when I 
observed your excellent sagacity I conceived a great affec- 
tion for you. 



pr 



CHILDHOOD. 103 



Chaupdi 164. 
" Your name is Pratdpa-bh^nu, and your father is king 
Satyaketu. sir, a spiritual man knows everything, there 
is no need of another's telling. Ah, my son, when I beheld 
your natural goodness, your faith and trustfulness, and 
your knowledge of state-craft, there sprung up an affection 
for you in my soul, and I told you my own story as you 
asked me. Now I am well pleased with you ; doubt not, 
but ask whatever you will." On hearing these fair words 
the king was delighted, and clasping his feet entreated 
him suppliantly, " merciful saint, by the sight of you 
the four objects of humaa d^^sire have all come within my 
grasp Yet, as I see my lord so gracious, I will ask an im- 
possible boon and be happy for ever. 

Dohd 168. \^^ 
May I die of old age, free from bodily pain ; may I 
never be conquered in battle : may earth rid of every foe 
be all under my sole sway, and may my empire last for a 
hundred ages." 

Chaupdi 165. 
Said the anchorite," king, so be it ; there is, how- 
ever, one difficulty ; hear it. The age shall bow down be- 
fore you, with the sole exception of the Br^hmans. By the 
virtue of penance a BrAhman is ever powerful, and there 
is none who can deliver from his wrath If you can reduce 
them to your will, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahddeva will also 
be at your command. But against a Brahman might is of 
no avail : with both arms raised to heaven I tell you this 
solemn truth. Hearken, king, if you escape a Brdhman's 
curse, your destruction shall never be." On hearing his 
promise the king was glad," Then, my lord, my destruc- 
tion will never be ; by your favour, most gracious sir, I 
shall be prosperous for all time." i^ 

Dohd 169. ^ ^ '^ 
" Amen," said the false hermit, and added with crafty 



104 CHILDHOOD. 

intent, *' If you let any one know of your losing your way 

and your meeting with me, that will not be my fault. 

Ghaupdi 166. 

'* For I warn you, sir, that it is most inexpedient to 

repeat the matter : if it come to a third pair of ears^ I tell 

you true it will be your ruin. If you divulge this secret, or 

if a Brahman curse you, you are undone, Pratdpa-bh^nu. 

When Hari and Hara are wroth, wretched man has no other 

way of escape." " True, my lord," said the king:, clasping 

his feet ; " who can deliver from the wrath of a Bi^liman or 

a spiritual director ? The guru can save from Brahma's 

anger, but if the guru himself be wroth, there is none in the 

world that can save. If I do not follow your advice, I have 

not the slightest doubt that I shall perish ; but my soul is 

disturbed by one fear ; the curse of a Brahman is something 

most terrible. c 

Doho 170. " 

"Of your great goodness, tell me in what way I can 

win over the Brahmans ; for except you, my gracious lord, 

T have no other friend." 

Chaupdi 167. 

"Hearken, king, there are diverse expedients among 
men, but hard to put in practice and of doubtful issue. 
There is, however, one very simple plan, though even this 
involves a difficulty. Its contrivance depends upon me, 
and for me to go to your capital is out of the question ; for 
to this day from the time I was born I have never entered 
house or village. If I do not go, it will be a misfortune for 
you ; and thus I am in a dilemma." The king replied in 
gentle tones, " It is, my lord, a maxim of scripture that 
the great show kindness to the small ; thus mountains ever 
bear tiny grasses on their head ; the fathomless ocean bears 
on its front the floating foam, and earth on its head bears 
the dust." ^ 

Dohd 171. \\ ' 

Thus saying and embracing his feet, the king cried, 



CHILDHOOD. 105 

" Be gracious, my lord, ever pitiful to the faithful in dis- 
tress, and take this trouble on my behalf." 
Chaupdi 168. 
Perceiving that the king was altogether under his influ- 
ence, the hermit, the' arch-deceiver, said, -" Hearken, 
king ; I tell you truly there is nothing in the world I can- 
not do, and as you show yourself in thought, word and 
action to be devoted to me, I will assuredly accomplish 
your object for you. The power of magical devices, 
penance and spells works only when secrecy is maintained. 
If, king, I act as cook and serve, without any one know- 
ing me, whoever tastes the food so prepared shall become 
amenable to your orders ; and, further, any one who eats in 
their house will, I tell you, be in your power. Go now and 
carry out this scheme : make a vow for a whole year, 

Dohd 172. \0^% 
and every day entertain a new set of a hundred thousand 
Brihmans with their families ; while I, as long as the vow 
lasts, will provide the daily banquet. 

Chaupdi 169. 
" In this way, king, there will be very little trouble, 
and all the Br^hmans will be in your power. They again 
will perform sacrificial services, and thus the gods, too, will 
be easily won over. And I will give you a sign. I will not 
come in this dress, but by my delusive power I will bring 
away your family priest, and by the virtue of penance will 
make him look like myself and keep him here for the year ; 
while I in his form will manage everything for you. The 
night is far gone, so now take rest ; on the third day we will 
meet again. While you are asleep I, by my penitential 
power, will convey you home, both you and your horse. 

Dohd 173. ^ '' ^ 
" I will then come in the form I have told you, and you 
will recognize me when I call you on one side and remind 
you of all this." 

R 17 



106 CHILDHOOD. 

Ghaupdi 170. 
The king, as ordered, retired to his couch, while the arch- 
deceiver took his wonted seat. Deep sleep came upon the 
weary king; but what sleep for the other, distraught with 
care ? Then came the demon Kalaketu, who was the boar 
that had led the king astray, a great friend of the hermit 
king, and skilled in manifold ways of deceit. He had a 
hundred sons and ten brothers, unmatched in villainy, 
the torment of the gods ; but they had all before this been 
killed in battle by the king, who saw the distress they 
had caused to the Br^hmans, saints and powera of heaven. 
The wretch, nursing this old quarrel, combined with the 
hermit king in devising a plot for the destruction of his 
enemy. The prince, overmastered by fate, knew nothing 

of it. 

Dohdl74:. ^ 

A powerful foe, even though surprised alone, is not to be 
lightly regarded ; to this day Rdhu, though he has nothing 
left but his head, is able to annoy both sun and moon. 
Ghaupdi 171. 

When the hermit king saw his ally, he rose in great joy 
to meet him, and told his friend the whole story. The 
demon was glad and said, " Hear, king, I am ready 
to settle your enemy if you will take my advice. Free 
yourself of all anxiety and sleep quietly here : without tak- 
ing any medicine God has cured your complaint. I will 
sweep away the enemy, root and branch, and in four days 
will be back again." Having thus cheered the hermit king, 
the arch-deceiver went away in his wrath, and conveyed to 
tho palace Prdtapa-bhdnu still asleep, both him and his 
horse ; the king he put to bed beside his queen, and the 
horse he tied up in the stall, 

Doha 175. ^ 

Again he carried off the king's family priest, and by 
supernatural power depriving him of his senses, kept iiim 
in a cave in the mountain, 



r 



CHILDHOOD. 107 



Ghaupdi 172 

While he himself assumed the priests form and went 
and lay down on his sumptuous couch. At daybreak the 
king woke and was astonished to find himself at home. 
Much impressed with the hermit's power, he rose and went 
out unperceived by the queen, and mounting his horse rode 
off to the wood without any of the people in the city knowing 
it. When it was noon he returned, and in every house 
there was rejoicing, with music and singing. When he saw 
the family priest, he looked at him in amazement, remem- 
bering the work in hand. The three days seemed likt an 
age, so absorbed was he in expectation of the false hermit's 
coming. When the appointed time had come, the priest took 
the king and told him the whole plot. 

Dohd 176. ^ ^ '^ 

The king was delighted to recognize the guru, and was 
too infatuated to have any sense left, but at once sent and 
invited a hundred thousand Brdhmans with their families. 
Ghaupdi 173. 

The priest superintended the cooking, and in accordance 

with sacred prescription concocted the six tastes in the 

four different ways,i preparing a most seductive banquet, 

with sauces and condiments more than any one could count. 

After dressing a great variety of meat, the wretch introduced 

into the dish some pieces of a Brahman's flesh. He then 

summoned all the Brdhmans to the feast and washed their 

feet and politely showed them to their places. But directly 

they began to touch the food, a voice came from heaven, 

" Up, up, all ye Brdhmans and return to your homes ; though 

the loss be great, yet taste not the food ; there is Brdhman's 

flesh in the dish." Up rose all the holy men, believing the 

heavenly voice ; while the king, distracted and out of his 

senses, overmastered by fate, could not utter a word. 

1 The six tastes are 'the sweet,' madhur ; 'sour,' amla; 'salt,' lavana ; 
' pungent,' katu ; ' bitter,' tikta ; and ' astringent,' hashaya. The four ways 
in which food can be taken are hhakkshya, by mastication ; bhojya by 
deglutition ; chashya, by sucking, and lehya, by lapping. 



108 CHILDHOOD. ^ 

Dohd 177. ^ 

Then cried the Br^hmans in their wrath, regardless of 
what must follow," foolish king, take birth in demon's 
form, yourself and all your family. 
Ghaupdi 174. 

" noble prince, you invited all this BrAhmanical com- 
pany here simply to destroy us ; God has preserved our hon- 
our, and it is you and your race who are undone. You shall 
perish in the midst of your days, nor shall there be one 
left to offer libations to your ghost." When the king heard 
the curse he was terror-stricken. Again a voice came from 
heaven, "The BrAhmans have uttered this curse without 
due consideration, the king has committed no crime." All 
the Br^hmans were astounded when they heard the heaven- 
ly voice. The king hastened to the kitchen ; there he found 
neither food nor Br^hmans cook, and he turned away in 
deep thought, declared the whole history to the Br^hmans, 
and in his terror and distress threw himself upon the 

"""' Do.. 178. T^ 

" Though you, king, are guiltless, what is fated fails 

not ; the past is unalterable : a Brahman's curse is a 

terrible thing." 

Ghaupdi 175. 

So saying, all the Br^hmans went their way. When 

the people of the city heard the news, they were much 

vexed and abused Fate, who had begun upon a swan and 

ended in making a crow. The demon conveyed the family 

priest to the palace and told the hermit all the tidings. 

Then the wretch despatched letters in all directions ; a host 

of princes came in with their troops, and with blast of 

trumpets beleagured the city. Day after day there were 

battles of various kinds ; all his champions fell in fight, 

after doing valorously, and the king with his brother bit 

the dust. Not one of Satyaketu's family escaped, for 

a Brahman's curse can never fail of accomplishment. 



CHILDHOOD. 109 

Triumphing over their foe, the chiefs refounded the city, 
and then, crowned with victory, returned to their own 
states. ^ 

Doha 179. ^ ^ i 

Hearken, Bharadv^ja, vvhoever incurs the anger of 
heaven, for him a grain of dust becomes vast as Mount 
Meru, a feather like the angel of death, and every rope a 
snake. 

Chaupdi 176. 

Hearken, reverend sir ; in due time this Rdja, with his 
family, was born as a demon with ten heads and twenty 
arms, a formidable hero, by name RAvan. The king's 
younger brother, Ari-mardan, became the valiant Kumbha- 
karn, while the minister Dharma-ruchi became his half- 
brother, the world-famous Vibhishan, the all-wise votary 
of Vishnu. As for the king's sons and servants, they were 
born a fierce demon crew ; wretches, taking various shapes 
at will : wicked, monstrous and devoid of knowledge ; 
merciless, injurious, criminal -a torment to all creation 
beyond what words can tell. 

Dohci 180. " ' 

Though born in the incomparably pure and holy family 
of Pulastya,^ yet on account of the Br^hmans' curse all 
were of hateful mien. 

Chaupdi 177. 

The three brothers practised manifold penitential obser- 
vances, severe beyond all description ; the Creator drew 
nigh to witness them, and said, " Son, I am well pleased, 
ask a boon." The Ten-headed suppliantly clasped his feet 
and cried," Hear, lord of earth: I would die at the 
hand of none save man or monkey." Brahma and I grant- 
ed him his boon, saying," So be it ; you have done great 
penance." Then the lord went to Kumbha-karn, and was 
astounded at his appearance, --" If this wretch is always 

1 The patriarch Pulastya was the father of Visravas ; and the latter, by 
three handmaids, who had been given him by Kuver, begot (1) Rdvan and 
Kumbha-karn, (2) Vibhishan, and (3) Khara and Siirpa-nakhd. 



110 CHILDHOOD. 

eating, the whole world will be laid waste." So he sent 

Sarasvati to turn his head, and he asked for six months' 

slumber. 

Doha 181. 

Then he went to Vibhfshan and said, " Son, ask a 

boon :" and he asked for perfect love of God. 

Ghaupdi 178. 
After granting these boons Brahma departed, and they 
went home rejoicing. Now Maya had a daughter by name 
Mandodari, of exceeding beauty, a jewel of womankind, 
whom her father brought and made over to Rdvan ; and she 
became the demon's head-queen. Delighted at having ob- 
tained so good a wife, he next went and married his two 
brothers. In the middle of the ocean is a three- peaked 
mountain, by Brdhma's contrivance most difficult of access. 
Here the demon Maya had constructed a vast palace of gold 
and jewels, more beautiful and charming than Bhogavati, 
the city of the serpent kings, or Indra's capital Amaravati, 
and called it Lankd, a name famous throughout the world. 

Dohd 182-83. ' >.^ - ':-n'\ 
The deep ocean was its moat, washing its four sides ; 
and its massive walls were of gold, set with jewels in a way 
that defies description. In every age the Demon King, 
whom Hari predestines, lives there with his army, as a 
mighty and puissant chief. 

Ghaupdi 179. 
There had dwelt great demon warriors, but all had been 
slain in battle by the gods ; and now by Indra's commission 
it was occupied by a million guards of Kuver's. RAvan 
happened to hear of this, and at once marshalled his army 
and went and besieged the place. When the Yakshas saw 
the vast host of fierce warriors, they all fled for their lives. 
Thereupon RAvan inspected the whole of the city, and was 
so highly pleased with it that all his trouble was forgotten. 
Seeing that it was not only a beautiful, but also a naturally 
impregnable, site, he fixed the capital there, and assigning 



OHILDHOOD, 111 

quarters to his followers according to their several deserts, 

made them all quite happy. Upon one occasion he sallied 

forth against Kuver, and carried away his chariot of flowers 

as a trophy. 

DohdlS4.. IrlO 

Again, from mere lightness of heart, he went and over- 
threw KaiUs, and after thus testing the prowess of his men 
of war, waxed yet more jubilant than before. 
Chaupdi 180. 

His happiness and prosperity, the number of his sons, 
his army and his allies, his conquests, his might and his 
superior wisdom, all grew day by day more and more, in 
the same way as avarice grows with gain. Thus, too, his 
brother, the stalwart Kumbha-karn, was a champion with- 
out a match in the world. After drinking his fill he slept 
for six months, and at his waking the three worlds trem- 
bled. If he had taken a meal every day the whole world 
would soon have beenstript bare : so unspeakably staunch 
in fight was he that no other hero could be compared to him. 
His eldest son was Meghndd, who held the first place among 
the world's champions ; before whom none could stand in 
the battle ; who was ever harassing the city of heaven. 
Dohd 185. 

And many other demons were there, each by himself 
able to subdue the whole world, such as the hideous 
Kumukh, the dauntless Akampan, Kulisa-radd with teeth 
like thunderbolts the fiery Dhumra-ketu, and the huge 
Atikdya ; 

Chaupdi 181. 

Taking form at will, skilled in every kind of fraud, 
without ever a thought of piety or pity. One day the Ten- 
headed was seated in court and reviewed his innumerable 
retainers, sons and grandsons, friends and servants, troops 
of demons, more than any one could count. On seeing the 
host, he swelled with pride, and in fierce tones said, 
" Hearken, all ye demon troops, the host of heaven are my 



\ / 



112 CHILDHOOD. 

enemies, nor dare to stand up in open fight, but flee away 
at the sight of my great army. There is one way of 
effecting their death, which I will declare ; now listen to 
it. Go ye and put a stop to all feasting of Br^hmans, to 
every sacrifice, oblation and funeral rite ; 

Dohd 186. 
the forthwith the faint and hungry gods will come out to 
meet me, and whether 1 slay them or let them go, they will 
be equally in my power." 

Chaupdi 182. 
Again he called for Meghnad and exhorted him to yet 
greater courage and resentment," The strong and warlike 
gods, who venture to confront you, you must vanquish and 
bring here in chains." Up rose the son to perform his 
father's commands. In this manner he ordered all, and 
himself sallied forth, club in hand. As he marched the 
earth shook, the heaven thundered, and pains of premature 
labour overtook the pregnant spouses of the gods. The 
gods themselves, on tiearing of Rdvan's wrathful approach, 
sought the caves of Mount Meru. As he approached in 
turn each of the eight quarters of the globe, he found it 
deserted by its guardian. Again and again he shouted the 
challenge to battle and vehemently scoffed at the gods, and 
mad with lust of blood traversed the whole universe in 
search of a foeman, nor could anywhere discover one. 

An interpolation. 
When N^rad met him, he said with a smile, " Saint, 
where are the gods ? show them to me." N^rad was not 
pleased to hear of his villainy, and forthwith sent him to 
White-land. When he crossed the ocean and arrived on the 
other side, he saw a company of women, and said to them, 
" Go tell your husbands that the king of the demons is 
here; then I will conquer them in battle and take you 
away to my own home." On hearing this speech an ancient 
dame waxed wroth and ran and seized him by the feet and 



CHILDHOOD. 113 

threw him up into the air ; then after going a long way 
scratching and clawing, she gave him a good shake and 
pitched him with great violence into the middle of the sea. 
Doha 187. 

Senseless, but by the Brdhman's blessing still alive, he 
sank down into hell ; then with a roar sprang up again all 
unhurt, with a soul unmoved either by joy or sorrow. 
Ghaupdi 183. 

After taking and pillaging the Ndgas' capital, the enemy 
of heaven passed on to Bali's realm. When the Dwarf 
heard of Rdvan's coming and how he had. scoffed at N^rad 
the gods' teacher, the lord infused his own strength into all 
the children playing in the streets, who ran and seized him 
and brought him into the town, while every man and wo- 
man in the place flocked to see the sight," Where on 
earth can heaven have brought such a creature from, with 
its twenty arms and ten heads ? " Though the guards 
bound him and vexed him sore, he would rather die than 
tell his name ; in the Dwarf's presence he was much con- 
founded, and the Merciful then had him set at liberty. Off 
at once rushed the demon king without the least shame or 

hesitation. 

Do/ia 188-189. 

Shameless, pitiless, and ever bent on mischief, the ten- 
headed miscreant thought to conquer Rdma. Hearken, 
Bharadvaja ; if God is wroth with a man, his diamonds 
turn to bits of glass that are not worth a cowry. 
Ghaupdi 184. 

Where ever he found a stray god or Brdhman he frigh- 
tened him into payment of ransom, and this is the way he 
went on day and night, the black-hearted ruffian. Then in 
haste he came to Pampapur, the seat of the monkey-king 
Bdli, and beheld the beautiful lake that would charm the 
soul even of the greatest saint, where the monkey-king sat 
absorbed in contemplation. He smiled to see the Ten- 
headed, and Ravan shouted in a fury, " You wretched, 

R 18 



114 CHILDHOOD. 

senseless, hypocritical ape, I no sooner heard your name 
then I came at once ; have done with your cowardice and 

meet me in battle. 

Doha 190. 

Unless you can vanquish me in combat your medita- 
tions are vain," said the demon king, gnashing his 320 teeth. 
Ghaupdi 185. 

Said B^li, " Away, I want no fighting ; be wise and 
take your ten heads home. Your valour, friend, is undispu- 
ted, for I hear of your victories all over the world. " But 
Bali's reiterated advice had not the slightest effect ; and at 
last the monkey-king sprang up in a rage and seized 
RAvan and nipped him tight under his arms, and then 
forgot all about him for the space of ten months. One 
day as he raised his hands to offer a libation to the sun, 
RAvan slipped out of his clutches and ran away. Next he 
went, being still without either shame or scruple, to where 
the thousand-armed Sahasrabhuj was sporting in the water. 
Doha 191. 

Ocean was troubled at Rdvan's might : the court began 

to sink, and Sahasrab-ihu cried in a rage, ' What rival of 

mine is here to-day ? ' 

Ghaupdi 186. 

Then he went and saw where Rdvan stood, by whose 
giant arms the water was agitated. Potent in artifice as in 
strength of limb, he with a loud cry seized the king of 
Lankd and kept him tied up for some days in his stable a 
sight of wonder for his wives. He was ashamed to tell his 
name, though the wise king was ever asking, and RambhA 
and her companions danced about him and set a lighted 
torch to each of his ten heads. The saint Pulastya came 
and set him free. Next he went and got cursed by Nala. 
Dohd 192. 

On the road he spied a most incomparably beautiful 
damsel, with sandal-wood and flowers and leaves in her 
hand, going to worship TripurAri. 



CHILDHOOD. 115 

Ghawpdi 187. 
Urvasi was abashed at seeing him,' but Ravan addressed 
her in gentle tones, ' Who are you lady, and where are you 
going ? ' She was too much overcome with modesty to give 
him an answer. Being mad with lust, he took no heed, but 
seized her by the hand, though she was the wife of Kuver's 
son. When he recognized her, there came upon him 
remorse and repentance for the evil deed,i and much trou- 
bled at heart the king of LankA returned to his capital. 
Urvasi went sadly to Alaka and told Nala Kiivra. In great 
wrath he uttered this curse, 'May the race of Ravan 
perish.' The curse went to Lanki, where R^van was 
seated, and stood before him. He trembled with dismay 
at the sight. 

Doha 193. 

Submitting to the curse, he thought within himself that 
he had never taken any tribute from the monks ; so in a fury, 

Chaupdi 188. 
he sent four messengers to a holy man's hermitage, 
who on seeing them forgot all about the Supreme Spirit 
and asked them of their welfare, saying, -' Tell me, is all 
well with Lanka's king ?' "Reverend sir, all is well with 
him, and he wants your tribute-money." On hearing this 
speech he was much alarmed, and forgetful of his vow 
began to think within himself,' It is ill going empty- 
handed to a court where justice is not, and where a pack 
of villains are banded together.' So he gave them a jar, 
which he had filled with blood taken from his own body, 
and made it over to the messengers, saying, " Go tell the 

king, 

Dohd 194. 
If the jar is opened, death will come upon you and your 
family." The messengers in haste took the jar to the 
king's court at Lank4. 

1 Ravan and Kuver were both sons, by different mothers, of one father, 
Visravas, and Urvasi vpas thus Rd van's niece by marriage. Hence iu violat- 
ing her he had been guilty not only of adultery but also of incest. 




116 CHILDHOOD. 

Chaupdi 189. 

Rdvan was please(l at the sight of the jar, and the Mes- 
sengers then told him what the saint had said. On hear- 
ing the curse his heart burned within him, and he said, 
" Take the jar away to the north and carefully put it in the 
ground where no one can find it." They took it to Janak's 
dominions and there buried it in a field. There Janak, 
preparing for a sacrifice, was driving a golden plough : the 
offspring of the saint's blood sprung up out of the furrow 
and was carried off by Garur. Her blessed name was at 
first Jdnaki, but NArad afterwards came and directed that it 
should be Sita,^ and explained all the circumstances as 
above related. The great saint then left ; the messengers 
also returned to Lank^, and Lanka's lord, though worsted 
in four places, still greatly troubled the gods. 
{Here ends the interpolation). 

The sun and moon ; the wind ; Varuna and Kuver ; fire, 
time and death, and every divine power; Kinnars, saints, 
men, gods and serpents, all were turned out of their course. 
From one end of earth to the other every living creature, 
whether male or female, was made subject to Rivan. All 
in turn do his bidding and crouch suppliantly at his feet. 

Do7i 195-196. ^A'^'V\^ 
By his mighty arm he subdued the whole universe and 
left not a single soul independent, but acting on his own 
counsel exercised dominion over the whole round world. 
And many were the Tovely dames he wedded after conquest, 
daughters of gods and Yakshas and Gandharvas and men 
and Kinnars and Ndgas. 

Ghaupai 190. 

Whatever he told Indrajit to do was done in less timel 

than it took to tell : hear now how the other chiefs acted to| 

whom he gave orders. The whole demon crew, villainous^ 

at heart and foul of aspect, the torment of heaven, werej 

1 The word Sita meaoing a farrow.' 



CHILDHOOD. 117 

ready for any outrage, disguising themselves by the assump- 
tion of various forms and acting in every way contrary to 
the Veda, in order to eradicate religion. Wherever they 
find a cow or a Brdhman, they at once set fire to the city, 
town or village ; pious observances are no longer anywhere 
in existence ; no respect is paid either to scripture, or 
Brdhman, or spiritual instructor ; there is no faith in Hari, 
no sacrifice, no prayer, nor alms-giving, and no one would 
ever dream of listening either to Veda or Purdna. 

Chhand 18. 

At a hint of prayer or of penance, of sacrifice, vigil or fast. 

Not a moment's rest, but he hied on its quest, with a 
vow it should be the last. 

The world was sunk in lawlessness ; all holy sounds 
were banned ; 

To read a sacred text was death, or exile from the land. 
Sorathd 21. -J-fT 

The fearful oppression that the demons wrought is be- 
yond description : bent on mischief, there was no limit to 
their evil- doing. 

Ghawpdi 191. 

The wicked all throve ; such as thieves and gamblers, 
and those who coveted their neighbour's wife or goods, those 
who honoured neither father and mother nor the gods, and 
those who exacted service of better men than themselves. 
For people who act in this way, Bhdvani, resemble demons. 
Seeing the general persecution of religion, earth was terror- 
stricken and dism.ayed,' the weight of mountains, lakes 
and seas is nothing so heavy as this one tyrant.' She saw 
all faith perverted, and yet for fear of R^van could say 
nothing. After some consideration she took the form of a 
cow and went to the spot where the gods and saints were 
gathered together, and with tears declared to them her 
distress. There was no help to be had from any one of 
them. 



118 CHILDHOOD. 

Ghhand 19. 

Gods and saintR and heavenly minstrels, flocked they all 
to Brahma's throne ; 

With them Earth, a horned heifer, making sad and 
piteous moan. 

Pondered Brahma in his wisdom, 'All vain is help 
of mine, 

But a lord immortal is thy Lord, be he my help and thine.' 
Sorathd2?,. ^ ^'^ 
"Take courage. Earth," said Brdhma, "and remember 
Hari ; the Lord knows the distress of his servants, and 
will put an end to this cruel oppression." 
Chaupdi 192. 

All the gods sat in counsel," Where can we find the 

Lord and make our cry to him ? Said one, ' We must go to 

Vaikunth'; said another,* His home is in the ocean. Nay, 

this is the way of the Lord, he is ever manifest to a faithful 

and loving soul.' Now, Girijd, I too was in the assembly 

and took occasion to say briefly," Hari is omnipresent 

everywhere alike, but, as I well Know, is revealed by love. 

Tell me any place, time or quarter of the heaven where the 

Lord is not. Present in all creation, animate or inanimate, 

passionless and unbiased, he is revealed like fire by love." 

My words were approved by all, and Brdbma exclaimed, 

* Well said, well said.' ^ 

Doha 197. ^\ \ 

The Creator was glad at heart and thrilled with delight, 

while his eyes filled with tears, and clasping his immortal 

hands he thus composedly and deliberately chanted his 

praises : 

Chhand 20-21. 
" To the King of heaven be all glory given, refuge of 

creation in distress and care. 
Priests and kine befriending, boll's brief triumph end- 
ing, best, beloved of Lnkshnii, Ocean's daughter fair. 
Heaven and earth's upholder, who, than all men bolder, 
dares to scan the secret of thy strange mysterious way ? 



CHILDHOOD. 119 

Ever kind and loving, humble souls approving, may 

thy gracious favour reach now to me, I pray. 
Spirit all-pervading, fleshly sense evading, hail Mukund 

immortal, lord of blissfulness supreme. 
Ever pure and holy, whom the Queen of Folly has no 

power to tangle in her world- deluding dream. 
Glory, glory, glory, theme of endless story, sung by 

saints and sages in an ecstasy of love. 

Daily, nightly gazing on the sight amazing, source of 
every blessing, Hari, lord of heav^en above. 

Triune incarnation, who at earth's creation, wert alone 
presiding, and other aid was none ; 

Though in prayer unable, and my faith unstable, great 
sindesiroyer, hear our hapless moan. 

Life's alarms dispelling, all disasters quelling, comfort of 
the faithful, be our succour now ; 

All the gods implore thee, falling low before thee, with 
unfeigned submission of body, soul and vow. 

Lord God Bhagav^na, Ved and eke Purana, Saradd and 
Seshndg, and all the saintly throng. 

Find the theme too spacious, only know thee gracious ; 
hasten then to help us in our hour of wrong. 

In all grace excelling, Beauty's chosen dwelling, ark on 
life's dark ocean, home of all most sweet, 

Gods and saints and sages, now this tempest rages, fly in 
consternation to clasp thy lotus feet." 

Doha 198. ^]. ' 

Beholding the alarm of the gods and Earth, and hearing 
this devout speech, a dread voice came from heaven that 
removed all their doubt and anxiety, 
Chaupdi 193. 
" Fear not, Indra and ye saints and sages ; for your sake 
I am about to assume the form of a man, with every element 
of my divinity incarnate in the glorious Solar race. For the 
severe penance practiced by Kasyapa and Aditi I granted 
them the full boon they asked. In the form of Dasarath and 
KausalyA they shall take royal birth in the city of Kosala. 
In their house shall become incarnate the four brothers, the 



120 CHILDHOOD. 

pride of the family of Raghu. I will fulfil all that Nirad 
predicted, by myself descending from heaven with my 
eternal spouse, and will remove the whole of earth's burden." 
On hearing the heavenly voice in the air the gods turned 
and were consoled, and Brdhma exhorted Mother Earth, 
who forgot her fears in hopefulness. ^ 

Do h 199. '^ M 
Then Brahma proceeded to his own realm after thus in- 
structing the gods, ' Go and worship Hari upon earth in 

form as monkeys." 

Chaupdi 194. 

The gods went every one to his own abode, and with 
Earth had rest. All the orders that BrAhma had given 
they executed gladly and without delay. Taking birth on 
earth as monkeys of incomparable strength and dignity, 
warriors with rocks and trees and claws for weapons, they 
confidently awaited Hari's coming, swarming in every 
mountain and forest and divided among themselves into 
orderly troops, I have told you of their noble acts, and 
now you must hear of what was doing meanwhile elsewhere. 
The king of Avadh was named Dasarath, the jewel of the 
line of Raghu, well skilled in the Vedas, virtuous and wise, 
a defender of the faith, a sincere votary of Vishnu. 
Dohd 200. %\^ 
Kausaly^ and his other loving queens were all of holy 
life, faithful and affectionate to their lord, and full of 
humble devotion to Hari's lotus feet. 
Chaupdi 195. 
One day the king was sad that he had no son, and go- 
ing in haste to his guru's abode fell at his feet with many 
entreaties and told him all his joys and sorrows. Vasishta 
in reply comforted him in every way, " Take courage, 
you will have four sons, who will bo famous throughout the 
three worlds and rid the faithful of all their fears." 
Then Vasishta summoned Saint Sringi to perform a sacri- 
fice for the birth of a son. The saint devoutly offered th 






CHILDHOOD. 121 

oblation, and the firegod appeared with the offering in his 
hand and cried in gracious tones, "I am pleased more 
than I can say ; whatever Vasishta has imagined in his 
heart is all granted for your good. Take this oblation, 
king, and divide it in such proportions as is proper. 
Doha 201. 

Then the fire god vanished, after telling them all of all 
that had to be done. The king was transported with 
ecstasy and could not contain himself for joy. 
Ghaupdi 196. 

He at once sent for his loving wives, and Kausaly^ and 
the others came. To Kausalya he gave a half share, 
and of the remaining half he made two portions, one of 
which he offered to Kaikeyi ; what remained he again 
divided into two, which he placed in the hands of KausalyA 
and Kaikeyi, and they gave them to SumitrA, to her great 
delight. In this manner all the queens became pregnant, 
and they grew glad of heart with exceeding joy. From 
the day that Hari was conceived in their womb the whole 
world was fulfilled with happiness and prosperity, and 
the queens shone resplendent in the palace, full of beauty, 
virtue and glory. Some little time was thus happily 
spent, till the day arrived for the Lord to be revealed. 
Doha 202. 

Auspicious was the conjunction of the planets in an 

auspicious house ; auspicious the moment ; auspicious the 

day of the week and of the month; and full of delight was 

all creation, animate and inanimate, when RdmA, father of 

delights, was born. 

Ghaupdi 197. 

On the ninth day of the sweet and holy month of Chait ; 

in the bright lunar fortnight ; under Abhijit, his favourite 

constellation ; on a seasonable day neither hot nor cold, 

a holy time of rest for all ; with soft, cool, fragrant breezes 

blowing ; midst the delight of gods and heartfelt rapture of 

the saints ; while the woods were full of blossoms as the 

R-19 



122 CHILDHOOD. 

hills with gems, and every river flowed a stream of nectar. 
When the Creator saw the time so fit, all the gods had their 
chariots equipped and came forth. The bright heaven 
was crowded with the host of them ; troops of Gandharvas 
chanted heroic lays ; flowers were rained down by handfuls ; 
the sky resounded with the beat of kettle-drums ; serpents, 
saints and gods hymned his praises, and each in his own 
fashion tendered him service. 

Dohci 203. 

Thus meekly did all the gods return to their several 

abodes when the Lord was revealed, who is the abode of 

the world, and in whom all the world finds rest. 

Chhand 2427. 

From Kausalya's blessed womb the great god at last has 

come, im response to a lost world's plaint. 
And she gazes with what joy on the face of her dear boy, 

that would rapture the soul of a saint. 
A vision of delight, with his eyes so large and bright, 

and his body as a cloud dark and grand. 
By the garland on his breast and his four arms confest 

Khardri, with a weapon in each hand. 
With fingers locked in prayer she cries, '* How may I 
dare, lord god immortal, thy boundless praise to tell. 
Far above the world's confusion and reason's vain intru- 
sion, whom all the scripture3 witness incomprehensible. 
Whom saints and l^oly sages have hymned through all the 
ages, the fountain of compassion, the source of every 
grace. 
Who aye with Lakshmi reignest, thou, even thou, now 
deignest to be my son and succour thy sore-tried chosen 
race. 
Though we know by revelation, heaven and earth and all 

creation, in each hair upon thy body may be found. 
In my arms thou sweetly dreamest, mystery supremest, 
far beyond the comprehension of a sage the most pro- 
found." 
Smiled the lord at her' devotion and would fain have set 

in motion the magic that dazzles the crowd. 
Telling all he had done and the triumphs he had won 
that his mother of her son might be proud. 



CHILDHOOD. 123 

But hurriedly she cried, " My soul is terrified by these 
marvels, disperse them from my sight ; 

Let me see thee as a child, disporting free and wild, for 
in this is my greatest delight," 

She spoke and he obeyed, and at once in fashion made 
as an infant began to cry. 

Know that all who sing this lay, and in faith to Hari 
pray, shall in peace rest for ever when they die. 

Doha 204. : : 

For the sake of Br^hmans, cows and gods and saints he 
took birth as a man, in a body formed at his own will, he 
who is beyond all form, or quality, or perception of the senses. 
Ghaupdi 198. 

On hearing the delightful sound of a baby's cries, all 
the queens came greatly agitated ; their glad handmaids 
ran hither and thither and all the people of the city were 
drowned in joy. When Dasarath knew he had a son born, 
his joy vvas like that of the blest in heaven ; with his soul 
full of love and his body quivering with delight he sought 
to rise, but could not till he had collected himself, " The 
lord, whose very name it is bliss to hear, has come to my 
house." Thus rejoicing at heart the king sent for minstrels 
to play, and next summoned the guru Vasishta, who came 
to the court with a train of Brdhmans. He went and 
gazed upon the peerless babe, but its beauty and grace 
were beyond words to tell. 

Doha 205. ' 

Then after performing the Ndndi-mukh Srdddh^ he 
completed every caste observance, and the king made 
offerings to the Br^hmans of gold, cows, plate and jewels. 
Ghaupdi 199. 

The city was full of flags and banners and festal 
wreaths arranged in a manner that defies description. 

1 The Ndndi-mukh Srdddh is a commemorative offering to the Manes 
preliminary to any joyous occasion, such as initiation, marriage, &c., in 
which nine balls of meat are offered to the deceased father, grandfather, 
and great-grandfather ; to the maternal grandfather, great-grandfather, 
and great-great-grandfather ; and to the mother, paternal grandmother, and 
paternal great grandmother. Monier Williams. 



124 CHILDHOOD. 

Showers of flowers fell from heaven and every soul was rapt 
in bliss. There was a concourse of troops of women who 
had come running in their ordinary dress just as they were 
at the time, with golden vases and salvers laden with 
things of good omen, singing as they entered the king's 
court. After passing their offerings round and round over 
the child's head, they strew them on the ground, and again 
and again throw themselves at his feet, while bards and 
minstrels, singing men and choristers chant the solemn 
praises of Raghundth. Every one made an offering of all 
that he had, and no one kept what was given him ; while 
musk, sandal and saffron were thrown about in such 
profusion that the streets were muddy with perfumes. 
Dohd 2QQ. 
In every house there was music and the jubilant shout, 
" The fountain of joy has been revealed ;" and all the 
men and women in the city were rejoicing everywhere. 

Chaupdi 200. 
Both Kaikeyi and Sumitra too gave birth to a lovely 
boy. At that time the joy, the auspiciousness, and the 
crowds were more than, Sarasvati or the serpent king could 
describe. The city of Avadh was as resplendent as it were 
7 Night going to meet her lord. The sun, abashed at the 
vision, faded into twilight, where the dusky clouds of in- 
cense were shot through with red gleams of ahir : the piles 
of jewels in the temples were like stars, and the golden 
pinnacle of the palace as the gracious moon, while the 
murmuring sound of the muttered Veda in the house was 
like the evening song of garrulous birds. Gazing upon the 
spectacle the sun forgot himself, and a whole month passed 
without his knowing it. ^ A 

Dohd 207. ' ' 
The day was a month long, but the marvel was noticed 
of none while the sun in his chariot stood still at gaze, 
how could there be any night ? 



CHILDHOOD. 125 

Ghaupdi 201. 
There was not one who observed the strange event, and 
at last the sun set still chanting Rama's praises. The gods, 
saints and Ndgas too, who had witnessed the spectacle, re- 
turned home, congratulating themselves on their good for- 
tune. I will even tell you of a deception I practised myself ; 
Hearken, Girijd, for I know your steadfast faith. Kd,ka- 
bhusundi and I were there together in human form, without 
any one knowing it. Full of rapture, love and delight, we 
roamed about the streets in ecstatic unconsciousness. Only 
one on whom rests the mercy of R^ma can attain to the 
knowledge of these acts of ours. At that time the king 
granted every one his heart's desire, whatever it might be 
that he had come for, bestowing on them elephants, 
carriages, horses, gold, cows, jewels and all sorts of apparel. 

Doha 20S. - ' 
All were satisfied from their very heart and invoked 
blessings upon him, saying, * May all the boys live long,' 
those lords of Tulsi D^s. 

Chawpdi 202. 
In this manner some days were spent, without any one 
taking thought of noon or night, till the king, knowing the 
time had come for naming the children, sent and called the 
wise seer, and after reverently greeting him thus spake, 
" Holy father, be pleased to declare the names upon which 
you have secretly determined." " Their names are many 
and wonderful ; I will tell them, king, to the best of my 
ability. The store-house of delights, the ocean of joy, by 
whose spray three worlds are gladdened, the very home of 
bliss, the Comforter of the universe, has for his name Rama 
(* delight '). The bearer and supporter of the world is 
named Bharat (' the supporter '), while he whose very 
thought brings victory over the foe is celebrated in the 
Veda by his name Satrughna (' destroyer of enemies ')." 



126 CHILDHOOD. <X 

Dohd 209. ^ 

For the auspicious, the beloved of R^ma, the stay of 
the whole world, was reserved by Saint Vasishta the noble 
name of Lakshman (* of auspicious appearance '). 
Chaupdi 203. 

After naming them the saint pondered in heart and 

said, " king, your four sons are the very Veda itself ; 

the saint's treasure ; the believer's all in all ; the darling of 

Siva, who is delighted with their childish sports." Even 

from his earliest days Lakshman knew his dear lord and 

devoted himself to R^ma ; while the affection of the two 

other brothers, Bharat and Satrughna, grew also as between 

master and servant. In both couples one was dark, the 

other fair ; and their mother, as she gazed upon their 

loveliness, would break a blade of grass to avert the evil 

eye. Though all four were full of amiability, beauty and 

intellect, yetRdma was a higher joy ; his kindliness of heart 

was like the bright moon, which manifested itself in the 

radiance of a most winning smile ; while now in the cradle, 

and now on her lap his mother fondled him and called him 

her own dear darling. ^ a > 

Dohd 210. ^ ^ 

The omnipresent god, who has neither passion nor qua- 
lity, nor sensation of pleasure, and who is from everlasting, 
lay a babe in Kausalya's arms, overcome by devout affection. 
Chaupdi 204. 

With all the beauty of a myriad loves ; dark of hue as 
the lotus or a heavy rain-cloud ; the glistening nails on his 
rosy feet like clustered pearls on the leaves of the lily ; the 
print of the thunderbolt, the flag and the elephant-goad dis- 
tinctly to be seen ; the tinkling of his anklets enough to 
charm a saint; with girdled waist and dimpled body and 
deep navel, such as no one could believe who had not seen ; 
with long arms covered with many jewels and lovely set of 
tiger's claws upon his breast ; with necklace of gems and 
sparkling amulet, and soul-ravishing print of the Brahman's 



CHILDHOOD. 127 

feet^ with shell-marked neck and exquisite chin, and a 
face flushed with the beauty of all the loves ; with well- 
matched teeth and ruddy lips and nose and forehead-mark 
beyond description ; with beautiful ears and charming 
cheeks and lisping prattle most delightful to hear ; with 
eyes dark and full as the lotus, and heavy brows and a fair 
pendant on his forehead ; with lustrous curling hair that his 
mother was ever delighting to stroke ; with his body clothed 
in little yellow drawers, crawling on knees and hands upon 
the ground ; neither scripture nor Seshnag could do justice 
to his beauty, nor without a vision could any one imagine it. 
Dohd 211. -^31 

The all-blissful god, who is above the reach of delusion 
and transcends all intellect, speech and perception of the 
senses, became subject to the strong love of his parents 
and sported like an innocent babe. 
Chaupdi 205. 

In this way R^ma, the father of the universe, showed 
himself the delight of the people of Kosala ; and they who 
love their god, Bhav^ni, show themselves like his earthly 
parents. But his enemies, though they struggle for ever, 
will never extricate themselves from the bonds of existence. 
The delusive power that has subdued all life, whether in 
animate or inanimate creation, trembles before the Lord, 
who with the play of his eyebrows forces it to dance like a 
puppet. If we leave such a Lord, whom else can we suppli- 
cate ? Neither in thought, word nor deed be overwise ; 

I Rama is bere identified with Vishnu, of whom the following legend 
is told in the Bhdgavat Pur ana : The patriarch Bhrigu, being in doubt 
which of the three gods, Brdhma, Vishnu or Siva, was the greatest, deter- 
mined to put the matter to the test. He first went to BrAhma and entered 
his court without making any obeisance, an affront at which the god 
showed himself exceedingly indignant. He then went to Siva and, treat- 
ing him with a like want of respect, excited a yet more furious storm of 
passion. Lastly he went to Vaikunth, where finding Vishnu asleep in the 
embraces of his spouse Lakshmi, he struck him roughly on the breast with 
his foot to awaken him. The god started up, but seeing the saint, at once 
prostrated himself before him, and took and gently rubbed his foot with 
his hands, hoping it had not been hurt by striking against him. Thus 
Bhrigu learnt that in mercy and magnanimity, the highest attributes of the 
godhead, there was no other power that could be compared to Vishnu. 



128 CHILDHOOD. 

god is merciful only to those who pray. Thus the Lord 
sported as a child, to the delight of all the people of the 
city ; and now his mother would take and dandle him in her 
arms, and now put him down and rock him in his cradle. 
Dohd 212. 'l'^'3- 

So lost in love that day and night succeeded one another 
unobserved, while in her fondness for her boy she kept 
singing to him nursery songs, 

Ghaupdi 206. 

One day his mother, after washing and dressing him, 
put him to sleep in his cradle, and prepared an offering 
for presentation to her partron divinity. When the service 
was over and she had made her oblation, she returned to 
the place where she had dressed the food ; but when she 
came there she beheld Rtoa in the act of eating. In a 
great fright she ran to the nursery and there found the 
child again sleeping ; but coming back once more she still 
saw the boy. Then she trembled and was much disturbed 
in mind, for she saw two children, one here and one there 
and was utterly bewildered ; saying, 'Are my senses at 
fault, or is this a miracle ? ' When RAma saw his mother's 
distress, he broke out into a merry laugh, 
Doha 213. c*''- 
and exhibited to her his whole marvellous form ; with 
a myriad worlds gleaming on each individual hair of his 

body ; 

Ghaupdi 207. 

With unnumbered suns and moons, Sivas and Br^hmas ; 

with many mountains, rivers, oceans, lands and forests; 

with time, fate, merit, demerit nature and every power 

there manifested, even though unknown by name. When 

she beheld the awful vision she stood terror-stricken, with 

hands, clasped in prayer ; for she saw both the life which 

Mdya sets in motion and the faith that sets it free. With 

quivering body and speechless mouth she closed her eyes 

and bowed her head at his feet. Seeing his mother thus 



CHILDHOOD. 129 

overpowered with amazement, R^ma again assumed the 

form of a child. But her terror left her not, while she 

hymned his praises, saying, * I have regarded the great 

father as my own offspring.' Again and again Hari exhorted 

his mother, 'See, my mother, that you tell this to no one;' 

Dohd2i4:. '2 3*t 

and as often did Kausaly^ meekly reply with clasped 

hands, ' See you too, my lord, that the delusive power of 

yours never again visits me,' 

Chaupdi 208. 

Hari indulged in every kind of childish amusement, to 

the great delight of his attendants ; and after a little time 

all the brothers grew to be big boys, gladdening every 

one about them. Then the guru came to perform the 

tonsure and again the Br^hmans received large offerings. 

The four lads run about and divert themselves in all 

sorts of pretty ways ; and the lord, whose thoughts, works 

and acts transcend every human sense, plays in Dasarath's 

court-yard. If the king when at dinner called him, he 

would not leave his playmates and come, till Kausalyd 

herself went for him, when he would toddle along with 

her as fast as he could. He whom the scripture declares 

to be incomprehensible, of whom Siva could find no end, 

is picked up by his mother and carried off in a pet, and 

his father with a smile takes him in his lap, though grimy 

all over with dust. *i * <* 

Dohd 215. - ^' '^ 

Quickly glancing here and there during the meal, as 
soon as he got a chance, he would run away with a scream 
of delight, stuffing his mouth full of rice and curds. 
Chawpdi 209. 

His pretty innocent childish sports have been sung by 
Sarasvati Seshn^g Sambhu and the Vedas, and he whose 
soul does not warm to them has been brought into the world 
by God to no purpose. When the brothers were all grown 
up, the guru and their father and mother invested them with 

R-20 



130 CHILDHOOD. 

the sacred thread, and Rdma went to his guru's house to 
study. In a short time he mastered all knowledge. The 
four Vedas are but the breath of his mouth, and for him to 
study was a jol^e indeed. When they were proficient in scho- 
larship and politeness and morality they began to practise 
all princely sports. With bow and arrow in hand they 
showed so fair that all creation was ravished at the sight, 
and as the brothers passed along the road every man and 
woman stopt to gaze at them. { 

Dohd 216. ^ 

Rdma was gracious to all ; and not a soul in Kosala, 
man or woman, young or old, but held him dearer than life. 
Ghawpdi 210. 

Taking his brother with him as a companion, he would 
go to the forest to hunt ; there selecting for death the 
noblest game, he every day brought and showed it to the 
king ; and each beast, slain by his shaft, after death went 
straight to heaven. Taking his meals in company with his 
younger brother, ever obedient to his parents' commands, the 
gracious god omitted nothing that could please the people. 
He gave his mind to hear the Vedas and Purdnas and then 
himself taught his brother.'^ Rising at break of day, he first 
saluted his parents and the priest, and then, after obtaining 
their sanction, busied himself with work in the city. The 
king was glad of heart when he saw his mode of life. 

Doha 211. ^''^ 
The all- pervading, indivisible, passionless, eternal God, 
who is without attributes, or name, or form, performs many 
wonders for the sake of his faithful people. 

Ghaupdi 211. 

I have now sung all these his doings ; hearken atten- 
tively to the remainder of my story. The great and wise saint 
Visvamitra had chosen a fair hermitage in the forest, where 
he gave himself up to prayer, sacrifice and meditation. The 
demons Maricha and SubAhu, on beholding the preparation! 



CHILDHOOD. 131 

for sacrifice, feared greatly and hastened to disturb them. 
The saintly son of Gadhi was pained and full of thought, 
' There is no killing these accursed demons without Hari.' 
Then he reflected, " The Lord has become incarnate to re- 
lieve earth of its burdens. I have now an excuse for going 
to visit him and after entreaty made will bring back with 
me the two brothers. Now I will feast my eyes with the sight 
of him who is the abode of all knowledge, piety and good- 
ness." p, 
Doha 218. ? .: * 

His manifold longing brooked no delay on the road, and 
after bathing in the stream of the Sarju he proceeded to the 
king's court. 

Ghaupai 212. 

When the R^ja heard of the saint's arrival, he went to 
meet him with a retinue of Brdhmans, and prostrating him- 
self reverently on the ground before h'm took and seated 
him on his own throne : then laved his "^eet and offered him 
religious honours, saying, " There is uo one so blest as I 
am to-day;" and had various kinds of food prepared for 
him. The great saint was highly pleased. Next, the king 
brought his four sons into the presence. On seeing Rdma 
the saint forgot his detachment from the world and was as 
enraptured with his lovely face as is the ehakor with the 
full moon. Then said the glad king, " Reverend sir, this 
favour is unparalleled ; what is the cause of your coming ? 
Tell me, and I will not delay to accomplish it." " There 
is a crew of demons that trouble me, and I am come to you, 
king, with a request. Let me have Raghundth and his 
brothers ; the demons' death is all I desire. 
Doha 219. a ^- '--^ 

Give them, king, gladly, without any selfish folly ; for 
you it will be a meritorious and honourable act, and it will 
also turn out well for them." 

Chaupdi 213. 

When the king heard this cruel request, his heart beat 



132 CHILDHOOD. 

fast and all the brightness of his face grew dim, " In my 
old age I have begotten four sons ; sir, you have spoken 
without consideration. Ask of me land, cattle, goods and 
treasure, and I will gladly give you all I have, at once. 
Nothing is dearer than the life of the body ; but even that 
I would give in a minute. All ray sons are dear to me as 
my own soul and, sir, I cannot spare you Rdma. What 
is this pretty little boy of mine against a fierce and terrible 
demon ?" On hearing the king's word so fraught with love, 
the wise saint was glad of heart. Then Vasishta much ex- 
horted him, and the king's doubts were dispelled. Obedient- 
ly he sent for the two boys and pressed them to his heart 
and fervently exclaimed, " My two boys are my very life ; 
but you, holy sir, are now their only father." 
Dohd 200. % W 

The king consigned the boys to the saint, again and 
again blessing them. Then they went to their mother's 
apartment and bowed the head at her feet. 
Sorathd 23. ^ M ^ 

Glad to relieve the saint of his alarm, the two lion-heart- 
ed heroes set forth, oceans of compassion, resolute of pur- 
pose, the whole world's champions. 
Chaupdi 214. 

Bright-eyed, broad-chested, long of arm, dark of hue as 
the lotus or the taradl tree ; with quiver at side pendent 
from a yellow sash, and in either hand arrows and a comely 
bow, so marched the two brothers, one dark, the other fair, 
the treasure that Visvamitra had acquired, " I recognize 
the lord god Brdhmanya-deva^ in the child who thus on my 
account has left his own father." So thought the saint ; 
and as he went he pointed out T^rakd, who on hearing In- 
voice rushed up in a fury. With a single arrow Hari too!. 
her life, but recognizing her submission gave her a place in 
his own heaven. Then the saint knew he had found his 
lord, but yet instructed him, the all-wise. As they travelled 
1 Bribmaaya-deva is one of the epithets of Vishnu. 



CHILDHOOD. 133 

they felt neither huuger nor thirst ; such their incom- 
parable strength of body and glorious vigour. 
Doha 221. 7.. '. : 
After taking the Lord to his own hermitage, he made 
over to him every kind of weapon, and gave him herbs and 
roots and fruit to eat, knowing him to be ever gracious to 
men of holy life. 

Ghaupdi 215. 

At daybreak Raghurai said to him, "Go and make 
ready the sacrifice, and fear not." The brotherhood began 
preparing the oblation, while he remaine i to guard the 
sacrificial fire. On hearing of this, the demon M^rlcha 
rushed up in a fury with his army to disturb the saint. 
R^ma smote him with a headless shaft, and he fell a 
hundred leagues the other side of ocean. Then he slew 
Subahu with an arrow of fire, while his brother routed the 
whole demon host. When they had thus slain the demons 
and restored peace to the Brahmans, the whole company 
of gods and saints began to hymn their praise. There 
Rughur^i then stayed a few days and showed kindness to 
the hermits, who devoutly repeated to him many legends 
of the Purj^nas, though he knew them all before. Then the 
saint respectfully informed him, " There is a sight, my 
lord, which is worth your going to see." When Raghundth 
heard of the ordeal of the bow, he gladly accompanied the 
noble sage. On the way he spied a hermitage without bird, 
deer, or any living creature near it, and observing a re- 
markable stone inquired of the saint about it, who in reply 

gave him the whole history. ^ / # ^ 

Dohd 222. " ^-^ 

" Gautama's wife was by a curse turned into a hard 

rock, and is now longing for the dust of your lotus feet : 

Raghubir, show mercy upon her. " 

Chhand 28-31. 

At the touch so sweet of his hallowed feet, she awoke 

from her long unrest. 



134 CHILDHOOD. 

And meekly adored her sovereign lord, awaiting his 

high behest. 
With speechless tongue, limbs all unstrung, and eyes 

that streamed with tears, 

She fell at his feet in rapture meet, far blest above all 
her peers. 

Then bolder grown by the favour shown with a faith 
that himself had given. 

She dared to raise he^ hymn of praise, -*' Great Spirit, 
high lord of heaven, 

Save me, save, thy succour I crave, holy god, sinful 
wretch though I be, 

Rdvan's conquering foe, joy of all else below, who toil 
upon life's troubled sea. 

Though the saint cursed me sore in the ill days of yore, 
now I hold it a blessing most sweet. 

For my own eyes have seen my Redeemer, and I ween 
Siva only my rapture could mete. 

Witless and weak, one only boon I seek ; as the bee 
within the lotus loves to stay, 

May my soul upon thy feet, my god, I thee entreat, 
dwell in rapture never ending night and day : 

Holy feet, the adoration of the lord of all creation, and 
source of the stream divine. 

Which on Siva's head descended, this day have condes- 
cended to rest and on this vile head of mine." 

Thus full of jubilation, with oft-renewed prostration, 
did Gautama's long lost bride, 

With the boon she most had craved, thus graciously 
vouchsafed, return to her husband's side. 
Dohd 223, ^H-H 
Thus the benevolent lord Hari is compassionate beyond 
our deserts, Worship him, says poor Tulsi DAs, and cease 
from all wrangling and hypocrisy. 
Chaupdi 216. 
R^ma and Lakshman accompanied the saint to the 
world-purifying Ganges. Both the lord and his younger 
brother reverently saluted it, and R^ma was delighted be- 
yond measure, as the son of G^dhi told him the legend 



CHILDHOOD. 135 

how the heavenly stream had come down upon earth. Then 
the Lord and the hermits performed their ablutions and the 
Brdhmans received manifold gifts. The hermits' champion 
went on his way rejoicing, and quickly, drew near to the 
capital of Videha. When Rama beheld the beauty of the 
city, he and his brother were delighted at the many ponds 
and wells and rivers and streams, with water of ambrosial 
purity and jewelled flights of steps ; where the hum of bees, 
drunk with nectar, made a delicious sound and birds of all 
kinds were softly cooing : as the lilies expanded their 
many-coloured petals, and a cool, soft, fragrant breeze was 
ever delightful. 

Dohd 224. 

On all four sides the city was bright with flower-gar- 
dens, orchards and groves, the haunt of innumerable birds 
and full of fruit and flowers and verdure. 
Chaupdi 21 7. 

The beauty of the city is not to be told ; wherever one 
went there was something to charm the soul. Handsome 
bazfe and gorgeous balconies all studded with jewels, as 
though the Creator had fashioned them with his own hand ; 
thriving bankers and traders, very Kuvers of wealth, sitting 
with all their various goods displayed ; fine squares and 
beautiful streets, that were constantly sprinkled with frag- 
rant waters ; magnificent temples to all the gods, as 
bright as if they had been painted by Kamadeva himself; 
all the people of the city, both men and women, prosperous, 
well-dressed, virtuous, pious, intelligent and accomplished. 
But Janak's palace was such a masterpiece that the gods 
tired themselves with looking at it, and the mind was quite 
overcome by the sight of the Fort, for it seemed to have ap- 
propriated to itself all that was most beautiful in the world. 
Doha 225. * 

With glistening white walls and doors of gold with gems 
set in different devices, the exquisite mansion where Sita 
lived was far too lovely for words to describe. 



136 QHILDHOOD. 

Chaupdi 218. 
All the city gates were most massive with panels of 
adamant, and were thronged with princes and their reti- 
nues of mimists, bards and heralds. The vast and well-built 
stables were at all hours of the day crowded with horses, 
elephants and chariots : and the ministers, generals and 
warriors all had residences in the same style as the king. 
Outside the city, by pool and stream, the multitudinous 
princes had pitched their different camps. On seeing a fine 
mango grove, a most agreeable and convenient spot, the des- 
cendant of Kusika exclaimed, " This is just what I like, let 
us stay here, Raghubir." "Very well my lord," answered the 
gracious god ; and there they alighted with all their hermit 
train. When the king of Mithila heard the news that the 
great saint Visvamitra was come - , 

Dohd 226. '5- ^ ' 

taking with him his ministers and many gallant fighting 
men and noble Br^hmans and the chief of his kinsmen,^ 
in this fashion the king went forth rejoicing to meet the 
prince of sages. 

Chaupdi 219. 
Bowing to the ground, he made obeisance, and the 
saint gladly gave him his blessing. Then the king respect- 
fully saluted all the hermit train and congratulated 
himself on his good fortune. After making many inquiries 
as to his health and welfare, Visvamitra led the king to 
a seat, and at that very time arrived the two brothers who 
had gone to see the garden, one dark, the other fair, in 
childhood's tender bloom, the joy of all beholder's ravish- 
ing, the senses of the whole world. When Ragbupati came, 
all rose and Visvamitra seated him by his side. All were 
charmed at the sight of the two brothers ; their eyes filled 
with tears and their body thrilled with rapture, and the 

1 The words rendered, ' the <;hief of his kiusmen,' may also be taken 
to mean ' bi.s ffuni (^atdnand) and his kinsmen*. 



CHILDHOOD. 137 

king especially was beside himself with joyi on beholding 
their sweet and lovely appearance. 
Dohd 227. 
Though feeling himself overpowered with love, the king 
discreetly restrained himself, and bowing his head at the 
saint's feet, said in suppressed accents choking with emo- 
tion 

Ghaupdi 220. 

" Tell me, my lord, who are these two lovely children. 
Are they the glory of a saintly family, or the bulwarks of a 
kingly line ? or are they the twofold manifestation 2 of the 
Supreme Spirit, whom scripture declares to be unutterable. 
My mind, ordinarily free from wordly attachment, wearies 
itself with gazing upon them, as the chakor in gazing 
upon the moon. Therefore, sir, I beg you to tell me the 
truth and to conceal nothing. My love grows with looking, 
and my soul perforce is withdrawn from divine contem- 
plation." Said the saint with a smile, " You have spoken 
well, king ; your word is always true ; there is not a 
living creature that does not love these boys." Rima 
smiled to himself on hearing this. *' They are the sons of 
Dasarath, the glory of the line of Raghu, and the king has 
sent them to help me. 

Dohd 22^. "^^^ 
Rd-ma and Lakshman by name, these two brothers, as 
strong as they are good and beautiful, with their compan- 
ions, protected my sacrifice and vanquished all the demons 

in battle." 

Ghaupdi 221. 

Said the king, " saint, when I behold your feet I 

cannot tell how richly I am rewarded for any former good 

deeds. And these pretty twins have conferred a happiness 

1 This line, Bhaijau Videha videha bisekhi, contains a play upon words 
which cannot be preserved in a translation. A literal rendering would be ; 
particular Videha (i. e., Janak, the king of Videha) became really videha 
(i. ^., without a body). 

2 The two manifestations are nirgan and aagan, the bodiless and the 
embodied. 

R-21 



138 CHILDHOOD. 

upon you, the supremely happy. Their innocent mutual 
affection is indescribable in words ; a delight to the inmost 
soul. Hear me, sir, cried the king in his rapture, it is like 
the natural union between the universal soul and the soul 
of man." Again and again the king gazed upon the Lord 
with quivering body and heart bursting with emotion. 
Then with courteous phrase and bowed head he escorted 
the saint to the city and there assigned him apartments, 
which were bright and cheerful at all times of the day ; and 
finally, after further homage and proffers of service, the 
king took his leave and returned to the palace. 

Dohd 229. ^ " - 

r' * 

When RAma and the hermits had taken food and rested 
a little, he went and sat down by his brother's side : now 
it still wanted an hour to sunset, 

Ghaupdi 222. 
and Lakshman had at heart a great longing to go and see 
Janak's city ; but again, for fear of his brother and respect 
for the saint, he said nothing out loud, but was smiling to 
himself. RAma understood what was passing in his mind, 
and being ever considerate to his followers was glad and, 
with a most modest and submissive smile, after begging 
permission of his guru to speak, said, " Sir, Lakshman 
wishes to see the city, but out of respect for you is afraid 
to speak. If you will allow me, I will show him the place 
and quickly bring him back again." The saint replied 
most affectionately, *' RAma how can you do aught but 
good ; the guardian of the bridge of religion, the loving 
benefactor of all faithful servants ? 

Dohd 230. 7- -^ ' 
Go, blessed pair of brothers, and see the city ; gladden 
the eyes of all the people by the sight of your beauty." 
Chaupdi 223. 
After bowing at the saint's feet they went, these two 
brothers, the delight of the eyes of the whole world. When 



CHILDHOOD. 139 

the children in the market-place saw their exceeding beauty 
their eyes and their very soul fastened greedily upon them. 
Clad in yellow apparel, with belt and quiver at their side, 
with graceful bow and arrows in hand, a lovely pair, one 
dark, the other fair of hue, with sandalwood tilah to match 
their complexion ; with lion-like waist and long arms, and 
breast adorned with strings of elephant pearls, with shapely 7 
ears and lotus eyes, and moonlike face to assuage the three 
kinds of pain ; with golden flowers for earrings, so beautiful 
as to steal the heart of every beholder ; with a bewitching 
glance and fair arched eyebrows, and a star on the forehead 7 
that seemed beauty's own stamp ; .. . 

Dohd 231. *^ 

With jaunty cap on comely head, with black curly locks 
the two brothers were all-beautiful from head to foot and 
exquisite in every part. 

Ghaupdi 224. 

When the citizens heard that the princes were come to 
see the town, they all left their business and started off 
like beggars to pillage a treasury. When they beheld the 
easy grace of the two brothers they were glad indeed, and 
their eyes were rewarded. The maidens peeping from the 
windows of the houses at once fell in love with Rdma's 
beauty, and in amorous strain addressed one another, 
"They surpass in beauty a thousand loves : neither among 
gods, nor men, nor demons, nor serpents, nor deified stains 
has beauty such as theirs ever been heard of. As for 
Vishnu with his four arms, Brdhma with his four heads, 
and Purdri with his five faces and wondrous attire, and all 
the other gods, there is not one in the whole universe whose 
beauty, my friend, can be compared to theirs. 
Dohd 232. " -- 

Of tender age, the very home of beauty, equally lovely 
whether dark or fair, as though a myriad loves had been 
lavished on each individual limb of their body. 



140 CHILDHOOD. 

Ghaupdi 225. 
Tell me, friend, is there any one in human form who 
would not be charmed at the sight of such beauty ? " Said 
one in gentle loving tones,*' Hear, my dear, what I have 
been told. This pretty pair of young cygnets are the two 
sons of King Dasarath. They have protected the sacrifice of 
Saint Visvamitra and slain in battle the invincible demons. 
The lovely child with dark complexion and lotus eyes, who 
f quelled the pride of Maricha and Subdhu and bears the 
bow and arrows in his hand, is the sweet son of Kausalyd, by 
name RAma. The fair youth in gallant attire, who also has 
bow and arrows in hand and follows R^ma, is named 
Lakshman and is his younger brother. Sumitrd, you must 
know, is his mother. 

Dohd 233. 'J-S-^ 
After befriending the Brdhmans, and on the road set- 
ting free the sage's wife, the two brothers have come here 
to see the tournament." On hearing this all the ladies 
were delighted. 

Ghaupdi 226. 
Said one, after regarding Raima's, beauty, " Here is a 
bridegroom worthy of J^naki. If the king does but see him, 
he will abjure his vow and insist upon a marriage with 
them." Said another," The king knows who they are and 
has received both them and the saint, with all honour. He 
has not, however, gone back from his vow, but mastered 
by fate persists in his folly." Said another, "If God is 
good and is certain to reward every man according to his 
deserts, then here is the bridegroom Jdnaki will wed About 
this, my dear, there can be no doubt. When such a union 
is brought about by destiny, every one will be satisfied. 
friend, I am deeply moved by the thought that if this 
marriage takes place he will come again some time ; 

Dohd 23^. '^s^ 
otherwise there is no dhance of my seeing him ; it is only a 



CHILDHOOD. 141 

long accumulation of merit in previous existences that is re- 
warded by such intercourse." 

Ghaupdi 221 . 

Said another, *' Friend, you have spoken well; this is 
a marriage that will please every one." Said another, 
" Siva's bow is hard to bend, and this dark lad is of delicate 
frame ; it is really a most unfair test." Hearing this, an- 
other soft- voiced maiden said, ''I have once and again 
heard say of them that though slight in appearance their 
strength is great. Touched by the dust of his lotus feet, the 
guilty Ahalya attained salvation : and he will never rest 
till he has broken the bow ; this is a belief out of which I 
am no-how to be cheated. When the Creator fashioned 
Sita, he predestined for her this dark-complexioned bride- 
groom." On hearing these words all were glad and softly 
exclaimed, *' May it indeed prove so." [ 

Doha 235. ^^ 

In their gladness of heart the bevy of fair-faced bright- 
eyed dames shower down flowers, and wherever the two 
brothers went there was all the joy of heaven. 
Chaupdi 228. 

Now they reached the eastern quarter of the city, where 
the lists had been prepared for the tournament. In the 
midst of a fair and spacious paved area a spotless altar had 
been gorgeously adorned, with a broad golden paltform all 
around for the reception of the princes, and close behind 
another circular tier for the spectators, of somewhat greater 
height and elegantly decorated, where all tlie people of the 
city might come and sit. (/lose to this was another large 
and beautiful gallery of glistening white, painted in diverse 
colours, whence ladies might view the spectacle with due 
decorum, according to their family rank. The children 
politely show the two lords all the preparations, and with 
pleasant voice keep telling them what this is and that is ; 



142 CHILDHOOD. '^ 

Doha 236. ^ 
thus, in their affection, finding a pretext for frequently 
touching their lovely person ; while they thrill all over 
with delight as again and again they gaze on the twin 
brothers. 

Chawpdi 229. 
When they perceived that R^ma was won by their de- 
votion, they lovingly explain the different places, each 
according to his own fancy calling away the two brothers, 
who in their kindness are ever ready to come. Rdma shows 
Lakshman everything, still talking in light and merry tone : 
and he, in obedience to whose fiat Maya in a moment of time 
created the entire universe, out of compassion to his faithful 
people, feigns amazement at the sight of a tourney ground. 
When they had seen all the show, they returned to their 
guru in alarm at being so late : and he, by whose awe 
Terror itself is dismayed, thus manifests the transcendant 
virtue of devotion. With many kind and courteous phrases 
they reluctantly take have of the children \yCJ 

Doha 2S7. '; ^ 
and meekly and submissively, with mingled awe and love, 
they bow the head at the guru's feet : nor sit down till they 

obtain his permission. 

Chaupdi 230. 

When it was dusk the saint gave the word, and all 

performed their evening devotions, and in the recital of 

sacred legends spent two watches of the solemn night, 

Then the saint retired to his couch, and the two brothers 

began to shampoo his feet ; they whose lotus feet the holiest 

of men longing to behold practise all kinds of penance and 

meditation, even they, these two brothers, mastered by 

love, affectionately shampooed their master's lotus feet. 

At last when the saint had so ordered again and again, 

R<ma himself retired to rest, while Lakshman pressed his 

feet to his heart and reverently caressed them with emotions 

of exquisite delight. Again and again the Lord said, 



CHILDHOOD. 143 

' Sleep, my brother,' and at last he laid himself down, but 
with the divine feet still in his lap. ^ - 
Dohd 238. ]r^^ 

When the night was spent, at the first sound of cock- 
crow Lakshman arose ; and next, before the saint, woke the 
lord of the universe, the all-wise Rdma. 
Ghaupdi 231. 

After performing all the customary acts of purification 
and going to bathe, they bowed before the guru, and by his 
permission went out to gather flowers, as befitted the time. 
As they went they spied a beautiful garden of the king's, 
where reigned perpetual Spring, planted with ornamental 
trees of every kind, and overhung with many coloured creep- 
ers, so rich in bud and fruit and flower that in its abund- 
ance it put to shame even the trees of paradise ; while the 
peacocks danced responsive to the music made by the feather- 
ed choir of chdtak, fcoil, parrot and chakor. In the midst 
of the garden a lovely lake shone bright with jewelled steps 
of varied designed : its pure expanse gladdened with many- 
coloured lotuses and the cooing of water-birds and the 
hum of bees. |^ 

Dohd 239. ^' - 

Both the lord and his brother were delighted at the 
sight of the lake and the garden. What a charming pleas- 
ance must that have been which pleased even R^ma. 

Ghaupdi 232. 
After looking all about and asking leave of the gardeners 
they began in high glee to gather leaves and flowers. 
At that very time Sita too came there, having been sent by 
her mother to visit the shrine of Girijd. With her came all 
her young and lovely companions, singing glad songs. 
Now GirijA's shrine was close to the lake, beautiful beyond 
description, the delight of all beholders. When she and 
her attendants had bathed in the pool, she approached the 
goddess with a glad heart, and after adoration paid with 



144 CHILDHOOD. 

much devotion begged of her a handsome and well-matched 
bridegroom. One" of her attendant damsels, who had strayed 
away to look at the garden, chanced to see the two brothers 
and returned to Sita quite love-smitten. / 
Doha 240. V ^^ 

When her companions observed what a state she was in, 
her body all in a tremble and her eyes full of tears, they 
asked in gentle tones,' Declare the cause of this rapture.' 
Chaupdi 233 

" There have come to see the garden two princes of 
tender age and charming in every way ; one dark of hue, 
the other fair, but how can I describe them ? Voice is 
sightless and eyes are dumb." All the damsels were 
delighted at her speech, and perceiving the intense longing 
in Sita's bosom, one of them exclaimed, *' My dear, they 
must be the king's sons, who, as I hear, arrived yesterday 
with the saint, who completely fascinated with their beauty 
and stole away the hearts of all the women in the city. 
Every one is talking of their loveliness ; we really must see 
them ; they are worth seeing." These words were most 
grateful to Sita, whose eyes were restless with longing. 
With her kind friend to lead the way, she followed, nor 
did any one know that it was an old love, y 

Dohd2U. ^V? 

Remembering Ndrad's words, she was filled with holy 
devotion, and anxiously turned her gaze on every side, like 
a startled fawn. 

Chaupdi 234. 

When he heard the sound of the golden bangles on her 
hands and feet, Rama thought within himself, and then 
said to Lakshman,*' Imagine Love triumphant over the 
whole world to be now sounding the kettledrum of victory." 
So saying he again looked in that direction, and like the 
moon on the chakor flashed Sita's face upon his sight. His 
eyes became as immovably fixed as though Nimi, the 



CHILDHOOD. 145 

winking god, had fled in confusion from his wonted post. 
Beholding her beauty he was enraptured ; but his admiration 
was all within, and utterance failed him. As though the 
great Architect, after creating the world, had put before 
it in visible form all the skill with which he had fashioned 
it ; or as if the Beautiful had been beautified into a temple 
of beauty and illuminated by a sudden flash of torchlight ; 
but all the similes of the poets are stale and hackneyed ; 
where can I find any likeness to Janaki; 

Doha 2i2. V^^ 

Dwelling in heart on Sita's beauty and reflecting on bis 
own good fortune, the pure-souled god thus addressed his 
brother in terms appropriate to the occasion, 
Chaupdi 235. ' 

" Brother, this is the very daughter of king Janak for 
whom the tournament has been ordained. She has come 
with her attendants to worship Gauri, and a train of light 
marks her path through the garden. At the sight of her 
divine beauty, my ordinarily placid bosom is agitated ; God 
alone knows the cause, but of a truth, brother, my lucky 
side is throbbing as though for coming good fortune. It 
has always been a mark of the race of Raghu that they 
never set their heart on evil courses ; and thus I am confi- 
dently assured that all will be well ; for T have never even 
in a dream looked upon another man's wife to long after 
her. And rare, indeed, in the world are the men who 
neither turn their back upon the foe in battle nor covert 
their neighbour's wife, and from whom no beggar meets a 

rebuff." 

Dohd 243/ 

Thus discoursing to his brother, and with his soul en- 
amoured of Sita's beauty, like a bee sucking honey from a 
flower, he drank in the loveliness of her face. 
Chaupdi 236. 
Sita kept looking anxiously all round, in doubt as to 
where the princes had gone. Wherever fell her f^wn-like 

R 22 



14Q CHILDHOOD. 

glance, it seemed a rain of glistening lotus flowers. Then 
her companions pointed out to her under the shade of the 
creepers the two lovely youths, the one dark, the other fair 
of hue. Her eyes, on beholding their beauty, were filled 
with longing and with the gladness of one who has found a 
long-lost treasure. Wearied with gazing upon Rama's 
charms, her eyelids forgot to wink, and her whole frame 
was fulfilled with desire, as is the partridge when it sees 
the autumnal moon. Receiving Rdma into her heart by 
the pathway of vision, she craftily closed upon him the 
doors of her eyelids. When her companions saw her thus 
overcome, they were too much abashed to utter a word. 

Dohd2i4:, y^" 

Then emerged the twin brothers from the shade of the 
arbour, like two spotless moons from a riven cloud. 
Chaupdi 237. 

Two gallant champions, the perfection of beauty, like a 
white lotus and a dark, with their hair parted like a raven's 
- wing on their comely head, and here and there bedecked 
with bunches of flower-buds ; their forehead bright with 
the tilak and beads of perspiration, and their graceful ears 
adorned with ornaments ; with arched eyebrows and curly 
locks, and eyes bright as a lotus bud, with lovely chin and 
nose and cheeks, and a gracious smile enslaving every soul 
such beauteous features as I could never describe ; they 
would put to shame a myriad Loves. With a string of jewels 
on his breast, with exquisitely dimpled neck, and powerful 
arms, like the trunk of some young elephant in whom 
KAmadeva had become incarnate ; with the flowers and 
cup of leaves in his left hand, the dark prince, my 
friend, is beautiful exceedingly. m / 

Do/ia 245. V^ 

As her companions gazed upon the two glories of the 
Solar race, with their lion-like waist and bright yellow 
attire, very abodes of bliss and amiability, they lost all 
self-conaciousness. 



CHILDHOOD. 



147 



Ghaupdi 238. 
Yet one summoning up courage, grasped Sita by the 
hand and said, *' You can at any time meditate upon 
Gauri ; why not now look at the princes ? " Then the 
modest Sita unclosed her eyes and saw before her the two 
scions of Raghu. As she gazed on Rdma, all beautiful 
from head to foot, and remembered her father's vow, she 
was greatly agitated. When her companions saw her thus 
overcome they all cried as if in alarm, "It is getting 
late;" and one added with a meaning smile," We must 
come again at this time to-morrow." On hearing this 
clever hint Sfta was abashed and said, as if in fear of her 
mother, " It is late, indeed." Then summoning up resolu- 
tion, she fixed the image of Rdma in her heart and turned 
to go ; but again she thought how entirely it all depended 
upon her sire, 

Dohd 246. ' 
and under pretence of looking at a deer, or bird, or tree, 
again and again she turned her head, and each time that 
she beheld the beauteous Rghubfr her love was augment- 
ed not a little. 

Ghaupdi 239. 
The thought of Siva's unyielding bow made her wild 
and as she went she kept in her heart the image of the 
darkhued swain. When the Lord perceived that she was 
going, he drew in his heart with the indelible ink of love 
a charming sketch of her infinite beauty and virtue and 
blissful devotion. Again she sought Bhavani's shrine, and 
after embracing her feet, thus prayed with clasped hands, - 
" Glory, glory, glory to thee, daughter of the mountain- 
king, as fixed in thy gaze on Siva's face as is the partridge 
on the moon ; mother of Ganes and Kartikeya ; great 
mother of the world ; whose body is lustrous as the light- 
ning ; of whom there is neither beginning nor middle nor 
end ; whose infinite majesty is a mystery even to the Veda ; 
cause of the birth, continuance, and ultimate destruction 



148 CHILDHOOD. 

of all being ; enchantress of the universe ; delighting in thy 
own supremacy : / > 

Dohd 2^7. %k^ 
Among all faithful wives and true women, thy name, 
mother, holds the first place ; thy immeasurable grandeur 
is more than a thousand SArad^s and Seshn^gs could tell. 
Chaupdi 240. 
The four-fold rewards of life are easy of attainment by 
thy servants, granter of boons, beloved of Tripur^ri ; 
and all, goddess, who adore thy lotus feet, are made 
happy, whether they be gods, or men, or saints. Thou 
knowest well my heart's desire, for in the heart of man 
thou ever dwellest : there is no need that I declare it aloud 
to thee." So saying, Sita embraced her feet. Bhav^ni 
was moved by her humility and devotion ; the image smiled 
^ and a garland dropt. Reverently Sita cl^asped to her jDpsom 
the divine gift, and Gauri herself with a heart full of joy 
thus spoke, " Hearken, Sfta ; my blessing is effectual ; 
your heart's desire shall be accomplished. N^rad's words 
are ever truth itself ; the bridegroom upon whom your 
soul is set shall, indeed, be yours. 
Chhand 32. 
The dark-complexioned youth, upon whose innate beauty 
your soul is set, shall indeed be yours. The All-merciful 
in his wisdom knows your loving disposition." On hearing 
Gauri pronounce this blessing, Sita and her companions 
^ were glad of heart, and in their delight (says Tulsi) return- 
- ed again and again to the temple to adore the goddess. 

Sorathd 24. * '^ '^ 
Finding Gauri so gracious, Sita was more glad of heart 
than words can tell ; and as an auspicious omen, her left 
side, the seat of good fortune, began to throb. 
Chaiipdi 2'^l. 
The two brothers returned to their guru, inwardly 
praising Sita's loveliness ; and RAma related to him all that 
had taken place, being simplicity itself and utterly devoid 
of all guile. The saint took the flowers and performed bis 



CHILDHOOD, 149 

devotions, and then imparted his blessing to the two 
brothers, saying, " May your desire be accomplished." 
R^ma and Lakshman gladdened at the words. Then, after 
taking food, the saintly sage began the recital of sacred 
legends. When the day was spent, they first asked his 
permission and then went out to perform their evening 
duties. The glorious moon was rising in the eastern sky, 
and its orb reminded them of Sita's lovely face ; but after- 
wards they thus reasoned within themselves, " The queen 
of night is not to be compared with Sita ; 

Doha 248. ^ ^ 

for she was born of the restless Ocean, with poison for a 

brother, and by day she is dim and obscure, how then can 

such a poor feeble creature be matched with the lovely Sita. 

Chanpdi 242. 

She waxes and wanes, is the curse of love-sick maids, 
and is devoured by Rdhu whenever the appointed time 
comes round ; she causes anguish to the chakwa and 
whithers the lotus ; moon, thou art full of faults. It is 
a great sin and highly improper to compare Janak's 
daughter to thee." Thus, finding in the moon a pretext for 
extolling Sita's beauty, they returned to their guru, the 
night being now far advanced, and after bowing themselves 
at his feet and obtaining his permission they retired to 
rest. When the night was over, Raghun^iyak arose and, 
looking towards his brother, thus began to say, " See, 
brother, the day has dawned to the delight of the lotus, 
the chakwa and all mankind." Then said Lakshman in 
gentle tones and with folded hands, declaring the glory of 
the Lord, >. ^ . 

Dohd2^d. ?^7 

" At the dawn of day the lily fades and the brightness 
of the stars is dimmed, so at the news of your coming all 
the princes waxed faint ; 

Chaupai 243. 

for bright though they be as the planets, they cannot 



m 



CHILDHOOD. 



master the night-black bow. The lotus, the ehakwa^ the 
bee, and every bird all rejoice in night's defeat ; and so, 
lord, all your votaries will be glad when the bow is 
broken. Sunrise is an easy triumph over darkness : the con- 
stellations retire and light flashes upon the world. 
Raghur^i, the sun in its rising shows the chiefs in a figure 
the majesty of their lord, and your mighty arms are as 
it were the pass in the eastern mountain through which 
is manifested the spectacle of thd broken bow." The Lord 
smiled to hear his brother's speech. The All-pure then 
performed the daily rites of purification and bathed and, 
after observance of the prescribed ceremonies, presented 
himself before the guru and bowed his comely head at 
his feet. Then Janak summoned Satdnand and sent him in 
haste to Visvamitra. He came and declared his sovereign's 
message, and also called for the two brothers. 
Dohd 250. ' C 
After reverently saluting Satdnand, the Lord went and 
sat down by his guru, who said, " Come, my son, Janak 

has sent for you. 

Ghaupdi 244. 

You must go and see Sita's nuptials, and who is thd 
happy man whom heaven will honour." Said Lakshman, 
" His will be the glory, my lord, upon whom your favour 
rests." The saints were glad to hear this seemly speech, 
and all with much effusion gave their blessing. Then the 
gracious god, attended by all the saintly throng, sallied 
forth to witness the tournament. No sooner had they 
reached the arena than the news spread all over the city, 
and every one put away his work and came thronging in, 
men and women, young and old, and even children in arms. 
When Janak saw the enormous crowd he gave orders to 
his practised servitors, " Go round at once to all the 
people and marshal them to their proper seats." 
Dohd 251, v^'b 

With courteous phrase they respectfully seated them 



CHILDHOOD. 151 

all, both men and women, according to their respective 
rank, whether noble, burgher or churl. 
Ghaupdi 245. 
Then stept forth the two princes like beauty beauti- 
fied, graceful and accomplished champions, one dark, the 
other fair, but both charming : resplendent in the assembly 
of princes like two full moons in a circle of stars. Every 
spectator seemed to see in them an embodiment of his own 
conception : the princes beheld a gallant warrior, as it 
were the Heroic incarnate : the wicked kings trembled 
at the sight of the Lord, as a visible presentment of the 
Terrible ; the demons in their princely disguise thought 
they saw the image of Death : while the citizens regarded 
the twin brothers as the glory of manhood, a delight to the 
eyes. , / 

Dohd 252. ' ^ 

The women with joy of heart saw what each loved 
most, as it were a bright vision of the Erotic in utterly 
incomparable form. 

Chaupdi 246. 

By sages the Lord was seen in his divine majesty with 
many faces and hands and feet and eyes and heads. And 
how did he appear to Janak's family group ? Like a noble 
kinsman and friend. The queen, no less than the king, 
regarded him with unspeakable love like a dear child : to 
mystics he shone forth as eternal Truth, the placid radiance 
of unruffled Quietism ; while to the pious the two brothers, 
appeared as their own benignant patron saint. But as for 
Sita, when she gazed on R^ma, her love and joy were un- 
speakable ; if she could not utter the emotion of her heart, 
how can any poet declare it ? Thus according to the ruling 
passion of each individual spectator, were the Kosala prin- 
ces seen by each a A i^ 
Dohd 253. ^ ! 

Resplendent in the midst of the royal circle in their 
contrasted beauty, stealing the eyes of the whole universe. 



162 CHILDHOOD. 

Ghaupdi 247. 

Both with such facile grace of form that a myriad Loves 

were all too mean a comparison : with beaming face, that 

would put to shame the autumnal moon, and irresistibly 

charming lotus eyes ; with a glance so unspeakably winning 

that it would rob Love of all his pride ; with rounded cheeks 

and ears adorned with pendulous gems ; with beautiful chin 

and lips and sweet voice ; with a smile more radiant than 

the light of the moon, and arched eyebrows and delicate 

nose ; a broad forehead with glittering tilak, and clustering 

locks with which no swarm of bees could vie ; with yellow 

turban on their shapely head, dotted here and there with 

flower-buds ; with exquisite neck, marked with a triple 

line, enclosing as it were the bliss of the three spheres of 

creation. , ^ 

Dohd 254. .' 

Adorned with a necklace of elephant pearls^ and a tulsi 
garland on their breast ; with the shoulder of a bull and 
the gait of a lion, and long arms very models of strength. 
Chaupdi 248. 

By their side a quiver slung from a yellow brace ; with 
arrows in hand and bow on their left shoulder ; with a 
charming Brdhmanical cord, also of yellow tint, and, in 
short, beautiful from head to foot, beauty all over. Every 
one who saw them was made happy, nor could for a minute 
take his eyes off them. Janak, too, rejoiced to behold the 
two brothers. Then went he to the saint and embraced 
his feet, and differentially related to him all his past 
history, and showed the hermits the place marked out for 
the games. Whenever the two gallant princes turned, all 
men's eyes were dazzled ; each saw in RAma what he him- 
self most admired, without understanding that it was a 
special miracle. The saint told the king the arrangements 
were perfect, and the king was thereby highly gratified. 



1 The kunjara-mani, as it is hf-re named, or more commonly gajamukta, 
is a pearl supposed to be found in the projections on the forehead of an 
elephant. 



CHILDHOOD. ^ ^ 153 

Doha 255. ^ 

There was one tier of seats bright, spacious and beauti- 
ful above all the rest, and here the R^ja seated the saint 

and the two brothers. 

Chaupdi 249. 
At the sight of the Lord all the chiefs grew sick at 
heart, like the stars at the rising of the full moon ; for they 
felt inwardly assured that beyond all doubt Rdma would 
succeed in bending the bow ; or even if he did not break 
the massy beam, that Sita would still bestow upon him the 
garland of victory. And so thinking, sir, they turned ) 
homewards, abandoning all glory of victory and pride of 
strength. There were other kings, blind and insolent fools, 
who mocked at such words and cried, " To break the bow 
and win the bride is a difficulty, ^ but unless it be broken 
how can the bride be won ? Should Death himself for 
once come forth against us, him too would we conquer in 
battle for Sita's sake." Hearing this there were other kings 

who smiled, good, pious and sensible men, and said, 
Sorathd 25. 7- '" / 
jj R^ma will certainly marry Sita, to the discomfiture of 
those proud princes ; for who can conquer in battle 

Dasarath's gallant sons ? 

Chaupdi 250, 

Why thus scoff and throw away your lives to no purpose ; 
imagined sweets stop no man's hunger. Listen to this my 
solemn warning : be inwardly assured that Sita is the 
mother, and R^ma the father of the universe, and feast 
your eyes to the full on their beauty. These two brothers, so 
lovely, so gracious, so full of every excellence, have their 
home in Sambhu's heart. Why, when you have a sea of 
ambr6sia at hand, should you leave it to run upon your 
death in pursuit of a mirage ? But do ye what seemeth you 
good : we have to-day reaped our life's reward." So saying 

1 The word avagdha in this line is explained in glossaries by athdk ' 
'unfathomable,' as if from the root gdh, to dive into. Rather, however, it 
seems to be for avagrdha (as kohl for krodhi), meaning an impediment or 
difficulty. 

R-23 



154 ,, OHILDflOOD. :, 

the good kings turned to gaze with affection on the picture 
of incomparable beauty ; while in heaven the gods mounted 
their chariots to behold the spectacle, and showered down 
flowers and uttered songs of joy. ^ 

noM 256. 1^1 f 

Then seeing the fitness of the time, Janak sent and sum- 
moned Sita ; and obediently she came, with all her lovely 
and accomplished attendants. 

Ghaupdi 251. 

Her beauty is not to be told : seeing that she is the 
mother of the world, the perfection of all grace and good- 
ness, every comparison seems to me unworthy of her and 
appropriate only to mortal woman. In describing Sfta, to 
what can she be likened, or what can the poet name that 
will not rather do her dishonour ? If I should liken her to 
other women, where is there on earth any nymph so lovable; 
or, if I look to the denizens of heaven, Sarasvati is a 
chatterer ; Bhavdni has only half a body ; Rati is in sore 
distress on account of her disfleshed lord ; and as for 
Lakshmi, the twinbirth of poison and strong drink, how can 
Sfta be compared to her ? Even though the ocean of 
ambrosia were the Beautiful, and the tortoise Grace, the 
rope being Fascination, and Mount Meru the amorous 
sentiment, while Love with his own lotus hand played the 

part of churner ; ^ rxry 

Dohd 257. > o^ 

Even then, though Lakshmi the source of all beauty end 
bliss, had thus been born, still the poet would shrink from 
saying that she could be compared to Sita. 
Chaupdi 252. 

She came, and with her her attendant maids, singing 
sweet-voiced songs : the mother of creation, of incomparable 
beauty ; her delicate frame veiled in a fair white robe, and 
with a profusion of brilliant and tasteful ornaments, with 
which her maidens had bedecked her every limb. When 
she set her foot within the lists, all beholders, men and 



CHILDHOOD. '''155 

women alike, were fascinated by her charms ; the gods in 
their delight sounded their kettledrums and rained down 
flowers midst the singing of the aysfarasas. The wreath 
of victory sparkled in her hands as she cast a hurried glance 
on the assembled kings, with anxious heart looking for 
R^ma. Not a king but was love-smitten. But by the saint 
sat the two brothers and on them she fell with her greedy 
eyes as upon a rich treasure. 

Doha 258. 

Shrinking into herself from awe of the reverend fathers 
and at the sight vast assemblage, she turned her eyes upon 
her attendants, though at the same time she drew all Rama 
into her soul. 

Chaupdi 253. 

Not a man or woman, who beheld the beauty of Rdma 
and the loveliness of Sfta, could close his eyes for a second: 
but all thought with dismay of the king's vow and in their 
heart made supplication to Brahma, " God, quickly 
remove Janak's obstinacy and make him right-minded as 
myself. Let the king have no hesitation about breaking 
his vow and giving Sita in marriage to Rdma : the world 
will approve, and we all shall be pleased ; but obstinacy, if 
persisted in, will at the last be as a consuming fire in his 
bosom." All were absorbed in the same ardent desire, say- 
ing, " The dark youth is the match for Sita." Then 
Janak summoned the heralds, who as they came proclaimed 
his state and dignity, and bade them go and declare his vow. 
They went, but in their heart was little joy. 
Doha 259. %^ X~ 

The heralds cried aloud, " Hearken, all ye princes : 
we announce to you our sovereign's vow, and with upraised 
hands call heaven to witness it. 

Chaupdi 254. 

Though your mighty arms be as the moon, yet SiVa*s 
famous bow is as terrible and unyielding as Rd.hu. When 
RAvan and B^ndsur saw it albeit sturdy champions they 



156 



CHILDHOOD. 



left it and went their way. Here is now the great god's 
massy beam, and whoever in this royal assembly shall to- 
day bend it shall be renowned in hieaven and earth and 
hell, and at once without hesitation shall receive in marriage 
the hand of the king's daughter." When they heard the 
vow, all the kings were full of eagerness insolent warriors, 
savage of soul and girding up their loins they rose in 
haste, bowing their heads, ere they commenced, before 
their patron god. With flushed face and many a close 
look, they essay the divine bow : but though they put forth 
all their strength in a thousand different ways they cannot 
move it. Those, indeed, who had any sense at all did not 

go near it. -J 

Doha 260. - 

After straining at the bow those foolish kings with- 
out being able to stir it, they retire in confusion, as though 
it had gathered strength by in turn absorbing the force of 
each successive warrior. 

Chaupdi 255. 

Next ten thousand kings all at once attempted to raise 
it, but it was not to be moved and yielding as little as a 
virtuous wife at the words of a gallant. All the princes 
appeared as ridiculous as a hermit who has no religion. 
Their mighty glory and renown and heroism were utterly 
worsted by the bow, and with much confusion of face and 
sadness of heart they went and took again each his own 
place in the assembly. When Janak saw the kings thus 
dismayed, he cried aloud as it were in anger,*' Hearing 
the vow that I had made, many kings have come from 
diverse realms, with gods and demons in human form, 

stalwart heroes, staunch in fight. ' , , 

Dohd 261. 
A lovely bride, a grand triumph and splendid renown 
are theorize, but God, it seems, has not created the man 
who can break the bow and win it. 
Chaupdi 256. 
Tell me now who was dissatisfied with the guerdon or. 



CHILDHOOD. 157 

refused to try his strength on Siva's bow, but let alone lift- 
ing andibreaking, sirs, there was not one of you who could 
stir it even a grain's breadth from the ground. Now let no 
proud warrior wax; wroth if I assert there is not a man 
left on earth. Give up all hope and turn your faces home- 
wards : it is God's will that Sita is not to be married. If 
I break my vow, all my religious merit is gone ; the girl 
must remain a maid ; what can I do ? Had I known, sirs, 
that there were no men in the world, I would not have 
made myself a laughing-stock by recording such avow." 
Every man and woman who heard Janak's words and look- 
ed at J^naki were sad ; but Lakshman was furious : his 
eyes flashed, 'his lips quivered and his brows were knit. 
Dohd 262. 
But for fear of his brother he could not speak, though 
the taunt pierced his heart like an arrow. Yet at last, bow- 
ing his head at Rdma'^ lotus feet, he thus spoke in dignified 
tones : 

Chaupdi 257. 
" May there never be repeated in any assembly, where 
even theUowest of the family of Raghu is present, such a 
scandalous speech as that now uttered by Janak in the pre- 
sence of the greatest of the clan. Hearken, thou sun of 
the lotus-like solar race ; I state the simple truth, without 
any vain boasting ; if only I have thy permission, I will lift 
the round world with as much ease as a marble, and will 
break it in pieces like an ill-baked potter's vessel, and tear 
up Mount Meru like a potherb. Before thy infinite majesty, 
ray lord god, what is this wretched old bow ? Only give 

|me an order and see what an exhibition I will make. I 
will take up the bow as though it were a lotus stalk, and 
will run a hundred leagues with it to convince you. 

Dohd 263. ^yfC -v 

Inspired.by thy presence, my lord, I will snap it like 

^ thestick of'anumhrella; or ifjiail I swear by thy holy 

I feet never to take bow in hand again." 



158 CHILDHOOD. 

Ghaupdi 258 

As Lakshman thus spoke in his wrath, earth shook and 
its elephant supporters tottered ; the whole assembly and 
all the kings were struck with terror ; Si ta was glad of 
heart and Janak was ashamed ; while the saint and RArna 
and all the hermits were enraptured and quivered all over 
with excitement. Then RAma with a sign checked Laksh- 
man, and lovingly made him sit beside him, while Visva- 
mitra, perceiving the fitness of the time, spoke in gentle 
and affectionate tones, "Up, Rdma, break this bow of 
Siva's and relieve Janak, my son, of his affliction." On 
hearing the guru's words he bowed his head at his feet, 
and without joy or sorrow in his soul rose and stood up- 
right in all his native grace, lordly in gait as a young lion. 
Dohd 264. '' C ^1 

As Raghubar ascended the stage, like the sun climbling 
the mountains of the east, the hearts of the saints expanded 
like the lotus, and their eyes were glad as bees at the 
return of day. 

Ghaupdi 259. 

The dark hopes of the kings vanished like the night, 
and like the serried stars their vaunts waxed feeble : the 
arrogant shrivelled up like the lilies, and the false slunk 
away like the owls ; saints and gods, like the chalcwa, were 
relieved of their distress and rained down flowers in token 
of homage. After affectionately reverencing the guru's 
feet and asking permission of the holy fathers, the lord of 
all creation quickly stepped forth, with the tread of a 
majestic elephant when inflamed with love. As he moved, 
every man and woman in the city quivered all over their 
body with delight, worshipping the spirits of their an- 
cestors and the gods, and recalling their own past gocxi 
deeds, saying, ** If my virtuous acts be of any avail, 
father Ganes, may Rdma snap the bow as it were a lotus- 
stalk." il 



OfilLDHOOt). 15^} 

Dohd 265. I' ' 
After lovingly gazing upon Rdma, Sita's mother bade.. 

ler attendants draw near, and thus spoke with affectionate 

inxiety, 

Chaupdi 260. 
" Girls, every one is bent on seeing the show, and as for 
e.aying what would be for my good, there is no one who will 
lell the king plainly : These are two mere boys ; thisex- 
(jessive obstinacy of yours is wrong ; R^van and Banasur 
(3ould not touch the bow, and the kings with all their pride 
were conquered by it ; how then give it into the hands 
of these boy-princes ? As well might a cygnet carry off 
Mount Meru. All the king's good sense is clean gone : Ah, 
girls, god's ways are inscrutable." A sharp-witted maiden 
gently answered, " queen, the glorious are never to be 
lightly regarded. Consider the weakness of Agastya and 
the boundlessness of ocean ; yet he drained it dry, and his 
fame has spread through the world. Again, the orb of the 
sun is small to look at, but at its rising darkness is 
expelled from heaven and earth and hell. 

Dohd2QQ. " ^9 

A charm is a very little thing, yet it overpowers Brahma 
and Vishnu and Mahddeva and all the gods ; and a mere 
goad governs the mightiest and most furious elephant. 
Chaupdi 261. 

Love, too, though his bow and arrows are but of flowers, 
has brought the whole world under subjection. Fear not 
then lady, but hearken to me Rdma will assuredly break 
the bow." She took heart at these words of her attendant, 
her despondency ceased and her desire was enlarged. Then 
Sita, with her eyes fixed on Rfima, implored with anxious 
heart each god in turn, praying to them in her inward 
soul, " Be gracious to me, Mahddeva and Bhav^ni, and 
reward my service by kindly lightening the weight of the 
bow divine Ganes, granter of boons, it is with a view to 



l60 CHILt)HOOD. 

to-day that I have done you service. Hearken to my oft- 
repeated supplication, and reduce the weight of the bow to 

a mere trifle." ^ 

Doha 267. ''i. 7 ^ 

Oft glancing at Raghubir's form, and taking courage 
from her heaven-ward prayers, her eyes were filled with tears 
of love, and her whole body was in a tremor. 
Ghaupdi 262. 

With fixed gaze she devoured his beauty, and then, as 
she remembered her father's vow, her soul was troubled, 
" Alas, my father, for your cruel resolve, made without any 
regard to good or evil consequences ; not a minister but 
was afraid to give advice the more the pity in the grea't 
conclave of counsellors. Here is a bow as firm as adamant, 
and here a little dark-hued prince of tender frame. god, 
how can I maintain my faith ? Is it possible for a delicate 
^siris flower to transpierce a diamond ? The judgment of the 
whole assembly has gone astray ; now, bow of Sambhu, 
thou art the only hope left me ; impart thy own heaviness 
to the crowd, and grow light thyself at once at the sight 
of Rdma." 8o great was the agitation of Sita's soul that 
an instant of time passed as slowly as an age. 
Dohd 268. / ^^ \ 

A.S she looks, now at the Lord, and now at the ground, 
Jier tremulous eyes so glisten, as it were love's two fish dis- 
porting themselves in the orb of the moon. 

Chaupai 263. 
In her lotos mouth her bee-like voice lies bound ; for 
modesty, like night, allows it not. In the corner of her eye 
stood a tear-drop, like a miser's buried hoard. Abashed 
by the consciousness of extreme excitement, she yet sum- 
moned up courage and confidence, -" If there is any truth 
in me at all and I am really enamoured of Raghupati's lotus 
feet, then the Lord God, who knoweth all men's hearts, 
will make me Rdma's handmaid ; for wherever there is true 
affection of soul to soul, union will follow beyond a doubt." 



CHILDHOOD. 161 

With her eyes fixed upon the lord she recorded this lov- 
ing vow ; and he, the most merciful, comprehended it all. 
After looking at Sita he cast a glance at the bow, as Garur 
might glance at a poor little snake. ^ , 

Dohd 269. 

When Lakshman perceived that the glory of his race 
had his eye fixed upon the bow, he thrilled with emotion, 
and striking the earth with his foot, cried thus aloud, 
Chaupdi 264. 

" Ye elephant warders, ye tortoise, serpent and boar, 
hold fast the earth with a will that it shake not, for Rdma 
is about to break the great bow ; hearken to my order and 
be ready." When Rjima drew near to the bow, the people 
all supplicated the gods by their past good deeds. The 
doubts and errors of the crowd, the arrogance of the foolish 
kings the proud pretentions of Parasurd.m the terror of all 
the gods and saints, the distress of Sita, the regrets of 
Janak, the burning anguish of the queens, were all heaped 
together on the bow as on a raft, while Rama's strength of 
arm was the boundless ocean that had to be crossed, and 
with no helmsman to essay it. 

Dohd 270. 7^'^ 3' 

R^ma first looked at the crowd, who all stood dumb and 
still as statues ; then the gracious Lord turned from them to 
Sita, and perceived her yet deeper concern ; 
Chaupdi 265. 

Perceived her to be so terribly agitated that a moment of 
time seemed an age in passing. If a man die of thirst for 
want of water, when he is once dead, of what use to him is a 
lake of nectar ? What good is the rain when the crop is 
dead ? or what avails regret when a chance has once been 
lost ? Thinking thus to himself as he gazed at Jdnaki, the 
Lord was enraptured at the sight of her singular devotion, 
and after making a reverential obeisance to his guru, he took 
up the bow with most superlative ease ; as he grasped it in 

R-24 



162 CHILDHOOD. 

his hand, it gleamed like a flash of lightning; and again as 
he bent it, it seemed like the vault of heaven. Though all 
stood looking on, before any one could see, he had lifted it 
from the ground and raised it aloft and drawn it tight, and 
in a moment broken it in halves ; the awful crash re-echoed 
through the world. 

Chhand 33. 
So awful a crash re-echoed through the world that the 
horses of the Sun started from their course, the elephants 
of the four quarters groaned, earth shook, the great serpent, 
the boar and the tortoise tottered. Gods, demons and 
saints put their hands to their ears, and all began anxiously 
to consider the cause ; but when they learnt that Rdma had 
broken the bow, they uttered shouts of Victory. 
Sorathd 26. ^^^ 
All the deluded crowd who had gone on board * the 
Siva's bow' were drowned in the waves of Rama's might. 
Chawpdi 266. 
The Lord tossed upon the ground the two broken pieces 
of the bow, and at the sight the multitude rejoiced. Visva- 
mitra's love, like the clear unfathomed depth of ocean, 
swelled to the highest tide of ecstasy under the full moon 
influence of Rama's presence. There was a jubilant noise 
of music in the sky ; the heavenly nymphs danced and sang ; 
Brahma and all the gods and deified saints and sages 
praised and blessed the hero, and rained down wreaths of 
many-coloured flowers ; the kinnara sung melodious strains ; 
and the shout of 'Victory, Victory,' re-echoed throughout 
the world. The noise that followed the breaking of the 
bow defies description. Everywhere the people in their 
joy kept saying,' Rama has broken the great bow.' 

DoU 271. -X \^^ 
Bards, minstrels and rhapsodists raise their loud-voiced^ 
peeans, and all the people lavish offerings of horses, eh 
phants, money, jewels and raiment. 



CHILDHOOD. 163 

Chaupdi 267. 

There was a clash of cymbals, tabors, conches, clarions, 
sackbuts, drums, kettledrums and all kinds of music ; and 
in every place were choirs of women singing auspicious 
strains. The queen with her attendants was as glad as a 
parched rice-field at a fall of rain ; Janak was as pleased 
and free of care as a tired swimmer on reaching a shallow ; 
the kings were as confounded at the breaking of the bow 
as a lamp is dimmed at dawn of day ; but Sita's gladness 
can only be compared to that of the chdtahi^ on finding a 
rain-drop in October ; while Lakshman fixed his eyes on 
Rdma as the chakor on the moon. Then Sat^nand gave the 
word and Sfta advanced to Rdma. / ^ 

Dohd 272. "l"^^ 

(graceful in motion as a swan, and of infinite beauty in 
every limb ; and with her came her fair and sprightly com- 
panions, who raise the glad mttrriage song. 
Ghaupdi 268. 

Resplendent in ttieir midst as the Queen of Love among 
the loves, she held in her lotus hand the fair wreath of vie 
tory, enriched as it were with the spoils of world-wide 
triumph. With modest air, but rapture in her soul, her 
interior devotion was withdrawn from sight. As she drew 
near and beheld Rima's beauty, she stood motionless like a 
figure on the wall, till a watchful attendant roused her, 
saying, ' Invest him with the ennobling wreath.' At the 
word she raised the wreath with both her hands, but was 
too much overcome by emotion to drop it ; till as the lotus, 
flower and stalk, shrinks at the moonlight, so her hand and 
arm drooped in the glory of his moon-like face. At the 
sight of his beauty her handmaids break into song, while 
Sita let fall the wreath upon his breast. 

1 The chdtaki {(JacuXas melanoleucos) is fabled never to drink, except 
it be such drops of rain as fall in the month of October, when the sun is in 
the same longitude as Arcturus, QSwdti), a time of the year when a shower 
is a very rare occurrence. The same precious drops if they fall into the sea, 
are transmuted into pearls, a belief to which allusion is made in page 11, 



104 CHILDHOOD. ^. , 

y \ ' 

Sorathd 27. 
When the gods saw the wreath resting on his breast 
they showered down flowers ; and the kings all shrunk into 
nothing, like lilies at the rising of the sun. 

Chaupdi 269. 
Both in the city and in heaven there were sounds of 
music ; the bad were saddened, and the good were glad. 
Gods, kinnars, men, serpents and saints uttered blessings 
and shouts of victory. The heavenly nymphs danced and 
sung, and flowers fell in constant showers. In every place 
were Brahmans muttering Vedic texts, and rhapsodists 
reciting lays of praise. Earth, hell and heaven were 
pervaded with the glad news, * R^ma has broken the bow 
and will wed Sita.' The men and women of the city light 
votive torches and, regardless of their substance, scatter 
gifts in profusion. Sita by Raima's side was as resplendent 
as if Beauty and Love had met together. Her companions 
whisper, * Embrace your lord's feet ;' but in excess of fear 
she dares not touch them. ^ 

Dohd 273. 'I i ^ 
She touches them not with her hands, remembering the 
fate of Gautama's wife ; and RAma smiled inwardly at this 
proof of her supernatural devotion. 
Chaupdi 270. 
Then, as they looked on Sita, the kings were inflamed with 
desire, and waxed wroth of soul frantic degenerate fools 
and sprung up the wretches and donned their armour 
and began a general chorus of abuse," Come now, let us 
carry off Sita and overthrow and bind fast these two princes ; 
though he has broken the bow, he has not yet gained his 
end ; for who shall marry Sita while we still live ? If the 
king give them any assistance, we will rout him in battle 
as well as the two brothers." When the good kings heard 
these words they answered and put the whole assembly to 
shame," The glory of your might and greatness of your 



CHILDHOOD. 165 

Strength were disgraced for ever at the breaking of the bow. 
Is that the might of which ye now boast, or have ye since 
acquired something new ? * Was it not thus that ye reckoned 
afore, when God so blackened your faces ? 

Doha 274. ^ ^ 7 

Cease from envy and arrogance and folly ; feast your 
eyes upon Rama ; and be not like a moth in the fierce flame 
of Lakshman's wrath. 

Chaupdi 271. 

Like a crow who would rob the king of the birds^ of an 
offering ; or a rat who would spoil a lion ; as a man who is 
passionate without cause and yet wishes for peace of mind ; 
as a reviler of Siva who wishes for happiness and prosperi- 
ty ; as a greedy and covetous man who wishes for fair fame, 
and as a gallant who would have no scandal ; as an enemy 
of God who wishes to be saved ; such is your desire, ye 
kings." When Sita heard the tumult, she was afraid, and 
with her companions went away to the queen, while Rdma 
composedly joined the guru, talking to himself of Sita's 
affection. Sita and the queen were much distrest, saying, 
"What is it God would have now ? " And at the sound 
of the voices of the kings they looked helplessly up and 
down. For fear of R^ma Lakshman could not speak. 

Doha 275. ^'-j? 

With fiery eyes and knitted brows he cast a furious look 
at the kings, like a lion's whelp watching to spring on a 
herd of wild elephants. 

Chawpdi 272. 

Seeing the tumult, the people were all distrest and 
joined in reproaching the kings. Then it was that the sun 
of the lotus race of Bhrigu (Parasurdm) arrived, for he had 
heard of the breaking of the bow. At the sight of him the 
kings all cowered down, as a partridge shrinking beneath the 

1 The king of the birds Garur is here called Vainateya, that is to say, 
the son of Vinata. 



7 



166 CHILDHOOD. 

swoop of a hawk. Of pallid hue and well bestreaked with 
ashes ; with the three horizontal lines sacred to Siva con- 
spicuous on his broad forehead ; with the hair on his head 
bound in a knot ; and his moon-like face flushed with the 
furnace fire of smouldering wrath ; with frowning brows and 
eyes inflamed with passion ; he casts a quick and furious 
glance around. With bull-like shoulders and mighty chest 
and arms ; with fair sacrificial cord and string of beads 
and deerskin with an anchorite's dress about his loins and 
two quivers slung by his side; with bow and arrows in 
hand, and his sharp axe upon his shoulder. 
Dohd 276. ^ , / 

In his saintly attire and savage mien a figure beyond 
description, as though the Heroic had taken the form of a 
hermit ; so he drew near to the kings. 
Chaupdi 273. 

When they beheld his ghastly attire, they all rose in 
consternation, each mentioning his own and his father's 
name, and fell prostrate on the ground before him ; and 
even those on whom he cast a kindly glance thought their 
life had come to an end. Then came Janak and bowed his 
head and called for Sita also to pay him homage. He 
bestowed upon her his blessing, and her glad companions 
escorted her back to her own appartments. Next came 
Visvamitra to salute him, and placed the two boys at his 
feet, saying," These are R6ma and Lakshman, Dasarath's 
sons." He admired the well-matched pair and blessed 
them, with his eyes long fixed upon Rdma's incomparable 
beauty, which would humble the pride even of Love him- 
self. < ^ , 
Dohd 277. ^^ ^ 

Then he turned and said to Videha,*' Why all this 
crowd?" xVsking as though he did not know, while his 
whole body was bursting with passion. 
Chaupdi 274. 

Janak told him the whole history and the reason why 



I 



CHILDHOOD. 167 

the kings assembled. After hearing his reply he again 
looked away and spied the fragments of the bow lying on 
the ground. In a mighty passion he cried in furious tones, 
" Tell me now, Janak, you fool who has broken the bow ? 
Show him to me at once, or this very day I will overthrow 
the whole of your dominion." In his excess of fear the 
king could give no answer : the wicked suitors were glad 
of heart ; gods, saints, serpents and all the people of the 
city were full of anxiety and profound alarm ; Sita's mother 
was lamenting, " God has now undone all that had just 
been done so well; " and Sita when she heard of Bhrigu- 
pati's character felt half a minute pass like an age. 
Dohd 278. ^v 3 
Seeing the people's consternation and Jdnaki's anxiety, 
the imperturbable Raghubir thus spoke and said, 
^ Ghaupdi 275. 

" My Lord, the bow has probably got broken by some 
one of your servants. What are your orders? Why not 
tell me ? " At this the furious saint was yet more incensed 
and cried,*' A servant is one who does service, but he who 
does the deeds of an enemy must be fought. Hearken, 
Rama, whoever it was who broke Siva's bow is as much 
my enemy as was Sahasrabihu. Separate him from among 
the assembly, or else every one of these kings shall be 
killed." When Lakshman heard the saint's words, he 
smiled and said to him in a tone of contempt, " sir, I 
have broken many a bow as a child, and you were never 
before thus angry : why were you so fond of this bow in 
particular? " Parasurdm replied in a fury, 

Dohd 279. 'l^Cf- ^ 

*' Ah ! death-doomed prince, is there no stopping your j 
tongue ? Would you compare to a common bow the great 
bow of Siva, that is famous throughout the world ? " 
Ghaupdi 276. 
Said Lakshman with a smile, ^" I thought, holy sir, that 
all bows were alike. What gain or what loss can there be 



168 



CHILDHOOD. 



in the breaking of a worn-out bow ? Rdma by mistake took 
it for a new one, and directly he touched it, it snapped in 
two : but it was no fault of his ; why then, reverend sir, be 
so angry for no cause ? " He answered, with a glance at 
his axe, " Fool, have you never heard of my temper ? I 
do not slay you because, as I say, you are but a child. 
You in your folly take me for a mere recluse : and from my 
childhood an ascetic I am, but a fiery one and the terror of 
the whole Kshatriya race, as is known throughout the world. 
By the might of my arm I have made earth kingless, and 
time after time have bestowed her upon the Brdhmans. See 
here, you king's son, the axe with which I lopped of Sahasra- 
bdhu's thousand arms. - .^ 

Doha 2S0, ^^^ 

Do not bring distress upon your father and mother : my 
cruel axe has ripped up even unborn infants in the womb." 
Chaupdi 277. 

Lakshman replied with a quiet smile,-'* Ah ! holy sir, 
you think yourself a great warrior indeed, and keep bran- 
dishing your axe before me, as if with a mere puff of breath 
you could blow away a mountain. But I am not a kumhar 
blossom that droops as soon as it sees a finger raised against 
it. When I perceived your axe and quiver and arrows, I 
spoke a little haughtily ; but now that I see by your Bnih- 
manical thread that you are of Bhrigu's line, say what you 
like and I will bear it patiently. In my family there is no 
waging battle against gods or Brdhmans, or devotees, or 
cows ; for to kill them is a crime, and to be overcome by 
them a disgrace ; and therefore 1 must throw myself at your 
feet, even though you strike me. Your curse is as awful as 
a million thunderbolts, and your axe and bow and arrows 
are unnecessary. ^ / 

Dohd 2Sl. >^^t 

Pardon me, great and reverend sage, for anything 
improper that I said when I first saw you." The glory of 
Bhrigu's race cried furiously in his deep toned voice, 



CHILDHOOD. 169 

Chaupdi 278. 

" Hearken, son of Kusika;^ this child is demented ; a 
perverse and death doomed destroyer of his own house ; a 
dark spot on the moon-like brightness of the Solar race ; 
utterly ungovernable, senseless and reckless. Another mo- 
ment and he shall be a mouthful in the jaws of death, and 
I loudly protest it is no fault of mine. Take him away, if 
you would save him, and teach him my glory and might and 
the fierceness of my temper." Said Lakshman, "So long 
as you live, father, who else can tell your fame so well ? 
With your own mouth you have many times and in many 
ways declared your own doings. If you are not yet satisfied, 
tell them over again, and do not distress yourself beyond, 
endurance by putting any restraint upon your passion. 
But if you are really a resolute and dauntless warrior, there 
is no honour to be got by abuse. 

Doha 282. 

Heroes perform valiant deeds in fight, but do not them- 
selves publish them : cowards finding a foe before them in 
the battle talk very large, as you 

Chaupdi 279. 
now would terrify me with your repeated cries of Death." 
On hearing Lakshman's rude speech he closed his hand 
upon his terrible axe, " After this let no man blame me ; 
this sharp-tongued boy deserves his death. I have spared 
him long on account of his being a child, but now of a 
truth he is as good as dead." Said Visvamitra, " Pardon 
his offence ; the wise regard not the faults or merits of 
children." *' I have axe in hand and am pitiless in my wrath ; 
he is moreover guilty : and has injured my guru. Yet 
though this be my answer, I will still spare his life, though 
solely out of regard for you, Visvamitra. But for you I 
had cut him in pieces with my terrible axe, and thus easily 
have paid my guru his due." ^ ^^ 

Do}id2S3. y^ 

Said the son of G^dhi, smiling to himself, " Everything 

1 The son, or rather grandson, of Kusika is Visvamitra. 

R-25 



170 CHILDHOOD. 

looks green to the saint's eyes ;i though RAma has to-day 
broken the bow as though it were a stick of sugarcane, still 
he has not the sense to understand." 
Chaupdi 280. 
Said Lakshman, '' Is there any one, Father, ignorant of 
your honour ? it is notorious throughout the wcrld. You 
have well paid th^ debt you owed to your father and 
mother ;2 but it was a great distress to you to be still in 
debt to your guru. You have now transferred the account 
to me, but the interest by lapse of time has become very 
heavy. So you must bring forward the original creditor, 
and then, sir, I will at once open my purse." When he 
heard these bitter words he grasped his axe, and all the 
people cried Alack, alack ! " Bhrigu-bar, you still 
keep showing me your axe, but, regicide as you are, I only 
spare you on account of your being a Brahman. You have 
never yet met a real staunch fighting man, and, most re- 
verend sir, you are a great man only in your own house." 
They all cried out, - ' How very wrong ;' and Rama gave 
Lakshman a sign to be quiet. 

Lakshman's words were like oil on the fire of Bhrigupa- 
ti's wrath ; till, seeing the flame increase, RAma quenched 
it with the flood of admonition, 

Chaupdi 281. 

" My lord, have compassion on a child, and wreak not 
your wrath on such an unweaned infant : if he had any 
idea of your glorious power, how could he be so foolish as 

1 The allusion is to a popular saying,' A man who loses bis eyesight 
in the month of S^wan thinks everything is always green.' Hariari, ' green, 
may also be taken as two words Zfari and ari, ' an enemy to Vishnu,' a light 
in which it would be the height of folly for ParasurAra to regard Rdma, 
since R&ma was himself an incarnation of Vishnu, as also was Parasurdm. 
The double interpretation was probably intended by the poet. 

2 Every Hindu is said to be in debt by nature to three persons, v/2., his 
father, his mother and his guru. The two first debts had been paid by 
Parasurim in a notable fashion ; for he had restored his mother Henuk^ 
to life again after he had first cut oflE her head in obedience to his father 
Jamad-agni's order ; and again when his father had been slain by Sahasra- 
bAhu, he avenged him by the slaughter of the whole Esbatriya race. It 
now remained for him to satisfy his guru, Mah&deva, for the outrage KAma 
bad done him in breaking his bow. 



CHILDHOOD. 171 

to put himself on an equality with you ? When a child 
commits any naughtiness, its guru and father and mother 
are in raptures at it. Have pity then on the boy, who is 
really one of your clients ; for thus it becometh a saint, so 
patient and wise as yOu are." On hearing Rama's words 
he cooled down a little but again Lakshman said some- 
thing with a smile, and seeing him smile he flushed all 
over with rage, " Rdma, your brother is too wicked ; 
though fair in outward hue, he is black at heart, and it is 
not mother's milk but poison that his lips have sucked. 
Perverse by nature, he neither takes after you nor regards 
me." 

Doha 285. 3 fO 

Said Lakshman with a smile,** Hearken, saint, 
passion is the root of sin ; those who are under its influence 
do unseemly things and set themselves against every one. 
Ghaupdi 282. 

lam one of your followers, reverend sir ; put away your 
wrath and show mercy upon me. Anger will not mend the 
broken bow ; pray sit down, you must be tired of standing. 
If you were so very fond of it, devise a plan for getting it 
mended and call in some skilful workman." Janak was 
frightened atLakshman's words,* Be quiet ; such froward- 
ness is not right.' The citizens all shook and trembled : 
to think so small a boy could be so naughty. As Bhrigupati 
heard his fearless words his whole body was on fire with 
rage, and he became quite helpless, and in a tone of entreaty 
cried to Rdma, *' See if you can manage this little brother 
of yours ; so fair without and foul within ; he resembles a 
golden jar full of poison." < 

Do}id2S(5. Of i 

At this Lakshman smiled, but R^ma gave him a look of 
reproof and submissively approached the guru, putting 
away all petulance of speech. 

Ghaupdi 283. 

Clasping his two hands together and speaking in most 



172 CHILDHOOD. 

modest, gentle and placid tones, he said,-^" Hearken, my 
lord, you were born a sage ; pay no heed then to the words 
^ of a child. Boys are like gnats : no wise man will ever 
trouble himself about them. Nor is it he who has done 
the mischief ; I, my lord, am the offendei:. Be pleased, your 
reverence, to visit everything on me, your servant, whether 
it be favour or anger, or death or bonds. Tell me quickly 
the means, king of saints, by which your passion may be 
assuaged." Said the saint, *' Rdma, how can my 
passion be assuaged ? Your brother has to-day set me at 
nought, and yet I have not struck off his head with my axe : 
what then have I done in anger ? 

Doha 287. V^ 

When they heard of the fierce doings of my axe, the 
proudest queens were seized with untimely pains of labour; 
my axe is still here, and yet I see this princeling, my 
enemy, alive. 

Ghaupdi 284. 

My hand moves not, though passion consumes my 
breast my regicide axe has become blunted. Fate is against 
me ; my nature is changed: for when was I ever pitiful 
before ? To-day by heaven's will I have suffered intolerable 
pain." On hearing this, the son of Sumitri smiled and 
bowed his head, " Even your pity is like a blast of wind 
and the words you speak would strip a tree of its blossoms. 
If a saint's body is thus parched even by pity, God help 
him when he is angry." " See now, Janak, keep this 
"^ child away ; he is bent in his folly on visiting the realms 
of death. Why do you not at once take him out of my 
sight, this little prince ; so small to look at and yet so 
wicked ?" Lakshman laughed and said to the saint, 
* Shut your eyes and you will see nothing.' 
Dohd 2SS. ^'/"-^^ 

Then said parasurAm in tones of fury to Rima, 
** Wretch, after breaking Siva's bow do you now teach roe ? 



CHILDHOOD. 173 

Chaupdi 285. 
It is at your suggestion your brother utters these 
sarcasms, and your humility and folded hands are a 
mockery. Give me my satisfaction in combat, or forswear 
your name of Rjima. You enemy of Siva, have done with 
your tricks and meet me in battle, or I will slay both you 
and your brother too." Flushed with passion he raised 
his axe on high, but Rdma only smiled and bowed, 
" Though the fault is Lakshman's your wrath is against me ; 
it is sometimes a great mistake to be good and upright ; 
for every one is afraid of the crooked, in the same way as 
R^hu does not attack the crescent moon. Cease, great 
saint, from your wrath." Said Rdma, "Your axe is in 
your hand and my head is in front of you ; do anything, 
sir, that will tend to pacify you, for I am your servant. 

Dohd 2S9. ^ (^ 
And how can a servant fight his master ? holy Brdh- 
man, restrain your wrath ; whatever the boy may have said, 
after looking at your dress, he meant no harm by it. 

Chaupdi 286. 
For seeing you equipt with axe and bow and arrows, the 
child took you for a knight and challenged you ; for though 
he knew your name, he did not recognize your person, and 
answered you according to yowr lineage. If you had come 
as a Religious, he would have put the dust of your Holi- 
ness's feet upon his head. Forgive the mistake of one who 
did not know you ; a Brahman's heart should be all mercy. 
What equality, my lord, can there be between you and me ? 
We are as far apart as head and feet. I am called simply 
Rama. You have the long name of * R^ma of the axe.' I 
have only one string to my bow, while you have all the 
holy nine.^ In every way I am your inferior : as a Brdh- 
man, pardon my offence." 

1 Gun, which is the name for a bowstring, means also virtue ; and the 
cardinal virtues are said to be nine in number, though the list is a 
variable one. 



174 CHILDHOOD. K I ^ 

Doha 290. 

Again and again did Rima intreat his namesake, 
addressing him by his titles of * Saint ' and ' Holy Brahman,' 
till Bhrigupati exclaimed in his rage : You are as per- 
verse as your brother. 

Chaupdi 287. 

You persist in taking me for a Brflhman ;I will tell you 
now what kind of a Brdhman I am. My bow is my sacrifi- 
cial ladle, my arrow the oblation, and my wrath the blaz- 
ing fire ; armies fully equipt with horses and chariots and 
elephants and footmen are the fuel, and mighty kings are 
the victims for oblation whom I have cut in pieces with 
this axe ; thus have I celebrated countless sacrifices of war 
all over the world. To you my glory is unknown, and you 
address me contemptuously, taking me for a mere Brahman. 
Now that you have broken the bow, your pride has increas- 
ed enormously, and you put yourself forward in your 
arrogance as universal conqueror," Said R^ma : " saint, 
think before you speak ; your anger is excessive ; my 
fault is a trifling one. The old bow broke at a touch. 
What reason have I to be proud ? ^ i 
Dohd 291. i 1 P 
Hear the truth, Bhrigunith ; you say I set you at 
nought when I treat you with the respect due to a Brah- 
man ; but is there any warrior to whom I would bow my 

head in fear ? 

Chaupdi 288. 

Any god, demon, king or warrior, whether my equal in 

strength or my superior, who will challenge me to combat, 

him would I gladly meet, or even Death himself. For one 

who is born of warrior caste and yet shirks the battle is a 

disgrace to his lineatjo and a contemptible wretch. I state 

what is only a characteristic of my race and make no idle 

boast ; there is not a descendant of Raghu who would fear 

to meet in battle even Death himself ; but so great is the 

power of Br^hmauical descent that he fears you, ^o fears 



CHILDHOOD. 175 

nought else." On hearing this calm and profound speech 
of Rima's, the eyes of the soul of the axe-bearer were 
opened : '* Rdma, take and draw this bow of Vishnu's 
and let my doubts be ended." As he gave it, the bow 
strung itself of its own accord ; then was Parasurdm amaz- 
ed at heart. ' ^ - 
D6hd 292. y / 7 

He acknowledged the power of Rama ; his whole frame 
quivered with excitement ; and his heart bursting with 
love, he thus spake with clasped hands : 
Chaupdi 289. 

" Glory to the Sun of the lotus race of Raghu, to the 
fire that consumes the serried ranks of the demons ; glory 
to the friend of gods, Brdhmans and kine ; glory to the 
dispeller of the delusions induced by pride, ignorance and 
passion ; glory to him whose piety, amiability, and com- 
passion are fathomless as ocean ; glory to him who is 
unrivalled in the art of speech, the rewarder of service, the 
all-beautiful of form, more gracious of person than a 
myriad Loves. How can I with one tongue declare his 
praise, who is as it were the divine swan in the hyperboreal 
lake of Mahddeva's soul ? In my ignorance I have said 
much that was unseemly ; but pardon me, yet twin brothers, 
mercy's shrine." Still repeating as he went : ' Glory, 
glory, glory, to the mighty R^ma,' Bhrigupati withdrew to 
the forest to practise penance. The wicked kings were self- 
dismayed and trembled, and fled the cowards in all 
directions, without a word. j .^ 

Dohd 293. ^ ' V 

The gods sounded their kettledrums and rained down 
flowers on the Lord ; and all the people of the city rejoiced, 
now that the thorn of fear and error had been extracted 
from their heart. 

Chaupdi 290. 

There was a tumultuous clash of instruments of music 
and a display of all things pleasant and auspicious. Troops 
of fair faced, bright-eyed maidens joined in song with voices 



176 



CHILDHOOD. 



of exquisite melody. Janak's delight was beyond description, 

as that of a born beggar who has found a treasure : and Slta 

relieved of her fears, was as glad as a young partridge at the 

rising of the moon. The king made obeisance before Visva- 

mitra, saying : " It is by my lord's favour that R^ma has 

broken the bow. These two brothers have gained me my 

purpose ; tell me now, reverend sir, what is becomes me to 

do." Said the saint : " Hearken, wise king ; the marriage 

was dependent on the bow, and took effect directly the bow 

broke ; this is well known to every one, whether god, man 

orNiiga. o /3v 

. Dohd2M. on 

Still, go and perform according to family usage what- 
ever practices are prescribed in the Veda, after consultation 
with the Brdhmans and elders and your own guru ; 

Chaupdi 291. 
and despatch a herald to Avadh to invite king Dasarath" 
Vjuo-^The pria^e^ responded gladly : " Tis well, gracious sir," 
and sent a messenger to Avadh that very moment. Then 
he summoned all the burghers, who came every one of them, 
and humbly bowing before him received the order : 
" Decorate all the markets and streets and temples and 
shrines in all four quarters of the city." They returned 
in joy, each to his own house. Then he called up his own 
servants and instructed them : " Have all kinds of pavi- 
lions made and erected." They obeyed in all gladness and 
sent word to the different artificers who were skilful in the 
construction of canopies and triumphal arches ; and they, 
after invoking Brdhma, set to work and made pillars of 
gold in the shape of plantain trees, .j-ys 
Dohd 295. -^^ 
with leaves and fruit of emeralds and ruby flowers ; such a ;* 
gorgeous show that the Creator was quite disconcerted at I 
the sight. 

Chaupdi 292. ^ 

The rods all encrusted with emeralds, and so like in form ^i 



CHILDHOOD. 177 

and colour,! that no one could tell them from real, with 
betel leaves fashioned in gold so bright and glisten- 
ing that no one could look at them. Then they worked up 
the leaves into wreaths, with strings of beautiful perals 
inserted here and there, and after much cutting and grav- 
ing and in laying made lotuses of mosaic with rubies, 
emeralds, diamonds and turquoises. Bees, too, they made 
and birds of varied plumage, which buzzed and whistled 
in the rustling breeze; and on the pillars they sculptured 
figures of the gods all standing erect with things of good 
omen in their hands. Squares were drawn on the ground 
and filled in with diverse devices made of elephant pearls^ 
of exquisite beauty. '3-Y / 

Dohd 296. ^ ^'^ 

There were also made most lovely mango-boughs of 
graven sapphires with blossoms of gold, while clusters of 
emerald fruit glistened on silken cords. 
Chaupdi 293. 

Next they made charming festoons as it were Love's 
own nooses and many golden vases with silken flags and 
banners and waving chauris and elegant lamps all studded 
with gems. It is impossible to describe the various pavi- 
lions and in particular the one intended for the royal bride ; 
what poet would have the hardihood to attempt its descrip- 
tion ? while the canopy for Rama, the bridegroom, the 
centre of all beauty and perfection, flashed its radiance 
through all three worlds. In every house throughout the 
city there was the same splendour as in Janak's palace ; 
any one who then saw Tirhut there was nothing in the 
fourteen spheres^ to compare with it, and the prosperous 



1 Another reading, instead of sa-ras, saharna, is sural sa-parva, 'straight 
and knotted.' 

2 F'tr sindfmr, 'an elephant.' another reading is dndw, ' vermilion,' but 
this canni)t oe corrct, sinoe the chauks or squares, to which reference is 
here made, are always marised out witti some whit-i material, ordinarily 
flour, though in a king's palace strings of pearls might be substituted. 

3 The fourteen spheres are as follows, viz, first, seven above the earth 
Bhur-lok, Bhuvar-lok, Swar-lok, Mahar-lok, Jan-lok Tap-lok. and Satya-lok ; 
and seven beneath the earth -Atal, Bital, Sutal, Rasdtal, Mahdtal, Taldtal, 
and Fital. 

R-26 



1 



178 CHILDHOOD. 

appearance of the very meanest house was enough to 
fascinate even the king of heaven. 

Doha 2d7. S'X^ 

For the magnificence of the city wherein dwelt the god- 
dess Lakshmi, in disguise as a woman, was more than even 
S^rad^ or Seshndg could tell. 

Chaupdi 294. 

When the heralds arrived at Rama's sacred birthplace, 
they rejoiced to see the beauty of the city. At the royal 
gate they sent in word, and King Dasarath at once sum- 
moned them to his presence. With a profound salutation 
they delivered the letter, and the king in his joy rose to 
receive it. As he read it his eyes filled with tears, his 
body quivered all over, and his heart seemed bursting. 
With R^ma and Lakshman in his soul and their dear 
letter in his hand, he could not utter a word either good 
or bad. At last, taking courage, he read the letter, and 
all the court rejoiced to hear the certain news. Now Bharat 
was playing about, and on hearing the tidings he, nay, 
the two brothers, came and with the utmost modesty and 
affection asked : " Father, where has the letter come from. 
Dohd 298. 5 7 - 

Is all well with my two dear brothers ? Tell me what 
country they are in." On hearing these loving words the 
king again read the letter. 

Ghaupdi 295. 

On hearing it the two brothers trembled all over with 
irrepressible joy, and the whole court was charmed to 
see Bharat's ^holy devotion. Then the king seated the 
messengers close by him and said in sweet and winning 
tones : ** Tell me, friend, are the two boys well ? Have 
you really seen them with your own eyes ? " '' One is 
dark, the other fair ; both are equipt with bow and quiver, 
and are of tender age, and with them is Saint Visvamitra." 
Said the king again and again in his overpowering love : 
You know them, it is clear ; tell me now of their state ; 



CHILDHOOD. 179 

for from the day that the saint took them away till now I ^ 
have had no definite news of them. Tell me how Janak 
knew them." At these fond words the messengers 
smiled : ^aj fuf- 

Dohd 299. ^^ 

" Hearken, jewel and crown of kings ; there is no 
man so blest as you, who have for sons Rdma and Laksh- 
man, who are the glory of the whole world. 
Chaupdi 296. 

There is no need to ask your sons who they are ; lion- 
hearted heroes who irradiate the three spheres. Before 
their glory and renown the moon is dim and the sun is 
cold. Why say, my lord, how they were recognized ? 
Does one take a lamp in his hand in order to see the sun ? 
The countless kings at Sita's marriage, great warriors as 
they were, all shrunk away one after the other ; for not 
one of them could stir Sambhu's bow, but all failed, those 
mighty princes. The power of the haughtiest champions 
in the three worlds was crushed by it. Though Ban^sur / 
could uproot Mount Meru, even he confessed himself 
beaten, and retired after pacing around it ; and he who in 
sport uplifted KaiUs (i. e., Ravan) was worsted in this 
assembly. ^ ^ . _ 

Dohd SOO. -^ '"^ 

Then R^ma, the jewel of Raghu's line (hearken, 
sovereign lord), snapped the bow with as little effort as an 
elephant would put forth in breaking the stalk of a lotus. 
Chaupdi 297. 

At these tidings Parasuram came in a fury, and after 
much brow-beating gave Rdma his own bow to test his 
strength, then suppliantly withdrew to the woods. Nor is 
RAma more conspicuous in his unequalled might than is the 
all-glorious Lakshman, at sight of whom the kings tremble, 
as an elephant before a young lion. No one who sees your 
two sons, sir, can regard anything else on earth." At this 
eloquent and affectionate speech of the heralds, so loving, 



180 CHILDHOOD. 

grand and heroic, the king and his court were much moved, 

and began to offer them lavish gifts ; but they closed their 

ears, crying, " Not so, not so ; " and all were charmed to 

see their integrity. *2 n L 

Do?irf 301. ^^^ 

Then the king rose and went and gave the letter to 
Vasishta, and after relating all the circumstances to the 
guru sent courteously for the envoys. 
Chaupdi 298. 

After hearing them the saint was highly pleased and 
said : " To a good man the world is full of happiness. As 
rivers run into the sea, though it has no greed for them, so 
joy and prosperity come unasked and of their own accord 
to a virtuous soul. Strict in the performance of your duties 
to your guru and to Br^hmans and kine and gods, and your 
queen Kausalyd no less devout than yourself ; you have no 
equals for piety in the whole world, either now or in the 
past, nor hereafter shall have. Who, king, can be more 
blest than you, who have a son like R^raa ; nay, four heroic 
sons, all equally obedient, religious and amiable. Happy, 
indeed, are you for all time. Prepare the marriage proces- 
sion to sound of music. ? T,'/ 

Dohd 302. ^ / 

Go quickly." On hearing the saint's commands the 
king bowed in assent, and hastened to the palace, after 
assigning quarters to the heralds. 

Chaupdi 299. 

Then he called all the ladies of the seraglio and read 
^ aloud to them Janak's letter all rejoiced greatly at the 
news. He then told them all the verbal message ; and both 
himself and the queens were as enraptured with delight as a 
peacock at the sound of approaching: rain. The guru's wives 
in their joy invoked the blessings of heaven, and the queen- 
mother was completely overwhelmed with ecstasy. They 
t ake the dear letter from one another, and press it to their 
bosom to cool as it were their burning heart. Again and 



CHILDHOOD. 181 

again ere he turned to the door, the king repeated the glory 
and the exploits both of Rdma and Lakshman, adding, 
" It is all by the saint's good favour." Then the ladies 
sent for the Brdhmans and joyfully made them offerings, 
for which the holy men returned their blessings. 
Soratha 28. "^^ 2 /" 

Next they called together the beggars and lavished every 
kind of gift upon them : " May the four sons of the Em- 
peror Dasarath live for ever :" 

Ghaupdi 300- 

Thus they shouted as they left, attired in raiment of 
many colours. There was a jubilant clamour of music and 
in every house, as the news spread among the people, 
there were joyous congratulations. The fourteen spheres 
were fulfilled with delight at the marriage of Raghubfr 
with the daughter of Janak. When they heard the glad 
tidings, the citizens were enraptured and began decorating 
the roads and houses and streets ; for although Avadh in 
itself was a charming place, and clean and pure as being 
RAma's home, yet as the natural outcome of its love it 
garnished and adorned itself still more with festal decora- 
tions. Silken flags and banners and graceful chauria 
crested the gay bazar ; and at every turn were golden jars 
and festoons of netted pearls and heaps of turmeric, dij(>h 
grass, curds, rice, and garlands of flowers. 
Dohd 303.r S' ^^ 

Every one decorated his house ; the streets were duly 
watered, and every square was filled in with some tasteful 
design. 

Ghaupdi 301. 

Troops of girls assembled at different places, who had 
practised all the sixteen kinds of female adornment,^ brilliant 

1 The sixteen sringar, or modes of female adornment, are specified in 
the following rhymes : 

Hrathama ana:-snchi ek bidhi - Majjan dutiva bakhani, 
Amal basan uanirau tritiya -Yh ak chari sujdni. 
Panchama kes-sanvAriyo Shashtahin mdng-sindtr. 



1 



182 CHILDHOOD. 

as the lightning, with moon-like face and fawn-like eyes, 
and beauty enough to rob even Love of his pride ; singing 
auspicious strains with voice so melodious that the cuckoo 
was put to shame on hearing the sweet sound. How is the 
king's palace to be described ? The pavilion they set up 
would dazzle the world. Everything beautiful and of fair 
omen was displayed, and every kind of music was heard. 
Here were rhapsodists chanting songs of praise ; liere were 
Brdhmans muttering Vedic spells ; while lovely women 
carolled joyous songs, ever dwelling on the names of R^ma 
and Sita. The joy was so great that the palace was too 
small for it, and it overflowed on all four sides. 

Dohd 304. 5 ^ 

What poet can describe in full the magnificence of the 
palace of Dasarath, in which Rtlma, the glory of highest 
heaven, had taken birth ? 

Ghaupdi 302. 

The king next called Bharat : " Go and prepare horses 
and elephants and chariots and start at once for Raghubir's 
marriage procession." When they heard this order, both 
brothers were full of excitoment. Bharat sent for all the 
chief officers and issued his commands, and they rose in 
joy and haste to perform them. First they made gorgeous 
trappings for the horses. Of different colours were the 
gallant steeds, but all well-proportioned and mettlesome, 
touching the ground with their feet as lightly as though 
it were red-hot iron. I cannot tell all the various breeds ; 
they would race the wind and outstrip it. The princes 
who mounted them were all like Bharat, graceful, and gor- 
geously attired, with bow and arrows in hand and well- 
filled quiver at their side. 



BhAl-khauri saptama kahat Ashtam chibiik til pur. 
Mehndi kar pad rachan nava Dasma argaja ang. 
Gjdrah bhiikhan nag-jatit B6rah pushp prasang. 
Bdsrdg mukh terahi Chaudah rangiyo dint. 
Adhar-rig gani panchadasa Eajjal shodas bh&nt. 



CHILDHOOD. 183 

Doha 305. ^ -^ ^ 
Slim, elegant and lithesome youths, bat expert warriors 
all ; and with each knight were two footmen well skilled 
in sword-play. 

Chaupdi 303. 

Full of high resolve, the warriors staunch in fight sal- 
lied forth and halted outside the city, putting their well- 
trained steeds through all their paces and rejoicing in the 
clash of tabor and drum. The charioteers had made their 
cars equally gorgeous with flags and banners and jewelled 
adornments, with elegant chauris and tinkling bells, so as 
to outdo in splendour the chariot of the Sun. Innumer- 
able were the black-eared horses, ^ which the grooms yoked 
to these chariots, and all were so beautiful and richly capa- 
risoned that even a saint would be enraptured at the sight ; 
skimming the surface of the water like dry lapd, nor 
sinking even hoof-deep, so marvellous their speed. After 
completing their equipment of armour and weapons, the 
charioteers gave word to their masters, 

Dohd 306. 3 V >- 

who all mounted in turn, and the procession began to form 
outside the city ; all, whatever the object on which they 
were bent, were met by auspicious omens. 
Chaupdi 304. 

On the magnificent elephants were splendid canopies, 
wrought in a manner beyond all description. As the mighty 
elephants moved, the bells clanged like the thunder from 
the clouds in the grateful month of S^wan. And other 
vehicles were there of many kinds ; elegant pdlkis and 
sedans and coaches, wherein were seated companies of 
noble Brdhmans, incarnations as it were of all the hymns of 
the Veda. The genealogists and bards and minstrels and 
rhapsodists were mounted on other cars according to their 
rank ; while mules and camels and oxen of every breed 
were laden with all sorts of baggage ; there were 
I A horse to be fit for sacrifice must have black ears. 



184 CHILDHOOD. 

also millions of porters with burdens slung across their 
shoulders ; but who could enumerate such an endless 
list of things and the crowd of servants, each with his own 
set of appliances ? 

Doha 307. ?3 3 
All were glad and fearless of heart, and were quiver- 
ing with excitement in every limb, saying : " When shall 
we feast our eyps with the sight of the two heroes, Rima 

and Lakshman ?" 

Chaup'i 305. 

The elephants' bells clanged with a fearful din : on all 
sides there was a creaking of wheels and a neighing of 
horses ; the drums would drown a tempest's roar, and no 
one could hear himself speak or any one else. At the 
king's gate was such an enormous crowd that the stone 
pavement was all trodden into dust. Women mounted on 
the upper story viewed the sight, with festal torches and 
salvers in their hands, and carolled melodious songs in an 
ecstasy of joy beyond description. Then Sumanta made 
ready two chariots and yoked them with steeds that would 
outrun the horses of the Sun, and brought them in all their 
beauty before the king not S^radA herself could do them 
justice the one was for the royal retinue, but the other 
was still more splendid. iX U 

Doha 308. -' ^ 

This the king first caused Vasishta to mount, and then 
himself ascended, with his thoughts fixed upon Hara, his 
guru, Gauri, and Ganes. 

Chaupdi 306. 

By Vasishta's side the king shone forth as Purandara 
beside Vrihaspati. After perfurming every ceremony pre- 
scribed either by family usage or the Veda, and inspecting 
whatever had been done, he sallied forth to the blast of 
the conch shell, after obtaining the permission of hi guru, 
and with his thoughts fixed on Rma. The beneficent 
gods rejoiced to see the procession and rained down flowers. 



CHILDHOOD. 185 

There was a confused uproar, horses neighing, elephants 
trumpeting, and drums beating, both in the sky and on the 
line of march. Women and goddesses alike broke out in J" 
songs of joy, while tuneful clarions played in sweet accord. 

There was an indescribable clamour of bells, both great 
and small. The foot soldiers leaped and danced as if 
challenging attack ; the jesters practised all kinds of 
buffoonery, provoking laughter with facetious songs. 
Dohd^OQ. ^^..r 

Gallant youths make their steeds curvet to the measur- 
ed beat of tabors and kettledrums ; accomplished dancers 
note with surprise that they never make a step out of time. 
Chaupdi 307. 

But it is useless attempting to describe the procession. 
Every omen that occurred was fair and auspicious. On 
the left side a blue-necked jay was picking up food as if to 
announce the very highest good fortune ; on a fair field on 
the right were a crow and a manglis in the sight of all ; 
a grateful breeze breathed soft and cool and fragrant ; a 
woman was seen with a pitcher and child ; a fox showed 
himself winding about ; and in front a cow was suckling 
its calf ; a herd of deer came out on the right, an indication 
of everything good ; a Brdhmani-kite pronnsed all success : 
also a sydma bird perched on a tree to the left ; a man was 
met bearing curds and fish ; and two learned Brdhmans 
with books in their hands. 

Dohd 310. i ^^ 

Every good and auspicious omen, and every bestower of 

desired reward, seemed all to have met at once as if to verify 

themselves. 

Chaupdi 308. 

Every good and auspicious omen was ready at hand for 
him whose glorious son was the incarnate God, a bride- 
groom like Rdma, matched with such a bride as Sita, and 
with the pious Dasarath and Janak for the two parents. 
When they heard of the marriage, all the good omens 

R 27 



136 CHILDHOOD. 

began to dance and say :-'* Now at last the Creator has 
really made us to be what our name denotes." In this 
manner the procession set forth, with noise of horses and 
elephants and beat of drums. When Janak, the glory 
of the Solar race, heard of its approach, he had all the 
rivers bridged, and at different stages had convenient 
rest-houses erected, which vied in splendour with the 
city of heaven and were supplied everything that one 
could desire -beds, food and linen. Ever discovering 
some new charm, all the travellers forgot their own home. 
DohdSn. '3 5'^ 
When it was known that the procession was close at 
^ hand, and the beating of the drums was heard, a deputa- 
^ tion went out to meet it, with elephants and chariots and 

foot and horse. 

Chaupdi 309. 
Beautiful golden vases and trays and salvers and costly 
dishes! of every "kind, laden with cakes as sweet as nectar 
and of indescribable variety, with much luscious fruit and, 
in short, everyihing.of the best, did the king in his glad- 
ness send as an offering. Ornaments, wearing apparel, 
jewels of all kinds, birds, deer, horses, elephants, carriages 
of every description, well-omened spices, delicious per- 
fumes, these, too, did the king send, and there was a 
train of porters with their baskets full of curds and 
" parched rice and other light entremets. When the deputa- 
tion saw the wedding guests, their soul was full of rapture 
and their body quivered with excitement ; while the 
guests were no less charmed by the preparations made 
for their reception and beat their drums. 
Dohd 312. 2'^ 
For a little they joined their ranks and marched in their 
joy as one body for the sake of company ; like two oceans 
of bliss that had burst their bounds and com e together. 

1 For hhajan, ' dislics,' some copies read hhojan, ' food,' but incorrectly, 
as the context shows. 



CHILDHOOD. 187 

Ghaupdi 310. 
The nymphs of heaven rained down flowers and sang, 
the glad gods beat their drams. The offerings were all 
set out before the king, with a humble and affectionate 
address. The king graciously accepted them and bestowed 
them in charity on the poor. Then with religious honours 
and hymns of praise they conducted him to the guest- 
chambers. The cloths spread as carpets for King Dasarath 
to tread upon were so gorgeous tliat the god of wealth on 
seeing them could boast no longer. The gods rained down 
flowers and shouted Victory, Victory. The apartments 
assigned were most beautiful and supplied with every kind 
of comfort. When Sita knew that the procession had 
arrived in the city, she manifested her greatness to a slight 
extent, and with thoughtful heart called up the eight 
Siddhis, or wonder-working spirits, and sent them to 
arrange for the king's reception. 

Doha SIS. T^"^^ 

Obedient to her command, they repaired to the recep- 
tionhall, taking with them every kind of luxury and com- 
fort and all the joys and delights of heaven. 
Ghaupdi 311. 

Each guest on going to see his apartment found it a 
veritable paradise ; no, one, however, had an inkling of the 
mysterious power that had been exerted, but took it all as 
Janak's doing. Rdma alone recognized the influence of 
8{ta and rejoiced at this proof of her love. When the two 
brothers heard of their father's arrival they could not con- 
tain themselves for joy, but were too modest to speak to 
their guru, though they longed greatly to see their sire 
again Visvamitra perceived their humility, which filled 
his soul with contentment, and took the two brothers to 
his bosom with quivering body and eyes bedewed with 
tears. They went then to Dasarath's mansion, like thirst- 
ing travellers who have spied a pool. 



188 CHILDHOOD. 

Doha 314. ' 
When the king saw the saint coming with the two boys, 
he rose in joy and advanced to meet them, like one who 
feels his footing in a deep flood of bliss. 
Ghaupdi 312. 
He prostrated himself before the saint, again and again 
sprinkling on his head the dust of his feet. Visvamitra 
took him to his bosom and blessed him and enquired after 
his welfare. Then the two brothers prostrated themselves. 
The king on seeing them could not contain himself for joy, 
but took his boys to his heart, and forgetting the intoler- 
able pain of the past seemed like a dead man restored to 
life. Then they bowed their head at Vasistha's feet, who 
also embraced them most affectionately ; and in turn they 
saluted all the Brahmans and received their welcome bless- 
ings. They greeted Bharat too and his younger brother 
1 Satrughna, who at once raised up R^ma and embraced him, 
^ and no less rejoiced to see Lakshman again. Thus they all 
met together with a display of the utmost affection. 

Dohd sio. ^m 

The all-merciful and gracious lord had an appropriate 
greeting for all, whether citizens, or attendants, or kinsmen, 
beggars, or ministers, or friends. 

Chaupdi 313. 

At the sight of RAma the wedding guests were repaid 
for their toilsome journey, and their demonstrations of love 
were beyond all telling Beside their royal father the four 
boys seemed as incarnations of the four great ends of life. 
All the people of the city were delighted beyond measure 
at the sight of Dasarath and his sons ; the gods rained down 
flowers and beat their drums ; the nymphs of heaven danced 
and sang. Satinand with the Brahmans and ministois -f 
state and the rhapsodists and bards and players and minst- 
rels, who had come in deputation, after duly reverencing the 
king and the marriage guests, received permission to return. 



CHILDHOOD. 189 

The whole city was exceedingly delighted that the proces- 
sion had come before the day fixed for the wedding, and 
were supremely happy, praying God to lengthen the days 
and nights : 

Doh 316. J^>^ 
" R^ma and Sita are the perfection of beauty, and the 
two kings the perfection of virtue :" thus would say all the 
people of the city whenever they happened to meet : - 

Chaupdi 314. 
" Sita is the incarnation of Janak's merit and Rdma of 
Dasarath's : no one has equalled them in devotion to Sita, 
nor has any one obtained such a reward as they have. And 
all we must be everything that is good, seeing that we 
have been born into the world as Janak's citizens and have 
beheld the beauty of Jd-naki and Rd.ma ; who is so super- 
latively blest as we are ? and we have yet to see Rd-ma's 
wedding, of all sights the best worth seeing." So, too, 
sweet-voiced maidens whispered to one another : " This 
marriafje, my dear, will be a great treat. God has brought 
about an event of signal felicity in lodging those two bro- 
thers in the guest-chambers of our eyes. 

Dohdsn. ::%?. 

Many and many a time will Janak lovingly send for 
Sita, and the two brothers, beautiful as a myriad Loves, will 
come to fetch her. 

Chaupdi 315. 

There will be all kinds of hospitable entertainments; 
who, dear girl, would not rejoice in such a father-in-law ? 
Every one in the place will be delighted at the sight of R^ma 
and Lakshman ; and now two other lads, my friends, have 
come with the king, who are a match even for them ; one 
dark, the other fair, but beautiful in every limb, so says 
every one who has seen them " Said one in reply : " I saw 
them to-day, and thought God must have made them with 
his own hands. Rjima and Bharat are so much alike that 



190 CHILDHOOD. 

neither man nor woman could without looking close tell 
one from the other ; while again Lakshman and Satrughna 
are also one in appearance, perfectly beautiful in every 
limb from head to foot ; the soul would fain express its 
rapture, but language fails it, for there is nothing com- 
parable to them in all the three spheres of creation." 

Ohhand 34. 

No poet, however ingenious, says Tulsi Dis, could find 
aught comparable to them ; for so unbounded is their 
strength, their courtesy, their knowledge, their amiability 
and their beauty, that they have no peers but themselves. 
All the women in the city, spreading out their garments, 
made prayer to Brahma, *' May all four brothers be married 
here, and may we sing their wedding song." 

Sorathd 29. ^^ (^ 

Said the damsels to one another with streaming eyes 
and quivering body : '* Friends, the two kings are of such 
boundless religious merit that for their sake Mahadevawill 
bring it all about." 

Chaupdi 316. 

In like manner they all expressed their desire, while 
their full heart overflowed with rapture. Wlieii the kings, 
who had come as Sita's suitors, saw the brothers, they all 
rejoiced and returned to their own homes, extolling Rama's 
high and spotless fame. In this fashion several days were 
spent, to the joy alike of citizens and guests. At length 
the auspicious, day arrived, in the cold season, in the 
pleasant month of Aghan. The Creator himself had care- 
fully fixed the date, when the sign of the zodiac, the age 
of the moon, the conjunction of the stars and the day of 
the week were one and all propitious. Of this he sent 
word through N^rad, and it was the very same that Janak's 
wise men had calculated. All the people on hearing this 
fact declared their astrologers to be very gods. 



CHILDHOOD. 191 

Dohd SIS. ^H^ 

It was towards sunset, i the clearest and most delightful 
hour of the day, that the Brdhmans apprized Videha's king 
that the auspicious time had arrived. 
Ghaupdi 3.1.7. 

The monarch cried to the family priest : " What is 
now the cause of delay ? At once Sat^nand summoned the 
ministers, who all came bearing festal vases : conches, 
drums, and tabors sounded; all decked their vases in 
auspicious wise : graceful damsels sang songs, and holy 
Brdhmans murmured Vedic texts. In this manner they 
went with all ceremony to the visitors' camp, and on be- 
holding the king of kosala's retinue it seemed to them 
that Indra was of much less glory. " The hour has come, 
be pleased to start." At this the drums gave a thundering 
beat. After consulting his guru and performing the family 
rites, the king and the saint sallied forth with all their host. 
Doha 319. yr/ ^ 

Brdhma and all the other gods, on beholding the pomp 
and magnificence of Avadh's king, began to extol him with 
a thousand tongues and declare their own life to have 
been wasted. 

Ghaupdi 318. 

Seeing the auspiciousness of the time, the deities rained 
down flowers and beat their drums. Siva and Brdhma and 
all the host of heaven mounted their chariots and came in 

1 The word dheim-dhull stands for the more common go-dh'iiliiov go 

and <i/i^?iM are identical in meaning and denotes the unfortunately very 

brief period of the day during which the Indian climate is thoroiighly en- 

1 joyable. Professor Monier Williams in his Sanskrit dictionary explains the 

V words as follows : " ' dust of the earth ' ; a period of the day in the hot 

^ season when the sun is half risen ; in the cold and dewy seasons when the 

jl ' sun is full but mild ; and in the three other seasons, sunset ; originally, a 

time at which tnist seems to rise from the earth." 1 have Hlways myself 

considered that the first part of the compound was used in its more ordinary 

sense of ' a cow,' and that go-dhuli would be literally rendered dust of cows,' 

not ' dust of the earth.' The word is still current in village use, and when I 

have been moving about iu the district in the cold weather I have heard it 

applied by the country-people to the hour of sunset, when the cattle were 

all coming home from pasture, and raising dense clouds of dust alonir the 

narrow lanes ; a fact to which the speaker was evidently referring, and 

which, I think, is the more correct explanation of the etymology. 



192 CHILDHOOD. 

crowds to see Rdma's wedding, their heart and every limb 
throbbing and quivering with excess of love. They were so 
charmed with Janak's capital that their own realms seemed 
to them as nothing worth. They gaze with astonishment at 
the pavilions and all the marvellous decorations ; at the 
men and women so beautiful and w^ll-formed, so good and 
amiable and intelligent, before whom all the gods and god- 
desses seemed like the stars at the rising of the full moon. 
Above all was Brahma astounded at finding his own handi- 
work nowhere. '^ ^ c7 
Dohd 320. "^ "^ / 

But Siva admonished them all : *' Do not give way to 
such surprise ; recover yourselves and reflect that this is 
the marriage of Sita and Raghubir. 
Chaupdi 319. 

The mere mention of whose name destroys all that is 
evil in the world ; in whose hand are the four great ends 
of human life ; such are Sita and Rjma, says Love's des- 
troyer." When Sambhu had thus admonished the gods, he 
again urged on his noble bull. Beholding Dasarath march 
forth, their soul was full of joy and their limbs trembled. 
The crowd of saints and Brdlimans who accompanied him 
seemed like incarnate gods ministering to him. In the 
midst shone forth the beautiful boys as it were final Beati- 
tude manifested in its four phases. ^ As they gazed on the 
pair, of golden and sapphire hue, the gods were moved 
with violent love, and especially were they delighted at the 
sight of Rama, and glorified the king and rained down 

flowers. -4 ' - "^ 

Uohd 321. I)"^^ 

Again and again as UmA and Mahfldeva fixed their gaze 
upon Rrtma, all-perfect in beauty from head to foot, their 
body trembled and their eyes filled with tears. 



1 Phe four grades or ph is".h of apirarga, i /.. final beatitude, are 
*\ salokafd, residence in the same heaven as f;od ; san'ipatd boing in the same 

form as god ; *o/rt/;yrtfa, being in actual contct with god; and myujyatd, 
complete absorption into god. 






CHILDHOOD. 103 

Ghaupdi 320. 

On his body, dark as a peacock's glistening neck his 
bright raiment outshone the lightning ; his wedding adorn- 
ments of every kind were most exquisitely fashioned ; his 
face more lustrous than a cloudless autumn moon ; his eyes 
more brilliant than the lotus ; his beauty, in short, so 
marvellous that no words can describe how it moved the 
soul. By his side shone forth his charming brother, mak- 
ing his mettlesome steed plunge and bound on the way, as 
also did all the attendant princes ; while the family bards 
recited the glories of their line. As the king of the birds 
noted the action of the horse that Rdma bestrode, he blush- 
ed for shame ; for its beauty was beyond all telling, as it 
might be Kamadeva himself in equine disguise. 
Ghhand 35. 

As though Kamadeva himself in his love for Rdma had 

assumed an equine disguise, of such resplendent beauty as 

to charm all creation with his youth and vigour and form 

and points and paces. A saddle flashed its splendours on 

his back, thick set with pearls and rubies ; bridle too and 

band gleamed bright with jewels that dazzled the gaze of 

men, saints and gods. 

Dohd 322. - 

Obedient in every movement to the will of its lord, the 
gallant steed was as beautiful as a peacock, that dances in 
response to a thunder-cloud, whose dark mass is irradiated 
by the stars of heaven and the fitful lightning. 
Ghaupdi 321. 

But not Sarad^ herself could do justice to the noble 
steed on which R^ma rode. Sankara was enchanted with 
his beauty, and congratulated himself on having fifteen 
eyes. When Hari affectionately gazed on Rdma he and 
Lakshmi were both equally charmed ; while Brdhma rejoic- 
ed to behold his beauty, and regretted that he had only eight 
eyes. Kdrtikeya exulted greatly that in the matter of eyes 
he was half as well off again as Brahma. When wise Indra 

R 28 



194 



CHILDHOOD. 



looked at Kama, he thought Gautam's curse a great blessing ; 
and all the gods broke out in Indra's praise, saying : 
* To-day there is no one like him.'i All heaven was delighted 
at the sight of R^ma, and there was joy above measure in 
the court of both the kings. 

Chhand 36. 

There was exceeding joy in both royal courts ; the wel- 
hin resounded with multitudinous kettledrums ; the gods 
rained down flowers and shouted in their joy, Glory, 
glory, glory to Raghu's noble son." In this manner when 
they learnt that the procession was approaching, all sorts 
of music began to play, and the queen gave orders to her 
handmaids to prepare the auspicious materials for the 
lustral rite. ^ 

Dohd 323. y\ 

With many lights and torches and festal preparations 
of every kind, a bevy of graceful dames proceeded joyously 
to celebrate the lustral rite. 

Chaupdi 322 

With fawn-like eyes and face of moonlike brightness, 
each one was beautiful enough to rob Rati of all self-con- 
ceit. Attired in costly garments of different colours, i 
covered all over with ornaments and rendered beautiful in 
every limb, they sang more melodiously than the koil to 
the music of the bells on their wrists and waist and feet, 
as they moved, with all the undulating grace of a wild ^ 
elephant. All kinds of music played, and there were ,, 
rejoicings both in heaven and in the city. IndrAni, Siirad^, ; 
Lakshmi and Bhavdni the wisests of all the queens of 
heaven, assumed the disguise of woman's form, and flocked 
to the king's seraglio, singing delightfully with divine 
voice ; and for joy there was no one who recognized them. ^ ^ 
Chhand 37. 

In their ecstatic joy as they went to receive the bride- 
groom with melodious song and sweet music, who could 
I The reason being that Indra has a thousand eyes. 



CHILDHOOD. 195 

tell who was who ? the gods showered down flowers and 
everything was delightful. As they gazed upon the 
bridegroom, the source of bliss, they were all glad of heart, 
their lotus eyes overflowed with tears and their every limb 
quivered with rapture. ^ , i 

Doha 324. -^ 

The joy of Si ta's mother on the beholding Rdma's gal- 
lant appearance was more than a thousand S^radas and 
Seshndgs could tell in a hundred ages. 
Chaupdi 323. 

Restraining her tears out of regard for the suspicious- 
ness of the event, the queen with gladness of heart perform- 
ed the lustral rite, and deligently completed the entire 
ceremony in accordance with Vedic prescription and family 
usage. The five kinds of music ^ were accompanied by 
festal chanting, and rich carpets of different sorts were 
spread upon the ground. After the lustral rite and the 
oblation RAma proceeded to the pavilion. So great was 
the splendour and magnificence of Dasarath and his retinue 
that Indra was put to shame by it. From time to time the 
gods rained down flowers, while the Brdhmans repeated 
the appropriate propitiatory texts. 2 There was much jubi- 
lation on the earth and in heaven that no one could hear 
himself speak, much less any one else. In this manner 
Rfima entered the pavilion, where tlie libation was offered 
and he was conducted to his throne. 
Ckhand 38. 

When the bridegroom was seated on the throne and 
the lustral rite was performed, all rejoiced at the sight, 
scattering around him jewels and raiment and ornaments 



1 The five kinds of music are as follows ; the tanfri or 8it.ara ; the tdl ; 
the jhanjh, or cymbals ; the nakdra, or kettledram ; and fifthly, the trum- 
pet, fife or other wind instrument. 

2 The prayer, or propitiatory text, ordinarily knownijby the name of 
santi is as follows : Oin. Sanno Mitrxh sam Varun^ih sanno hhavatvaryama 
xanna Indro Vrihaspat\h sanno Vishmir iirukramah namo J-vahmane na 
waste Vayo twaneva pratyaksham Brahmdsitivam era pratyalisham Brah- 
ma vadishyami ritam radiskydini satyam vadishyknii tan mam avatti tad 
t'ahtar am avatvavatu mam avatu vaktarnm. Om.. Sdntis sdntis sdntih. 



196 



CHILDHOOD. 



in profusion, while women sang festal songs. Brdhma and 
all the other gods disguised as noble Brdhmans witnessed 
the spectacle, and as they gazed on the glorious sun of the 
lotus race of Raghu, reckoned it the happiest moment of 
their life. 

Dohd 325. V 
The barber and torch-maker and singers and dancers, 
who gathered up theofEerings that had been scattered about 
R'ima, 1 bowed their head and invoked blessings upon him 
Jrom a heart that was bursting with joy. 
Ghaupdi 324. 
Janak and Dasarath joined most affectionately in the 
observance of every custom, whether religious or secular ; 
and the royal pair were so glorious a sight that the poet, 
searching whereto to liken them and finding nothing, must 
acknowledge himself defeated and admit that they were 
comparable only to themselves. The gods beheld with 
delight the two fathers and rained down flowers and sang 
their praises : * Since Brdhma first created the world, we 
have seen and heard of many marriages, but never till this 
day have we seen a match so perfect in all respects, and two 
such wellmatched fathers." At the sound of this voice from 
heaven so gracious and yet so true, there was on both sides a 
marvellous access of love. Janak led the way with due 
honours to the pavilion, offering libations and unrolling a 
carpet as he went. 

1 The custom of distributing pieces of money among the crowd is still 
kept up by rich Muhammadan families at wedding festivals, and special 
coins for the purpose were struck by Jahdngir and others of the Delhi Em- 
perors. These are called nindr, while the word used by Tulsi Dks here and 
in many other places, is nivhharari. The resemblance is so close that the 
Hindi might easily be a corruption of the Arabic. Hut it seems improba- 
ble that such a thoroughly Indian custom should not have an intligenous 
name ; and further, the derivation of niohharari would appear to l)e from 
the Sanskrit root A^f/^/j;;, ' to throw,' with the prefix nt, 'down.' Mr. Bate, 
in his Hindi Dictionary forms it from niyam phi^ hxhay jybix rar ; but this 
can scarcely be ac(repted as a very plausible explanation. Anyhow the word 
does not look like a foreign importation. As to the etymology of 7iimr, I 
must leave Arabic scholars to speak ; but if there is no connection between 
the two words, the coincidence in sound and meaning is at least curious. 
Should there be no earlier authority than Tulsi Dis for niehhdvari it might 
be a mere adaptation, such as has converted intikal into ant kal ; hit ijmdl 
into Brij tnal, and has helped to popularize many other unintelligible terms 
of legal pharaseology. 



CHILDHOOD. 197 

Ghhand 39. 
Beholding the beauty of the manifold decorations of the 
pavilion, even the saints were astonished ; but the wise 
Janak with his own hands conducted them all to their seats. 
Paying the same honour and respect to Vasishta as to his 
own patron divinity, he received his blessing ; but the 
supreme devotion with which he greeted Visvamitra was 
of a kind that surpasses description. 

Do/ia 326. ^ft 

With great joy the king did homage to Vdmadeva too 
and the other saints, and gave them all exalted thrones and 
received their blessing. 

Chaupdi 325. 

Again he did homage to the lord of Kosala, taking him 
to be the peer of Mahddeva, yea, none other ; with clasped 
hands and in humble phrase extolling him and enlarging on 
his own marvellous good fortune. Then to all the wedding- 
guests he paid the same homage in every respect as to the 
bridegroom's father, and assigned them all appropriate seats. 
How can I with my one tongue describe all the pageant. 
With gifts and compliments and profuse apologies Janak 
did the honours to all his guests. Brdhma, Vishnu, Maha- 
deva, tlie eight guardians of the world ^ and the god of day, 
who knew Raghubir's glory, disguised themselves as 
learned Br^hmans and were delighted spectators of the 
festivities Janak, though he recognized them not, paid 
them homage as gods and led them to exalted seats. 

Ghhand 40. 
Who could tell who was who, when there was no one who 
could answer even for himself. As they gazed on the bride- 
groom, the root of joy, joy was diffused on all sides. When 

1 The guardians of the eight quarters of the world are Indra, of the east ; 
Agni, of the south-east ; Yama, of the south ; Nirriti, of the south-west ; 
Varraa of the west ; Vaya or Marnt, of the north-west ; Kuvera, of tbenorth ; 
Isana, or Siva, of the north-east. Some lists substitute Svirya, 'the son,' and 
or Soma, ' the Moon,' for Nirriti and Isana : others again give the Snn and 
Ch^-ncira Moon and the Six Planets. iWowJ^r Williams. 



198 CHILDHOOD. 

he saw the gods, the all-wise R^ma assigned them what 
seats they fancied ; and the heavenly powers were delighted 
to behold the gracious manner of their lord. 
Dohd 327. " '^ 

As the partridge drinks in the light of the moon, so 
their eyes reverently drank in the beauty of Rama's face 
with the utmost rapture. 

Chaupdi 326. 

Perceiving that the time had arrived, Vasishta called, 
and Sat^nand came with ready obedience. " Go now and 
quickly bring the bride." On receiving this order the saint 
went gladly, and on hearing his message the queen with all 
her attendants was delighted, and sent for the Brahman 
ladies and the elders of the tribe, and with songs of joy 
performed all the family rites. The goddesses, who were 
disguised as women, were all so amiable and lovely, in the 
first bloom of their youth, ' that the ladies were charmed 
to see them, and, though not recognizing them, held them 
more dear than life. Again and again the queen did them 
honour accounting them equals of Uma, RSma and Sarada. 
After dressing vSita and forming in procession they joyously 
conducted her to the pavilion. 

Chhand ^i:[. 

Reverently and with auspicious pomp her attendant 

ladies conducted S(ta, each of them of lovely form and 

superbly adorned, moving with the voluptuous grace of a 

young elephant. At the sound of their melodious strains 

the saints forgot their meditations, the god of love and 

the koil were abashed ; while the bells on their anklets and 

gleaming girdles^ rang out with the cymbals a delightful 

accompaniment as they moved. 

1 Hindus of the olden time had a perfect mania for ch\88ifyiDg and de- 
fining, and have invented divisions and sub-divisions of every conceivable 
group of objects, with a definite technical name for each variety. Thus 
the wor'Vi in the text, here translated * in the bloom of youth,' is xyatm'i 
wliich is^strictly defined ' as a woman from eiiiht to sixteen years of age, 
resembling in complexion the blossom of Friyangu and its slender stalk in 
shape.' There are many other varieties of the sex, that have their distinc- 
tive marks specified with equal minuteness. 



OHILDHOOD. ^ 199 

DohvmS. ^^ ^ 

Among her maidens Sita shines forth in native loveli- 
ness, like Bliss personified among the Graces. 
Chaupui S27 . 

Her beauty is indescribable, so great is it and so little 
my wit. When the wedding guests saw her approach, so 
exquisitely charming and every way divine, they all did 
homage to her from their inmost soul. At the sight of her, 
Rama was filled with love, and Dasarath and his sons were 
glad of heart beyond all telling. The gods did homage 
and rained down flowers ; the saints gave their blessings 
in auspicious wise ; there was a confused noise of singing 
and playing and general rejoicing throughout the city. In 
this manner Sita arrived at the pavilion, while the great 
saints joyously recited the set forms of prayer and the 
two family gurus performed all the due rites and cere- 
monies. 

Ghhand 42-43. 

After the ceremonies the gurus directed the glad Brah- 
mans to worship Gauri and Ganes : the gods in visible form 
accepted the homage and gave their blessing, which they 
received with joy. Whatever dainty dish or condiment 
any holy man fancied at any time was at once supplied 
him by the table attendants in plates and bowls of gold. 
Having reverently and dutifully performed all family rites 
in accordance with the Sun-god's prescription, and offered 
homage to the gods, they conducted Sita to her glorious 
throne. The mutual love with which Sita and Rama 
regarded each other was too much to look upon ; it exceeds 
all sense, or intelligence, or speech, or perception ; how 
then can the poet express it ? -. L ' 

Dohd329. ^^ 

At the time of the burnt sacrifice, the Fire-god in 
person most graciously accepted the oblation, and all the 
Vedas in the guise of Br^hmans uttered the marriage 
formularies. 



200 CHILDnOOD. 

Chaupdi 328 
What words can describe Janak's illustrious queen- 
consort, Sita's mother, in whose composition the Creator 
had combined the perfection of glory, piety, happiness and 
beauty ? At the due time the saints called her, and she 
came responsive to the summons with her attendant 

C? maidens. Then shone forth Sunayana at Janak's left 
hand, as Maina beside Himalaya. With their own hands 
the glad king and queen take and place before Rama 
golden vases and costly jewelled trays full of holy water 
and delicious perfumes. The saints with auspicious voice 
recite the Veda, and at the proper time the heaven rains 

-^ flowers, while the father and mother of the bride look on in 

* rapture and begin to wash the holy feet. 

Chhand 4447. 

Their whole frame quivering with excess of love, they 

, began to lave the lotus feet ; while both in heaven and in 

the city there were singing and music and shouts of victory 

bursting forth and overflowing in all directions. The lotus 

feet that ever gleam in the lake of Siva's bosom ; by 

*^ meditating upon which for a single moment every impurity 
of the soul and defilement of this wicked world is removed ; 
by whose touch the sage's guilty wife attait)ed salvation ; 
7 whose honeyed fragrance, as the gods declare, is ever present 
on Sambhu's head ; on which the bee-like soul of saints 
and ascetics ever dwells ere they reach the heaven of their 
desire ; these holy feet are bathed by Janak, 'midst the 

" glad acclaim of all. The two family priests join the ^^fljids 
of the bride and bridegroom and recite their descent. The 
mystic union is completed, and at the sight Brdhma and 
all gods and men and saints were full of joy. As the 
bride's parents gazed on the gracious bridegroom, both 
their soul and body were raptured with delight; and 
having completed every family and scriptural observance, 
the glorious monarch gave his daughter to her lord. As 
Himalaya gave Girij^ to MahAdeva, and as Ocean gave 



CHILDHOOD. 201 

Lakshmi to Vishnu, in like manner did Janak bestow Sita 
on R^ma, and creation was glorified anew. After stationing 
the happy pair on one spot (the bride so fair of hue, the 
groom so dark) and performing the sacrifice with all due 
rite, and tying the knot, the circumambulation commenced. 
Dohd SSO. \ ^1 

At the sound of the huzzas and minstrelsy and the reci- 
tation of the Veda and the auspicious chanting and the 
music, the all-wise gods were delighted and rained down 
flowers from the tree of paradise. 

Ghaupdi22%. 

The bride and bridegroom with measured paces per- 
formed the circumambulation, while all present feasted 
their adoring gaze on the spectacle. The beauty of the 
happy pair is not to be described ; whatever comparison 
might be suggested would fall short of the reality. The 
lovely images of Rdma and Sfta were reflected in the 
jewelled pillars, and sparkled like incarnations of K^ma- 
deva and Rati, who had come to witness Rama's glorious 
wedding and, from mingled curiosity and bashfulness, at 
one moment showed themselves openly and at another 
retired out of sight. All the spectators were enraptured 
and like Janak forgot all about themselves. Joyously the 
saints bade them pace the circle round ; the rite was 
accomplished and the marriage offerings made. Rdma 
applied the vermilion to Sita's forehead, brilliant beyond 
all description ; and his arm seemed like a serpent thirs- 
ting for ambrosia, as it decorated her moonlike face with 
the red powder that filled his lotus hand. Then by 
Vasishta's direction the bride and bridegroom took their 
seat together. 

Ghhand ^S-5l. 

When Rdma and Janak i took their seat, Dasarath's soul 
wis rejoiced and his frame quivered with emotion, as again 
and again he fixed his gaze upon them and saw as it were 
his own virtue like the tree of paradise blossoming anew. 

R-29 



202 CHILDHOOD. 

There was rejoicing all over the world at the news of Rama's 
wedding, how can it be described ? I have but one tongue in 
my head, while the joy had no bounds. Then Janak, having 
received Vasishta's order, provided all things necessary for 
the marriage ceremonial, and summoned the three maidens, 
MAndavi, Srutiklrti, and Urmild. After affectionately per- 
forming every rite, the king gave first to Bharat in 
marriage the beautiful and accomplished daughter of 
Kusaketu. Then next with all honour Janak bestowed upon 
Lakshman Janaki's lovely younger sister ; and finally gave 
away to Ripu-siidan the bright-eyed and charming Sruti- 
klrti, no less amiable than beautiful. As bride and bride- 
groom modestly gazed on each other and noticed the 
contrast. ^ they were glad of heart ; while every one delight- 
edly applauded the beauty of the scene, and the gods rained 
down flowers. All eqi ally beautiful, though diverse in hue, 
they shone resplendent in the pavilion, as though the four 
states of life with their several lords had met in one 
living soul. 

Dohd 331. ^'i^ 

The king of Avadh gazed with delight on his four sons 
and their brides ; as though that jewel of monarchs had in 
them realized the four methods of religion and the four 
cognate ends of life.^ 

Ghaupdi 330. 

All the princes were married with the same rites as I 
have described for RAma. The enormous dowry was be- 
yond description ; the whole pavilion was full of gold and 
jewels. Shawls, robes and silks of kinds in the greatest 
profusion and of immense value ; elephants, chariots, 

1 Hdma and Bharat being dark were married to Jdnaki and Miudavi 
who were fair ; while the fair bridegrooms, Lakshman and Satrughna were 
wedded to the dark brides, Urmiliaand Sruti-klrti 

2 I^Q char plial, i.e , the four fruits or ends of life, are, as has been 
before explained, Dharma^ Artha, Kama and Alohsha, which are here com- 
pared to Uasarath's four sons. The four brides are likened to the chdrkriya, 
or four methods of religion, which are either Scvd Sraddha, Tajjasya ann 
Jthakti, that is to say, obedience, piety, penance and faith ; or according 
to another enumeration, rtw/(/<//taa, religious ceremonial ; ndyog, diligence; 
roti love ; and tirati, detachment from the world. 



CHILDHOOD. 203 

horses, menservants, and cows with gilded horns and hoofs, 
as beautiful as the cow of plenty ; things so many that no 
one could count them, nor credit their number if he had not 
seen them. At the sight the guardians of the world broke 
out into praises of the dowry, and Avadh's king received it 
all most graciously. To every one who asked was given what- 
ever he desired, and what remained over was taken to the 
guests' quarters. Then with folded hands and bated breath 
Janak courteously entreated all the bridegroom's party. 
Ghhand 52-55. 
After courteously entreating all the marriage guests 
with high ceremony, gifts, apologies and compliments, he 
joyfully proceeded with much devotion to do his humble 
homage to the saintly throng. With bowed head he pro- 
pitiated the gods, and thus, with hands clasped in prayer, 
addressed them all, " Gods and saints desire only a good 
will ; can Ocean's wants be satisfied by a libation of a few 
drops ?" 1 Again with clasped hands Janak and his brother 
spoke to the king of Kosala, with winning words full of 
love and amiability : -" king, I am greatly ennobled by 
your alliance ; know that my realm and all that I have is 
freely yours to command. Take these girls as your hand- 
maidens and graciously protect them, and pardon me my 
sin and presumption in inviting you." The glory of the 
Solar race in turn addressed his royal cousin in terms of 
highest honour ; their courtesy was past all telling, and 
the love that overflowed their hearts. The deities rained 
down flowers as the monarch proceeded to the guest- 
chamber, midst the crash of kettledrums, the muttered 
recitation of the Veda, and glad rejoicings both on earth 
and in heaven. Then by the saint's command and singing 
auspicious strains as they went, the fair ladies of the court 
conducted to the marriage pavilion the bridegrooms and 
their brides. 

1 Yet though it derives no benefit from a such scanty offering, it botb 
demands and accepts it, 



^ 



204 CHILDHOOD. 

DoU 332. *^ ^ 
Again and again did Sita gaze upon R^ma with modest 
^ mien, but full of confidence at heart ; and her eyes athirst 
r with love outshone the fish in K4madfiYa!s blazon. 

Ghaupdi 331. 
Dark in hue and fall of untaught grace, his beauty put 
to shame a myriad Loves ; his lac-stained feet gleamed like 
some lotus, the haunt of bee-like saintly souls ; his pure and 
lustrous yellow robe outshone the rising sun or lightning- 
flash ; and the little bells on his waistbelt made delicious 
tinkling; long were his arms and clasped with glittering 
bangles ; his yellow janeo set him off to perfection ; his 
signet ring would ravish all hearts ; lustrous were all his 
many wedding adornments and the stars and collars on his 
^ broad breast ; across his shoulders a yellow scraf with 
fringe of gems and pearls ; with lotus eyes and bright 
pendants from his ears and a face the very store-house of 
beauty ; lovely brows and charming nose and on his fore- 
head a most bewitching spot, while on his head the auspi- 
cious marriage-crown shone glorious with knotted pearls 

and gems. 

Chhand 5659. 

The knotted gems and the crown and his comely person 

ravished all hearts ; and not a woman or goddess in heaven 

or earth who did not break a blade of grass^ at the sight 

of his beauty. After scattering round about him jewels 

and raiment and adornments they perform the lustral rite, 

singing auspicious songs, while the gods rain down flowers, 

and bards, minstrels and rhaposdists declare his glory. 

When the bride and bridegroom entered the marriage 

pavilion, great was the joy of the attendants, who with 

festive songs and in most lovingwise began to perform the 

accustomed observances. Gauri herself taught Rfima, 

and S^radA told Sita how to manage the mess of rice-milk ; 

1 Either involuntarily from agitation and bash fulness, or as a charm to 
avert the evil eye, or to show how little they valued anything in the world 
in comparison with his beauty. 



CHILDHOOD. 205 

and all the ladies of the seraglio were so taken with the 
merry sport that they reckoned it the happiest moment of 
their lives. When J^naki saw in the gems on her fingers 
the reflection of the all-beautiful, she dared not move her 
eyes or lithesome arm for fear of losing his presence. The 
rapture of delight, the ecstasy of love surpassed all telling ; 
only those happy dames could comprehend it who escorted 
the bride and bridegroom to the guest-house. Then might 
be heard on all sides blessings and great exultation in 
heaven and on earth and a universal shout of joy : ' Long 
life to the four happy couples.' 

Hermits, saints and sages, the gods too on beholding 
their lord, sounded their kettledrums and returned in glad- 
ness, each to his own realm, raining down flowers and cry- 
ing ' Victory.' Then the four princes with their brides 
approached their father, and such was the glory, the feli- 
city and the rapture that it seemed to overflow the court 
like a torrent. 

Chaupdi 332. 

Again there was a magnificient banquet, to which 

Janak sent and invited all the visitors. Carpets of richest 

stuff were spread as the king sallied forth with his sons. 

After reverently washing his guests' feet, he seated them 

all according to their rank. First Janak bathed the feet of 

Avadh's lord with a loving devotion past all telling ; 

then he bathed Rdma's lotus feet, feet ever enshrined in 

Mahddeva's heart ; and, also with his own hands, bathed the 

feet of the three brothers, regarding them as Rama's peers. 

To all the king assigned appropriate seats, and then gave 

his orders to the cooks, who with due ceremony set out the 

dishes, made all of jewels instead of leaves, and stitched 

with golden pins. _: / 

Doha 334. ^ *y 

The quick and obsequious waiting-men passed round, 

and in a moment every guest was supplied with rice and 

condiments and fragrant butter, and everything luscious 

and savoury and nice. 



206 CHILDHOOD. 

Ghaupdi 333. 

After making the five oblations,^ they began to eat 
listening with delight the while to allusive songs. There 
were confections of many kinds, sweeter than nectar or than 
words can tell, which the well-trained waiters handed 
round, and such an infinite variety of sauces that no one 
could remember all their names, with food of the four i^inds 
mentioned in the sacred books and an indescribable 
variety of each kind, and seasoning of the six flavours, and 
each flavour exhibited in a countless number of dishes. 
As the banquet proceeded, jests were bandied about in 
pleasant wise, and not a man or woman but heard his 
name brought in. Louder and broader grew the raillery 
of the festive hour, and the king and the whole assembly 
were moved to laughter as they listened. In this manner 
they all feasted, then punctiliously rinsed out the mouth : 
Dohd3S5. 3 -"^ 

And Janak in due form presented Dasarath and all his 
guests with pdn, and the glorious king then retired to his 
own apartment. 

Ghaupdi 334. 

There was ever some new rejoicing in the city, and the 
whole day and night seemed gone like a minute. At early 
dawn the best of monarchs woke, and mendicants began to 
chant his praises. As he gazed upon the gallant princes 
and their brides, the rapture of his soul was beyond all tell- 
ing. After performing his morning devotions he went to his 
gurUj with his heart full of love and exultation and clasping 
his hands in prayer bowed before him and said with a voice 
of mellifluous sweetness : *' Hearken, king of saints ; it is 
by your favour that to-day my toils have been rewarded. 
Now holy father, summon the BrAhmans and present them 
all with cows with costly adornments." On hearing these 
words the guru much applauded the king, and sent to sum- 
mon the whole saintly throng. 

1 The five vital airs to which oblations are made are jfrann, itpana, 
S7nd?ia, vydna and udana. 



I 



CHILDHOOD. 207 

DoJid 336. JA^ ^ 

Then came Vamadeva and Ndrad and Vdlmlki and 

Jtibdli and Visvamitra and all the other great saints and 

ascetics, 

Ghaupdl 335. 

The king threw himself upon the ground before them 

all and worshipped them, and then conducted them to seats 

of honour. Next he sent for 4,00,000 cows, all as gentle 

and beautiful as the cow of paradise, and after decorating 

them in every possible way bestowed them with great joy 

upon the saints, with many a phrase of studied humility, 

declaring it to be the happiest day of his whole life. On 

receiving their blessing the king, the pride of the solar 

race, rejoiced, and next sent for all the begging fraternity 

and gave them, according as each desired, gold, or apparel, 

or jewels, or horses, or elephants, or chariots. They all left 

loudly telling and singing his praises : ' glory, glory, glory, 

to the lord of the Sun-gods*s race.' Such were the rejoicings 

at Rdma's wedding ; beyond all that could be told even had 

I a thousand tongues. ^ / / 

Dohd 337. a. b ^ 

Again and again the lord bowed his head at Visvamitra's 
feet : " All this happiness, king of saints, is the result of 
your benignant regard." 

Chaupdi 336. 

King Dasarath spent the whole night extolling Janak's 
affection^ and amiability and magnificence ; every day on 
rising he asked permission to return home, but Janak would 
lovingly detain him. There was constantly some new fete 
in his honour, and every day a thousand different kinds of 
entertainment. The rejoicings in the city never flagged, and 
no one liked to think of Dasarath's departure. In this man- 
ner many days were spent, and the guests were fast bound 
by the cords of love, till Visvamitra and Sat^nand went and 
told Videha's lord : "You must now let Dasarath take his 

1 The line, which I translate, stands thus : nr/jJ sab rati sarahat biti 
Another reading is nrih mb bhdnti sardh bibhuti. 



208 CHILDHOOD. 

leave, even though you cannot part with your love for him." 
The king replied : ' It is well,' and summoned his min- 
isters, who came and bowed the head crying : ' All hail !' 
Dohd 338. " f : " 

" Make it known in the palace that Avadh's lord wishes 
to depart." At these words the ministers, Brihmans, coun- 
sellers and princes were greatly moved. 
Ghaupdi 337. 

When it was noised in the city that the guests were 
leaving, every one anxiously asked his neighbour if it were 
a fact. When they heard they were actually going all were 
as unhappy as a lotus that fades in the evening. Every 
place where the visitors had put up on their arrival was 
crowded with parting presents, i fruits and confections of 
every kind, and dishes too various for description. A 
multitude of porters laden with wearing apparel'^ and cooks 
beyond number were sent by Janak with 1,00,000 horses 
and 25,000 chariots all exquisitely finished throughout, 
with 10,000 powerful elephants duly caparisoned, at sight 
of which earth's guardian elephants would feel ashamed of 
themselves, besides wagons full of gold and raiment and 
jewels; buffaloes also and cows, and things of all kinds. 

Doha 339. '^ '^ 

The dowry, moreover, given by Videha's king was im- 
measurable and beyond all telling ; and Indra, had he seen 
it, would have thought the riches of the universe as nothing 
in comparison. 

Chaupdi 338. 

When the whole equipage had been thus arranged, 
Janak despatched it to Avadh. On hearing that the guests 
were about to start, all the queens were as unhappy as 
fish when water falls. Again and again they clasped Sita 
to their bosom and blessed and exhorted her, saying: 

1 The word sid/i probably stands for ffidhija 'auspicious,' though it might 
be for Midhu, wine. 

2 For hamn ' wearing apparel,' some copies read haaah^ 'oxen.' 



CfllLDHOOt). 209 

*' May you ever be beloved by your husband, and with him 
live a long and happy life ; this is my blessing. Be 
obedient to your new father and mother and guru, and 
regarding your lord's displeasure^ do as he bids." Her 
sweet-voiced companions, too, in their overpowering affec- 
tion reminded her of woman's crowning duty. Again and 
again after thus duly admonishing them the queens clasped 
the four brides to their bosom, and time after time, in the 
midst of their maternal embraces, exclaimed : ' Why has 
God made women ?' / n 

Doha 340. - ^7 
Then came the joyous Rama, the glory of the Solar race, 
with his brothers, to Janak's palace to take leave. 
Chaupdi 339. 
Ail the people of the city, whether men or women, ran 
to see the four brothers so lovely and so unaffected. Said 
one : * To-day they have made up their mind to go, and 
Janak has completed all the preparations for their depar- 
ture; so feast your eyes on their beauty for the last time. 
All four princes have been most welcome visitors ; who can 
say ; friend, what we have done to deserve that god should 
bring our eyes such guests. Like a man at the point of 
death who is given ambrosia ; or as one who has been 
hungry all his life and discovers the tree of paradise ; or as 
one of the damned in hell who approaches Hari's feet, so am 
I after seeing them. Gaze upon RAma's beauty and treasure 
his image in your heart, as it were the jewel in a serpent's 
hood." In this manner the princes gladdened the eyes 
of all as they proceeded to the palace. 

Doha Sil. 1-% 
The ladies all rose in their joy as they beheld their ex- 
quisite beauty ; and the mothers of the brides, in token of 
their delight, pass the lustral lamp around their heads and 
scatter gifts. 

1 lathis line rukh may be the Persian word meaning ' face ;' but it la 
more probably the Sanskrit 7'ush, 'displeasure.' 

R-30 



210 CHILDHOOD. 

Chaupdi 340. 

Full of love at the vision of Rama's beauty, they affec- 
tionately fall at his feet again and again, nor are conscious of 
shame, so rapt is their soul in devotion and an involuntary 
attachment beyond all description. After bathing him and 
his brothers and rubbing his body with cosmetics, they 
lovingly entertain him at a banquet of the six flavours. 
Then seeing that the time had come, Ri^ma said to them in 
the most amiable, loving and modest tone : " The king is 
desirous of starting for Avadh and has sent us to take leave 
of you. mother, be pleased to give me your commands 
and ever regard me with affection as your own child." At 
these words the queens grieved sore and were too overcome 
by love to speak a word, but clasped their daughters to 
their bosom and then meekly gave them to their lords. 

Chhand 60. 

Meekly her mother surrendered Sfta to Rdma, crying 
again and again with hands clasped in prayer: " Ah, my 
son, you, T ween, are all-wise, and to you are apparent the 
thought of all men. Know well that Sita is dear as life to 
the king and myself, nay, to all her kinsfolk and all the 
people of the city ; consider her amiability and her affection 
and accept her as your own servant. 

Sorafhd 30. l^J 

You are the fullness of desire, the crown of wisdom, the 
beloved of the universe, quick to recognize merit in your 
votaries, destroyer of evil, Rdma the all merciful." 
Chaupdi 341. 

So saying, the queens still clung to his feet and their 
voice seemed lost as it were in the quicksands of love. On 
hearing their most affectionate address, Rdma showed them 
the highest honour, and with clasped hands bejrged his^ 
conge again and again making them obeisance. When h< 
had received their blessing, he bowed once more and thenj 
with his brothers took his leave. Treasuring up his sweet 
and gracious image in their heart, the queens at first 



CHILDHOOD. 211 

seemed paralyzed by excess of love : but summoning up 

courage they called their daughters and again and again gave 

them a maternal embrace : then leading them a few steps 

would take them to their arms yet again with ever-growing 

mutual love. Time after time they left their attendants 

for yet one more last embrace, as a heifer not yet weaned 

from the cow. m 

Do}idU2. Tf^ 

Every one in the palace, attendant and all, were so over- 
powered by emotion that it seemed as though tliey had 
made the city of Videha the very home of piteousness and 
lovers' partings. 

Chaupdi 342. 

The pet parrots and mainas, that JAnaki had kept in 
golden cages and taught to speak, cry in their agitation : 
' Where is the princes'? ' and, on hearing, which of them was 
not robbed of all peace of mind ? When birds and beasts 
were thus distrest, how can the feelings of the people be 
told ? Then came Janak with his brother (Kusa-dhvaja) 
overflowing with love and his eyes full of tears. As he 
gazed upon Sita, all his courage deserted him and his 
eminent asceticism lasted but in name. As he clasped 
Jdnaki to his bosom the stronghold of his stern philosophy 
was broken down. All his wise counsellors admonished 
him ; and seeing the unfitness of the time he recovered him- 
self, and again and again taking his daughter to his heart 
he ordered a gorgeous palky to be got ready. 
Doha 343. \n{ 

The whole court was overpowered with emotion, when 
the king, perceiving that the auspicious moment had arrived, 
seated the bride in the p^lki, with his thoughts intent upon 
Ganes, the author of success. 

Chaupdi 343. 

The monarch gave his daughter much advice and in- 
structed her in the whole duty of women and in family 
customs. He bestowed upon her many men-servants and 



212 CHILDHOOD. 

maid-servants and all her own favourite attendants. As 
she went on her way the citizens were in distress, but all 
good signs and auspicious omens were forthcoming. Brah- 
man's and ministers with all their retinue joined company 
to escort the RAja. The wedding-guests made ready their 
chariots and elephants and horses, and there was a 
tumultuous noise of music. Then Dasarath called up all the 
Brdhmans and gratified them with gifts and compliments, 
and putting the dust of their lotus feet upon his head 
rejoiced great ting as he was to obtain their benison. 
As he set forth on his way with his thoughts on Ganes, 
every omen of good occurred. ^ > y 

Doha 344. ^7 

The gods rained down flowers, the heavenly nymphs 
sang for joy, as the king of Avadh set forth for his capital 
'midst the clash of jubilant music. 
Chaupdi 344. 

Courteously the king(]ismissed the burghers and rever- 
ently bade all the mendicants approach and bestowed upon 
them ornaments and clothes and horses and elephants, and 
affectionately cherishing them made them stand up before 
him. After again and again reciting his praises they turned 
home with R^ma in their heart. Though Kosala's lord 
spoke time after time, Janak in his exceeding love would 
not turn back. Once more said the king in gracious tones 
J beg you to turn back, sire ; you have come a great 
distance.' At last he dismounted and remained standing, his 
eyes overflowing with love's torrent. Then said Vidoha's lord 
with folded hands and in a voice fraught with the ambrosif 
of affection : " How can I fitly express my unworthiness^ 
on whom my lord has conferred such high honour r " 
Dohd Si5. I 

Kosala's king in return showed the profoundest respect 
to the father of the bride and his retinue ; and as they em- 
braced with mutual courtesy their heart could not contaii 
the love they felt, 



CHILDHOOD. 213 

Chaupdi 345. 
Janak bowed his head to the throng of saints and re- 
ceived a blessing from all. Next he reverently saluted his 
sons-in-law, the four brothers, each a treasure of beauty, 
amiability and accomplishments : and clasping his gracious 
lotus hands he cried in accents begotten of love : " Rfima 
^ how can I tell thy praise ; swan of the Mdnas lake of the 
saints and Mah^deva's souls ; for whose sake ascetics prac- 
tise their asceticism; devoid of anger, infatuation, selfish- 
ness and pride ; the all-pervading Brahm, the invisible, the 
immortal, the supreme spirit, at once the sum and negation 
of all qualities; whom neither words nor fancy can pourtray ; 
whom all philosophy fails to expound ; whose greatness the 
divine oracles declare unutterable, and who remainest the 
selfsame in all time, past, present, or future ? 
Doha 346. V^ 
_ Source of every joy, thou hast revealed thyself to my 
^ material vision ; for nothing in the world is beyond the 
reach of him to whom God is propitious. 

Chaupdi 346. 

Thou hast magnified me in every way, and recognizing 
me as one of thy servants hast made me thy very own. Not 
ten thousand Siiradas and Seshnags, though they kept up 
their count for a myriad ages, could tell all my good fortune 
or thy perfections ; know this, Raghunath; yet I have 
somewhat to say - for I have this ground of confidence that 
thou art easily appeased by the slightest evidence of affec- 
tionand therefore time after time I implore with clasped 
hands that never may my soul be deluded into deserting 
thy feet." On hearing these excellent sentiments, the true 
birth of devotion, even Rdma, in whom all pleasure ever 
dwells, was pleased and with much courtesy saluted his 
father-in-law, holding him equal to his own sire, or Visva- 
mitra, or Vasishta. Next he bowed himself before Bharat 
and affectionately embraced him and gave him his blessing. 



214 CHILDHOOD. 

Doha 347. 
Then the king embraced and blessed both Lakshman 
and Satrughna, and all again and again bowed the head, 
being overpowered with mutual love. 

Ghaupdi 347. 
At last, after many courtesies and flattering speeches, 
Rdma and his brothers proceeded on their way. Then 
went Janak and clasped Visvamitra by the feet and put the 
dust of his feet on his head and eyes :-" Hearken, 
greatest of saints ; now that I have seen you, I am persuaded 
that nothing is beyond my attainment. Such bliss and glory 
as the sovereigns of the universe might desire, though they 
would be ashamed to express their longing, has all, my 
lord, been brought within my reach, for all prosperity 
follows upon seeing you." After again and again humbly 
bowing the head, the king received his blessing and took 
leave The marriage procession set forth to the sound of 
music, and the whole populace, great and small, were all 
enraptured and, as they gazed upon Rdma and feasted their 
eyes upon him, were happy for life. y 

Dohd 348. V ^ 

Halting at convenient stages on the road, to the great 
delight of the people, the procession, on an auspicious day 
drew near to Avadh. 

Ghaupdi 348. 

'Midst the beat of kettledrums and noise of many tabors 
and sackbuts and conches, and a din of horses and elephants, 
and clash of cymbals and drums and sweet-tuned clarions, 
when the citizens heard the procession coming, they were 
all in a tremor of delight, and every one began to decorate 
his own house and the markets and streets and squares and 
gates of the city. The whole roadway was watered with 
perfumes ; on every side were festal squares filled in with 
elegant devices ; the show in the bdzar was beyond all 
telling, with wreaths and flags and banners and canopies. 



CHILDHOOD. 215 

Trees of the areca-nut and the plantain and the mango, 
the mdlsari, the kadamb and the tamdla, were transplanted 
all laden with fruit, and grew into fine trees as soon as 
they touched the soil, being set in jewelled screens of 
exquisite workmanship. 

Doha 349. ^ 

In house after house festal vases of every kind were 
ranged in order, and Brdhma and all the gods were de- 
lighted as they gazed upon the city of Rdma. 
Chaupdi 349. 

At that time the king's palace was so resplendent that 
the god of love was distracted by the sight of such magni- 
ficence. It was as though everything auspicious and of 
good omen and all beauty, all plenteousness and prosperity 
and joy and felicity and gladness had come in bodily form 
to visit King Dasarath. There was a universal longing to 
get a sight of R^ma and JAnaki. Troops of fair women 
were crowding together, each exceeding in loveliness the 
Lovegod's queen, all with festal offerings and torches and 
singing, as it were so many Saras vatis. The rejoicings in 
the palace at that glad time are beyond all description. 
Rd.m's mother Kausaly^ and the other queens were too ^ 
overcome with love to think about themselves. 

Doha S50. J 7^ 
They bestowed large gifts upon the Br^hmans, after 
worshipping Ganes and Mahadeva, and were as rejoiced as 
Poverty would be on finding the four great prizes of life. 

Chaupdi 350. 
Each roj^al mother was so overcome with love and de- 
light that her feet refused to walk and the whole body was 
paralyzed. Greatly longing for a sight of Rama, they all 
began preparing the lustral lamps. Instruments of music 
were played in various modes, as the gjlad Sumitr^ arranged 
her auspicious offering of turmeric, d'^b grass, curds, sprigs 
and flowers, pdn^ betelnut and well-favoured roots, rice. 



216 CHILDHtJOD. 

blades of wheat, yellow pigment, parched grain, and 
bunches of the graceful tuls'i in embossed golden vases, 
so exquisitely beautiful that they seemed like nests made 
for Love's own birdlings. The auspicious offerings and 
the perfumes were beyond all telling ; there was nothing 
of good omen which each one of the queens had not 
prepared. With lustral lights arranged in various devices 
they sing for joy melodious festal strains. 

Dohd 351. ^'\^ 
With golden salvers in their lotus hands, laden with 
their offerings, and their body quivering with etnotion, 
the queens go forth with joy to perform the lustration. 

Ghaiip(^i 351. 
The heaven was darkened with the fumes of incense, as 
though overhung with Sevan's densest thunderclouds : the 
gods rained down garlands of flowers from the tree of 
"T paradise which seemed to the beholders as cranes in grace- 
ful flight ; the lustrous jewelled festoons resembled the 
rainbow ; the maidens on the house-tops, now in sight and 
now out of sight, were like tlie fitful flashes of lightning; 
the beat of the drums was as the crash of thunder ; the 
^ beggars as clamorous, as the cuckoos and the frogs and 
peacocks ; the sweet perfumes were as copious showers of 
rain, and all the people of the city like the freshened 
pastures. Seeing that the time had arrived, the yuru gave 
the word, and the glory of Rughu's line made his entry 
into the city, mindful at heart of Sambhu and Girja and 
Ganes, and exulting greatly, he and all his retinue. 
Dohd 352. 3 ^ ^ 
Every omen was auspicious ; the gods beat their drums 
and rained down flowers, while the heavenly nymphs 
danced for joy and sang jubilant songs of triumph, 
Chaupdi 352. 
. Bards, minstrels, rhapsodists, mimes and players 
chanted his glory that irradiates the three spheres. In all 



I 



CHILDHOOD. 217 

ten regions of the heaven might be heard loud shouts of 
victory intermingled with the religious intoning of the 
Veda. All kinds of music played, and gods in heaven and 
men on earth were alike enraptured. The magnificence 
of the procession was past all telling, and the joy was 
more than heart could contain. The citizens made a pro- 
found obeisance to the king, and then were gladdened by 
a sight of R^ma. They scatter around him jewels and 
vestments, with their eyes full of tears and their body all 
tremulous with excitement. Their wives move over his 
head the lustral lights and rejoice greatly to behold the 
four noble princes ; but when they lifted the curtain of 
the well-appointed pd.lki and saw the brides, they were 

still more glad. ^ ^ , 

Dohd S53. ,S 1 

In this manner, to the delight of all, they arrived at 
the gate of the palace, where the glad queens waved the 
lustral lights over the princes and their brides. 
Ghaupdi 353. 

Time after time they perform the ceremony in a rapture 

of love that is beyond all words. They scatter around in 

boundless profusion gold and silver ornaments and gems 

and silks of every kind, and as they gaze on their four 

sons and their brides, are overwhelmed with the bliss of 

heaven. Again and again as they regard the beauty of 

Rdma and Slta, they think with joy that this is the 

happiest moment of their life. As her companions look 

again and again into Sita's face they sing and exult over 

their good fortune. Every moment the gods rain down 

flowers, midst dancing and singing and obsequious homage. 

Seeing four such charming couples, S^rada looked up 

all her similes, but not one would do, all seemed unworthy, 

and she could only stand at gaze enchanted with their 

loveliness. ^c^y 

Dohd 354. ,1?^ ^ 

After performing all the rites prescribed by the Veda or 

family usage, they conduct their sons and their brides to the 

R-31 



218 CHILDHOOD. 

palace; sprinkling lustral water, spreading carpets in the 
way, and waving torches. 

Chaupdi 354. 
After seating the brides and their grooms on four 
thrones so magnificent that they seemed as if made by 
Love's own hands, they proceeded reverently to lave their 
sacred feet and to do them homage all holy as they were 
with incense and lights and oblations in accordance with 
Vedic ritual. Time after time they pass the torch around 
and wave over their head gorgeous fans and chauria and 
scatter profuse gifts ; for each royal mother was as full of 
exultation as a devotee who has obtained beatitude ; or a 
man sick all his life who has gotten an elixir ; or a born 
beggar who has found the philosopher's stone ; or a blind 
man restored to sight ; or a dumb man endued with elo- 
quence ; or a warrior who has triumphed in battle. 
DohdS55-5Q. 3^^; ^^ 
Greater by a hundred million times than their joy was 
the rapture of the queens, when R^ma and his brothers 
returned home married. As the royal matrons performed 
the accustomed ceremonies, the brides and their grooms 
were much confused, but R^ma smiled to himself on be- 
holding their joy and delight. 

Chaupdi 355. 
In due fashion they did homage to the gods and the 
spirits of their ancestors, and every imagination of the heart 
was satisfied. Humbly they begged of all the highest boon, 
namely, the prosperity of Rama and his brothers, and the 
gods unseen conferred their blessing. The matrons in their 
joy took them to their bosom, while the king sent for all 
who had joined in the procession and gave them carriages 
and raiment and jewels and ornaments. Then, on receiv- 
ing permission, and still cherishing the image of RAma in 
their heart, they returned in joy each to his own abode. 
All the people of the city, both men and women, were clad 
in festal attire, and in every home was a noise of jubilant 



I 



CHILDHOOD. 219 

music. Anything that a beggar begged was at once 

bestowed upon him by the glad king, and every attendant 

and every minstrel band was overwhelmed with gifts and 

compliments. /_ ^ .^ 

DohdS57. i>V^ 

All profoundly bowing invoke blessings upon him and 
sing his praises, as the king with his guru and the Brdh- 
mans proceeded to the palace. 

Chaupdi 356. 

Under Vasishta's directions he reverently performed 
every ceremony prescribed either by usage or the Veda. The 
queens, on seeing the throng of Br^hmans, thought them- 
selves most highly favoured and rose to greet them. After 
bathing their feet and doing them all due homage, the king 
feasted them at a banquet and loaded them with affection- 
ate civilities and gifts. Greatful at heart, they blessed 
him at parting. To the son of G^dhi he paid special 
homage, saying : * My lord, there is no man in the world 
so blest as I am ;' and with many other flattering speeches 
both he and his queens took of the dust of his feet. Next 
he assigned him a splendid apartment within the palace ; 
the king and his royal consorts alike watching his every 
wish. Again he adored his lotus feet with the greatest 
humility and devotion. , 

Dohd 35S. ln> 

The princes and their brides, the king and his royal 
consorts, again and again did reverence to the guru's feet 
and received the holy man's blessing. 
Chaupdi 357. 

With humility of heart and deep devotion he placed 
before him his sons and everything that he possessed. But 
the great saint asked only for the accustomed offering, and 
invoking upon him every blessing set out with joy on his 
homeward way, with the image of Rdma and Sita impressed 
upon his heart. Then were summoned the Brahman dames 
and the elders of the tribe and invested with fair robes and 



220 



CHILDHOOD. 



*? ornaments ; and next the younger ladies of the house,l who 
too were presented with dresses such as each most fancied. 
Every person with any claim to be remembered received 
from the jewel of kings suitable remembrance according to 
his taste, while more dear and honoured friends were over- 
whelmed with courtesies. The gods, who witnessed Raghu- 
bir's marriage, rained down flowers as they applauded the 
spectacle, -> o-^ 

Doha 359. J^ I 
and with beat of drum returned each to his own realm ; all 
highly delighted and talking to one another of RAma's 
glory with irrepressible rapture. 

Chaupdi 358. 

The king showed every one all possible honour, and 
with a heart full to overflowing of gladness proceeded to 
the private apartments, and then gazing upon the princes 
and their brides took them to his bosom in a rapturous 
embrace and with a joy beyond all telling. Seating his 
little daughters in his lap in a most affectionate manner, he 
again and again caressed them with gladness of heart. All 
the ladies of the harem were charmed at the sight, and 
their soul was filled with happiness and exultation, while 
they listened with delight to the king's account of the 
marriage and his praises of King Janak's virtue and 
amiability, and the kindness of his reception and his 
generous magnificence. The king told it all like a hired 
encomiast, and the queens were enraptured when they 
heard of all that had been done. ^ 

Dohd ZQO. '^^^ 

After bathing with his sons the king summoned his 
guru's kinsmen and entertained them at a sumptuous 
banquet till five hours of the night were spent. 
Chaupdi 359. 

Lovely women sang joyous songs, and the night was 



^^ 1 The tuoiini in a Hindu marriage take much the same place as a 

' bridesmaid in the west ; nd the word might be bo translated, were it not 
V that It is essential for the suasini to be herself married and with her husband 
alive. 



CHILDHOOD. 221 

one of exquisite happiness. As they rose from their seats, 
all were presented with pan and decorated with beautiful 
and sweet-scented garlands ; then after one more look at 
Rdraa and bowing the head they received the royal per- 
mission to retire each to his own abode. The display of 
love and rapturous delight and the beauty of the court at 
that time was more than could be told by a hundred 
SArad^s or Seshn^gs or by the Veda, or Brdhma, or Mah6- 
deva, or Ganes : how then can I tell it, any more than an 
earthly serpent could support the world on its head ? After 
showing every one the highest honour, the king in gentle 
tones addressed the queens : -" The brides are but children, 
and have come to a strange house ; watch over them as 
closely as the eyelid guards the eye. 

DohdSQl. l^ 

Go and put them to bed, for they are tired and sleepy." 
And so saying he retired to his own couch with his 
thoughts intent on Rdma's feet. 

Ghaupdi 360. 

On hearing the king's kind words, they made ready the 
bed, which was of gold and set with gems, with various 
rich coverings as soft and white as the froth of milk, and 
pillows finer than words can tell. In the jewelled chamber 
were sweet-scented garlands, and a beautiful canopy flash- 
ing with lustrous gems which defied description ; no one 
who had not seen it could imagine it. When they had 
prepared this exquisite couch, they took up R^ma and 
lovingly laid him down upon it, who again and again had 
to tell his brothers to leave him before they too retired 
to rest. On seeing his dark little body, so soft and delicate, 
the fond mothers cried : " my son, how could you kill 
on the way the terrible monster Tarak^ ? 
Doha 362. :, 

How were you able to slay those savage demons, those 
ferocious warriors, who in battle held no man of any 
account, the vile M^richa and Subdhu and all their host ? 



222 CHILDHOOD. 

Chaupdi 361. 

It was by the saint's favour, I vow, my son, that God 

averted from you countless calamities, while you and your 

brother guarded the sacrifice ; and by your guru's blessing 

you acquired all knowledge. At the touch of the dust of 

your feet the hermit's wife attained to salvation : the whole 

/ //^ world is filled with your glory : in the assembly of princes 

you broke Siva's bow, though lord oa a tortoise-shell or a 

thunderbolt ; you have won universal glory and renown 

and J^naki for your bride, and have now with your brothers 

returned home married. All your actions are more than 

human ; it is only by Visvamitra's good favour that you 

have prospered. To-day my birth into the world has borne 

fruit, now that I see your moon-like face, my son. The days 

that were spent without seeing you, God ought not to take 

into account at all." 

Doha 363. -1 ; / 

K^main most modest phrase reassured the royal dames, 
and meditating on the feet of Sambhu and his guru and all 
Brdhmans, he closed his eyes in sleep. 
Chaupdi 362. 

As he slept, his pretty and piquant little mouth gleamed 
like a red lotus, half closed at eventide. In every house 
women kept vigil and jested with one another in auspicious 
wise. The city was so brilliant, nay, so brilliant the night 
itself that, the queens cried " See, girls, see." The matrons 
slept with the beauteous brides enfolded in their arms, as 
lovingly as a serpent would clasp to his bosom the precious 
jewel from inside its head. At the holy hour of dawn the 
lord awoke, ere Chanticleer had well begun to crow. Mins- 
trels and bards, proclaimed his praises and the citizens 
flocked to the gate to do him homage. The four brothers 
saluted the BrAhmans, the gods, their guru, and their 
father and mother, and gladly received their blessing and 
while the queens reverentially gazed upon their face 
advanced with the king to the door. 



CHILDHOOD. 223 

Pure though they were in themselves, they performed 
all the customary ablutions and bathed in the holy river 
and completed their morning devotions ere they returned 
to their sire. 

Ghaupdi 363. 

The king on seeing them took them to his bosom. Then 
at his command they gladly seated themselves. The whole 
court was rejoiced at the sight of R^ma, and accounted 
their eyes supremely blest. Then came saints Vasishta 
and Visvamitra and were conducted to exalted thrones. 
Father and sons reverently adored their feet, and both the 
holy men rejoiced as they gazed on Rdma. Vasishta recited 
sacred legends, while the monarch and his queens listen- 
ed. He told with joy in diffuse strain of all the doings of 
Gadhi's son which surpass even the imagination of the 
saints. Cried Vamadeva : " The tale is true ; its fame 
has become renowned through the three worlds." All who 
heard were glad, but in Rima and Lakshman's heart there 
was exceeding joy. 

Doha 365. 2^ 5? 

Thus passed the days in perpetual delight, happiness 
and festivity ; and the whole of Avadh was full to overflow- 
ing with bliss that was ever on the increase. 
Ghaupdi 364. 

After calculating an auspicious day, they loosened the 
string on the wrist^ with no little solemnity and rejoicing. 
The gods, beholding the constant succession of delight, 
were in raptures and begged of Brdhma that they might 
be born at Avadh. Visvamitra was always wishing to take 
leave, but was persuaded by Rama's affectionate entreaties 
to stay on. Day after day, seeing the king's devotion and 
the excellence of his nature, the great saint was loud in 

1 A few days before marriage the wrist is bound round with a piece of 
cloth containing particles of difiEerrnt things that are supposed to possess a 
hidden virtue ; and this is not taken off again till after the marriage is 
completed. 



224 CHILDHOOD. 

his praises. When he asked permission to go, the king 
was greatly moved and with his sons stood before him in 
the way, saying:" My lord, all that I have is yours, and I, 
my sons, and my wives are your servants; be ever gracious 
to these boys and allow met to see you." So saying the 
king with his sons and his queens fell at his feet, and 
speech failed his tongue. The Brahman invoked upon 
him every kind of blessing and set forth amidst a display 
of affection that is past all telling, R^ma and his brothers 
lovingly escorting him till they received orders to return. 
Dohd 366. ^ ^ty 

The moon of Gfidhi's race went onr his way rejoicing 
and praising to himself the beauty of Rdma, the piety of 
the king and the magnificence of the marriage festivities. 
Chaupdi 365. 

The VAmadeva, the learned guru of the house of Raghu, 
again told the story of GAdhi's son. As he listened to the 
saint's high fame, the king thought to himself how effica- 
cious his own good deeds had been. At his command the 
crowd dispersed, while the king and his sons entered the 
palace. Everywhere the glory of Rama's wedding was 
sung, and his holy fame was diffused through the three 
worlds. From the day that R4ma brought his wife home, 
all delight made its home at Avadh. The rejoicings 
attendant on the lord's marriage were more than the 
tongue of the serpent king could tell, but knowing the 
praises of RAma and Sita to be a mine of auspiciousness 
and the very life and salvation of the race of poets, I too 
have tried to sing them, in the hope of thus sanctifying 
my song. 

Ghhand 61-62. 

For the purpose of sanctifying his song has Tulsi told 
of Rima's glory ; but the acts of Raghubir are a boundless 
ocean that no poet can traverse. All pious souls, that 
devoutly hear or recite the auspicious festivities that 
accompanied RAma's investiture with the sacred thread 



CHILDHOOD. 225 

and his marriage, shall by his and Vaidehi's favour attain 
to everlasting felicity. ^Blessing on the lord of Himalaya's 
daughter, from whom have learnt my song : all who hearken 
to Hari's deeds acquire a constant access of devotion and 
incomparable faith. The love of Raghubir's feet, like a 
flood, extinguishes at once the fire of covetousness ; and in 
this assurance Tulsi Dds devotes his every thought and 
word and act to Hari's praise. ? 

Doha 367. 

( The times are evil ; the body is stained vvitlj filth ; there 
is but one remedy ; he only is wise who so thinketh and in 
faith meditates upon Hari. 

Sorathd 31 32. 

( Have a hearty love for Hari's feet, discarding all vanities ; 
much time has been spent in sleep ; awake from the dark- ^ 

ness of delusion.) Whoever with love and reverence -^ ^^ 
listens to the tale of Rama and S'ta's marriagre shall be 
happy for ever, for Rama's praises are an unfailing joy. 



{^TJiiis endeth the booh entitled childhood, composed hy 
Tulsi Dds for the bestowed of pure wisdom^ continence and 
contentednfss : being the first, descent into ' the holy lake of 
Rdma^s deed^s^ that clemses from, every defilement of the 
world.'] 



R-32 



BOOK II. 

AYODHYA. 



AYODHYA. 229 

AYODHYa. 



Sanskrit Invocation. 

May he on whose left side shines resplendent the daugh- 
ter of the mountain-king ; on whose head is the river of the 
gods; on whose brow the crescent moon ; on whose throat 
the poison-stain ; on whose breast a huge snake ; whose 
adornments are streaks of ashes ; the chief of divinities ; 
the eternal lord of all ; the complete, the omnipresent, the 
moon-like Siva, the holy Sankara ; may he protect me. 

May he who neither rejoiced when anointed king, nor 
was saddened by painful exile in the woods ; the holy son 
of Raghu of the lotus face; may he ever vouchsafe* to me 
success and prosperity. Him I adore, with his body dark 
and soft as the lotus, with Sita erjthroned on his left side, 
with graceful bow and arrows in hand, even Rama, the 
lord of the race nf Raghu. 

Doha I. 

Cleansing the mirror of my soul with the sand from the 
lotus feet of the holy guru, I sing Rama's sp otless fame, the 
giver of all good things. 

Chaup^i. 

From the time that Rama returned home with his bride 
there was a constant succession of joys and delights. Thn 
fourteen spheres were like the great mountains, where clouds 
of virtue fall in showers of happiness ; wealth, affluence and 
prosperity were bounteous rivers, which overflowed into 
Avadh as into the ocean ; while the noble citizens, men and 
women alike, were its brilliant pearls, all precious and of 
perfect beauty The magnificence of the capital was beyond 
description, it seemed the chief d^muvre of the Creator. Ga- 
zing on Rdmchandra's moon-like face, the people were per- 
fectly happy ; the queens and all their attendants were 
enraptured to see their heart's desire bear fruit ; and still 
more enraptured was the king, as he heard tell and saw for 



230 AYODHYA. 

himself lUma's beauty and accomplishmeuts and ami- 
ability. 

Doha 2. 

In every heart was one desire, which they expressed in 
their prayers to MahAdeva : " that the king in his own 
lifetime would entrust Rama with the regency." 

Chaupni. 

One day the monarch sat enthroned in court with all his 
nobles. Himself the incarnation of every Virtue, he was 
delighted beyond measure to hear of RAma's renown. All 
kings were solicitous for his patronage, and the very gods 
desired his friendship. No man so blest as Dasarath in the 
three spheres of the universe, or in all time past, present 
or to come. Words fail to describe his blessecbiess, who 
had for his son RAma, the source of every bliss. The king 
happened to take a mirror in his hand, and looking at his 
face in it set his crown straight. Close to his ear was a 
white hair like old age whispering : " king, make 
Rima regent, and thus accomplishment the purpose of 
your life." 

Doha 3. 

Having thus considered and settled it in his mind, the 
king on an auspicious day and at a fitting time, his body 
quivering with emotion and liis soul full of joy, went and 
declared his purpose to his guru. 

Ghaupdi. 

Said the king : Hearken, great saint ; Rdma is now per- 
fect in every accomplishment. Servants, ministers, the whole 
body of citizens, whether my enemies or friends or indif- 
ferent to me, all hold Rima as dear as even I do, and 
regard him as a glorious incarnation of my lord's blessing. 
The Br^hmans and their families, reverend sir, have the 
same love for him as you have. They, who put on their 
head the dust from the feet of their spiritual father, obtain 
as it were the mastery over all dominion. There is no man 
^ ,my equal ; but all that I have flows from the worship of 



AYODHYA. 231 

your holy feet. I have now a desire at heart ; it can only 
be accomplished, my lord, by your good favour." The 
saint was pleased to witness his sincere devotion and 
said : " king give me your commands. 

Doha 4. 

Your name and glory, sire, provide for every wish ; on 
every desire of your soul, jewel of kings, success follows 
naturally." 

Chaupdi. 

When he saw the guru so amiably disposed, the king 
replied smilingly in gentle tones : " My lord, invest R^ma 
with regal powers ; be pleased to direct tlie necessary 
arrangements to be made. Let this happy event take place 
in my lifetime, that the eyes of all people may be gladdened 
by the sight. By my lord's blessing Siva has brought 
everything happily to pass, but I have still this one desire 
at heart. It will then be a matter of no concern whether 
I remain in the body or depart hence, if I have nothing on 
this score whereof, to repent"' When the saint heard 
Dasarath's noble words, he experienced the greatest delight : 
" Hearken, king ; the lord whose averted face all crea- 
tures lament, and to whom one mast pray for removal of all \ 
distress, has been born your son even the holy and com- 
passionate Rama. 

Doha 5. 

Quick, king, let there be no delay, but at once Uiake 
all the preparations : happy and auspicious indeed the day 
when Rdma is proclaimed regent." 

Chaupdi. 
The glad king proceeded to the palace and summoned 
his servant, the minister Sumanta. He bowed the head, 
crying ' All hail,' and the king then declared to him the 
glad news : " To-day to my great joy the guru has charged 
me to install R^ma as heir to the throne. If the proposal 
seems good to the council, prepare with gladness to impress 



232 AYODHYA. 

the royal mark on Rdrna's brow." The minister was 
rejoiced to hear these gracious words, which fell like a 
shower of rain on the young plant of his desire With 
clasped hands he made his petition : " lord of the world, 
live for ever ; the deed you propose is good and beneficent ; 
haste, my lord, let us have no delay." The king was 
deliglited by his minister's assent, like a creeper that 
spreads apace when it has once clasped a strong bough. 

Dohd 6. 
Said the king : " Whatever orders "the saint may give 
with regard to Rdma's coronation, see that you perform 
with all speed." 

Ghaupdi. 

In gentle accents the glad saint spoke and said : " Bring 
water from all holy places, and all kirids of herbs, roots, 
fruits and flowers fenumerating by name every auspicious 
variety) with chauriea of different sizes apparel of all sorts, 
both of wool and silk and every other material, with jewels 
and all the auspicious things tliat there are in the world, 
that are fit for a king's installation." Then after repeating 
all the forms prescribed in the Veda, he said : " Erect in 
the city a number of pavilions, and plant the streets in 
every quarter with fruit-bearing^ mangoes and trees of 
betel-nut and plantains, and fashion bright and beautiful 
jewelled squares, and have all the bazdrs speedily decorated, 
and do reverence to Ganes and your guru and your family 
god, and diligently serve the BrAhmans. 

Dohd 7. 

Make ready flags and banners and wreaths and vases, 
horses too, and chariots and elephants." All were obedient, 
to the holy sage's words and busied themselves each in his 
own special work. 

Chaupdi 

Whatever the order that any one had been given by 
the saint, that he regarded as the very first thing to be 

1 For .m-p/mi, ' fruit-bearing,' somn M*^^. read panas, 'the jaok-fruit 
or Artocarpus integrifolia ' 



AYODHYA. 233 

done. The king worships Br^hmans, saints and gods, and 
does everything to promote Rama's prosperity. On hearing 
the glad news of Rama's installation, all Avadh resounded 
with songs of jubilee. Good omens declared themselves 
in the body, both of R^ma and Sita by a sudden quiver of 
the lucky side, and they said affectionately to one another : 
" This betoken, Bharat's return. We have greatly missed 
him for many a long day. This good sign assures us of 
a friend's approach, and in the whole world there is no 
friend so dear to us as Bharat : this good omen can have 
but one meaning." Every day Rdma is as lovingly anxious 
about his brother as a turtle for its eggs in the sand far 
away. 

Dohd 8. 

At that time the ladies of the court were as delighted 
to hear these most glad tidings as the waves of ocean 
swell with joy on beholding the moon in its glory. 

Chaupdi. 

First they took care that those who brought the news 
were richly guerdoned with jewels and robes; then with 
a body all quivering with emotion and soul full of love, 
they proceeded to make all festal preparations. Samitra 
filled in a lovely square with exquisite gems of every kind ; 
Rama's mother, drowned in joy, sent for a crowd of 
Brdhmans and loaded them with gifts ; then worshipped 
the local divinity and the gods and the serpents, and vowed 
them future sacrifices, praying ; "In your mercy grant me 
this boon, that Rdma prosper." Auspicious strains are 
chanted by moonfaced, fawneyed damsels, with voice 
sweet as that of the koil. 

Dohd 9. 
On hearing of Rdma's installation, all good women 
were glad of heart and began diligently to make festal 
preparations, thinking God to be gracious to them . 

R 33 



234 AYODHVl.. 

Ghaupdi. 

Then the monarch summoned Vasishtha and sent him 
to Rama's apartments to inform him of the coming event. 
When RaghunAth heard of the gurus approach, he came to 
the door and bowed his head at his feet, and after reverent- 
ly sprinkling lustral water, conducted him in and paid 
him honour in the sixteen^ prescribed modes. Then 
after again with Sita clasping his feet, Rdma thus spoke 
his lotus hands folded in prayer : " For a lord to visit his 
servant's house is a source of great joy, a cure for all 
distress ; yet it had been more fitting, sir, and more in 
accordance with custom, had you kindly sent to say you 
wanted me. Since my lord has graciously waived his 
prerogative, my house has to-day become highly blest. 
Let me know, holy father, what are your orders ; it is for 
a servant to do his master service. 
Dohd 10. 

On hearing these afEectionate words the saint extolled 
Raghubir : " Rdma, glory of the Solar race, it is like you 
to speak thus" 

Ghaupdi. 

After eulogizing R4ma's high qualifications and ami- 
able character, the great saint with much emotion explain- 
ed : " The king has prepared for a royal installation, and 
wishes to confer upon you the dignity of regent. To-day, 
R^ma, you should devote yourself to practices of devotion, 
that God may bring the matter to a happy issue." Having 

1 The 16 modes of showing honour are as follows : (I) a/;t. a seat ; 
(2) (ii'gha, lustral water ; (3) pAdya, water for the feet ; (4) sndn, a bath ; 
(5) drhamaii, water for rinsing the mouth ; (6) gandhdkxhat, perfumes 
and rice, the former only being offered to Vishnu, tiie latter to Mahsideva ; 
(7) vastra, raiment; (8) d hup, incense ; {9) dtp, lights; (\0) naivedya, 
temple offerings; (11) mukhahasta-jal, water for the face and han<l8 ; 
(12) tdnihida, betel-leaf ; (I'A) puga-pkal, betel-nut ; (14) dakth'md : a gift ; 
(15) pradakxfiim, circumamhulation ; and (16) nirdjdn, lustration. As 
some of these ceremonies take place at the reception of a guest and some 
at his departure, they would never be all performed at once. But here, as 
in many other paralled phrases, a difinite number, the highest that couJd 
under any circumstances be predicated of the subject, is used to express, 
merely the general idea of completeness. 



1 



AYODHYA. 2d5 

thus admonished him, the guru returned to the king ; 
while Rama's heart was all amazement : " My brothers 
and I were all born together, and together have we ate and 
slept and played in childhood ; the piercing of our ears, 
the investiture with the sacred thread, our marriage, in 
short all our rejoicings have taken place together. This is 
the one flaw in a spotless line that the eldest only should 
be enthroned without his younger brothers." These 
gracious regrets on the part of the lord remove all unworthy 
suspicion from the mind of his votaries. i 

Doha 11. 

Then came Lakshman, full of love and joy, and was 
welcomed with words of affection by the moon of the lily- 
like Solar race. 

Ghaupdi. 

There was a noise of music of every kind, and the de- 
light of the city was beyond description. All prayed for 
Bharat's return, that he might come quickly and like them 
enjoy the spectacle. In every street and lane and house 
and market and place of resort, men and women were say- 
ing to one another : ** When will to-morrow come and the 
auspicious moment in which God will accomplish our 
desire ; when, with Sfta by his side, R^ma will take his 
seat on the golden throne and all our wises be gratified." 
They were all saying : " Whe will to-morrow come ? " 
But the envious gods prayed that difficulties might arise ; ^ 
the rejoicings at Avadh pleased t em as little as a moonlight 
night pleases a thief. So they humbly called in Sdradd and 
again and again threw themselves at her feet : 

Dohd 12. 

*' mother, regard our great distress and make haste 
to relieve it. It Rdma refuses the throne and retires into 
the forest, all will be well with us." 



1 If R^ma bad at once and gladly accepted the proffered dignity, it 
might have been urged by objectors that he had taken an unfair advantage 
of his brother Bharat's absence. 



236 AYODHYA. 

Ghaupdi. 
On hearing this prayer of the gods, she stood still 
thinking sadly : " I am like a winter's night to a bed of 
lotuses." The gods seeing her hesitate cried yet once 
more : ** mother, not the least blame will attach to you ; 
for Raghu-rdo you know his nature well is exempt from 
sorrow as from joy ; and (as for his people) they, like all 
other creatures, have their share in pain or pleasure, under 
the law of necessity : go therefore to Avadh and befriend us 
gods." Time after time they clasped her feet, till she 
yielded and went, though still thinking to herself : " the 
gods are raeanspirited crew ; though they dwell on high, 
their acts are low ; and they cannot endure to see another's 
prosperity." Again reflecting on the future, that the ablest 
poets would do her will,^ she became cheerful of heart and 
flew to the city of Dasarath, as it were some intolerably 
inauspicious aspect of the placets. 

Dohd 13. 

Now Kaikeyi had a wicked handmaid, by name Man- 
thard. Her ideas S^radd first distorted and made her a 
very storehouse of meanness and then went her way. 
Chaupdi. 

When MantharA saw the preparations in the city, the 
joyous festivities, the music and the singing, she asked the 
people : " What mean these rejoicings ? " When she heard of 
Rama's inauguration, her soul was afire and she plotted, 
wicked wretch that she was, how that very night to defeat 
it ; like a crafty hillworaan, who has spied a honeycomb 
hanging from a tree and schemes how to get hold of it. So 
she went crying to Bharat's mother. " What is wrong 
now ? " the queen smiled and said. She gave no answer, 
but drew a deep sigh and, like a woman, began shedding a 

I If Rimagoes into exile, his adventures will form an iDexbaustible theme 
for the poets of all time, who will therefore be always invoking my aid and 
propitiatinp my good will. 



AYODHYA.. 237 

flood of tears. Said the queen laughing : "You were always 
an impudent girl, and Lakshman, I suspect, has been giving 
you a lesson." Still the wicked handmaid said not a word, 
but breathed hard like some venomous serpent. 

Doha 14. 

Said the queen with a nervous smile ; "Is Rdma not 
well, or the king, or Bharat, or Lakshman, or Satrughna ? " 
These words tortured the heart of the hump backed girl.^ 

Ohaupdi. 

" Why, lady, should any one give me a lesson, and 
who is there to encourage me in any impudence? With 
whom again is it well to-day if not with Rdma, whom the 
king is now associating with himself on the throne ? God 
has been very gracious to Kausalyfi ; and after seeing her, 
who else can have any pride left ? Why not go and see all 
the magnificence, the sight of which has so agitated me ? 
Your son is away and you take no heed, making sure of 
your influence with the king, and not observing his trea- 
chery and wiliness so drowsy are you and so anxious for 
your bed and pillow." On hearing this affectionate address, 
the queen who knew well her froward mind cried : 
" Peace, have done. If you speak to me again in this way, 
you mischief-maker, I will have your tongue pulled out." 
Dohd 15. 

But remembering that the one-eyed, the lame and the 
hump-backed are ever vicious and vile, more especially if 
they be women to boot, and slaves, Bharat's mother smiled 
and added : 

Ghaupdi. 

" I have only given you kind advice and am not the 
least bit angry. If what you say is true, it is the best and -. 
happiest of days. It has ever been the custom in the Solar 

1 Because the fact that the queen asked first of all about Rdma's wel- 
fare showed ^er intense love for him. 



238 ATQDHTA. 

race that the eldest- born should be the lord, and the young- 
er brothers his servants. II R^ma is really to be crowned 
to-morrow, ask of me, girl, what you will and I will give it 
you. There is no difference between KausalyA and the 
other royal mothers. Rdma is equally fond of all : in fact 
he has a special affection for me, as I have often tested. If 
I am born again, God in his goodness grant that R^ma and 
Sita be again my son and daughter ! Rdma is dearer to me 
than life; why then should you be troubled at his being 
crowned king ? 

Doha 16. 

I adjure you in Bharat's name, tell me the truth without 
any fraud or concealment ; declare to me the reason why 
you are in distress at such a time of gladness." 

Chaupdi. 

*' I have been satisfied once already ; have I a second 
tongue that I should speak again ? I deserve to have my 
head broken on the funeral pile, wretch that I am, since I 
pain you by my well-meant words. Those who make the 
false appear true are the people who please you, my lady ; 
while I offend you. Henceforth I too will speak only as 
my mistress pleases, or else will remain silent day and 
night. God has given me a deformed body and made me 
a slave : we must all reap as we have sown and take as we 
have given. Whoever is king, what do I lose ? Shall I 
cease to be a servant and become a queen ? It is only my 
worthless character that I cannot bear to see your disgrace, 
and hence I gave utterance to a word or two ; but p&rdon 
me, mistress, it was a great fault on my part. 

Dohd 17. 

On hearing these affectionate words, so deep and crafty, 
the queen, being only a weak-minded woman and under 
the influence of a divine delusion, really believed her enemy 
to be a friend. 



AVODHYA. 239 

Chawpdi. 

Again and again in kindly terms she questioned her, 
like a fawn bewitched by the song of a huntress. Her 
reason veered as fate would have it so ; and the slave-girl 
rejoiced at the success of her scheme : " You ask, but I am 
afraid to reply, now that you have given me the name of 
mischief-maker ;" thus spoke the malignant star^ of Avadh, 
trimming and fashioning her speech in every way to win 
confidence : " You spoke, queen, of Sita and Rama as 
your friends ; and true enough Rama did love you once, but 
now those days are past; in time friends become foes. The 
sun invigorates the lotus, but burns it to ashes if it have 
no water : the rival queen would tear you up by the root : 
take care of your garden and hedge it about. 

Doha 18. 

Thinking yourself the king's favourite and that he is 
quite in your power, you notice nothing ; but however fair 
his words, his heart is black ; but you are so good-natured. 

Chaupdi. 

Rdma's mother, on the contrary, is deep and crafty ; and 
having found the means has played her own game. The 
king has sent away Bharat to his grandmother's by her 
suggestion, and because he is your son ; for she said all the 
other queens are well disposed to me, but Bharat's mother 
presumes on her influence with her lord. You, lady, are the 
thorn in Kausalyd's side ; she is too deep and crafty for you 
to fathoui ; the king has greater love for you than for any 
one else, and like a rival she cannot bear to see it. For her 
own ends she has worked upon the king and got him to fix 
a day for Rama's inauguration. Now Rama's promotion is 
a good thing for the family : all are pleased at it, and I too 
like it well. But I am alarmed when I consider the conse- 
quences ; heaven make them recoil on her own head !" 

I Sdr/i-sdti, literally ' 7|,' is a name for the malignant star Saturn, 
one of wbose revolutions occupies a period of 7J years. 



240 AYODHTA. 

Dohd 19. 
With innumerable crafty devices she planned her cun- 
ning tale, telling story after story of jealous wives, whereby 
to increase her resentment. 

Ghaupdi. 

Overmastered by fate, the queen was persuaded at heart, 
and adjured her by the love she bore her to speak out. 
" What is it you would ask ? still do you not understand : 
even the brute beasts know what is good or bad for them. 
For the last fortnight the preparations have been going on, 
and it is only to-day that you learn the news from me. I am 
clothed and fed in your service, and I must therefore speak 
the truth at any cost. If I invent a word of falsehood, may 
God repay me for it ! Should RAma be crowned to-morrow, 
God will have sown you a crop of misfortunes. I draw this 
line on the ground, lady, and declare most emphatically 
that you will be like a fly in a milkbowl. If you and your 
son will submit to be servants, you will be able to stay ; but 
on no other conditions. 

Dohd 20. 

As Kadru tormented Binat^* so will Kausalya treat you 
Bharat will be a slave in bonds, under Rima and Lakshmar^. 

Ghaupdi. 
When she heard these cutting words, Kekaya's^ daugh- 
ter could say nothing; she was all in a fever for fear : her limb, 
were bathed with perspiration ; and she trembled like a 



1 Kadru ancJ Binata were the two wives of the patriarch Kanyapa. the 
fiirmftr beinj; the mother of the serpent race and the latter of the birds. A 
discussion arose between them regarding the colour of^he horses of the sun, 
Binata insisting that it was white, and Kadru that it was black. It whs 
agreed that whichever of the two was proved to be in the wrong should 
become the servant of the other. Kadru then contrived to fasten one of lier 
black snakes on to the horse's back and Binatu, taking it to be the animal's 
real tail, admitted herself defeated. 

2 The name of Kaikeyi's father was Asva-pati, but he is often called 
Kekaya from the country over which he ruled, supposed to be part of the 
Hanjab. The Brdhmana of the white Yajur VedA mentions Asva-pati, king 
of Kekaya. as nearly contemporary with Sita's father, Janak : an interesting 
act noted by Prof. Monier Williams. 



AYODHYA. 241 

plantaia stalk. Then Humpback bit her tongue^ and with 
innumerable crafty speeches kept consoling the queen say- 
ing * courage,' courage,' till with her ill-teaching she 
warped her like a seasoned plank, which there is no bend- 
ing straight again. ^ By a turn of fate the vile became a 
favourite, as though a beautiful flamingo should flatter an 
ugly crane. " Hearken, Manthara, your words are true ; my 
right eye is always throbbing and every night I have some 
ill dream ; but in my folly I did not tell you. What can I 
do, friend ? I am such an innocent that I cannot myself tell 

right from left. 

Doha 21. 

Up to this day I have never of my own accord done an 
unkindness to any one : for what offence has heaven all at 
once put me to such intolerable distress ? 

Chaup i. 

Rather would I go and spend all my days in my father's 
house than live a servant of a rival wife. Whomever God 
creates the dependent of an enemy, it is good for him to die 
rather than live." Many such lamentable speeches did the 
queen utter, and Humpback, on hearing them, formed a 
^^ thorough woman's device : " Why speak thus, as though 
patient of disgrace ? Your honour and wedded joy shall 
yet increase daily, and may he who has plotted you this 
misfortune in the end reap the fruit of it himself ? Since 
your servant, my lady, first heard the bad news, I could 
neither eat by day or sleep at night. I consulted the 
astrologers and they declared positively : * Bharat shall 
be king, this much is certain.' If, madam, you will only 
act upon it, I can tell you a way : for the king is under an 

obligation to you." 

Doha 22. 
" I would throw myself down a well if you told me to 
do so, or even abandon my husband and son. Speak, then : 

1 Meaning proHably to remind iierself that she must be careful in 
what she said. 

2 This couplet appears to he an interpolation, as it is said not to be in 
the Rijapur MS. 

R-34 



242 AYODHTA. 

you see how great is my distress : why should I not do 
what will be for my good ?" 

Chaupdi. 
Taking Kaikeyi as a victim for the slaughter, the Hump- 
back whetted the knife of treachery on her heart of stone ; 
and the queen, like a sacrificial beast that nibbles the green 
sward, saw not the approaching danger. Pleasant to hear, 
but disastrous in their results, her words were like honey 
mingled with deadly poison. Says the handmaid : " Do 
you or do you not, my lady, remember the story you once 
told me of the two boons promised you by the king ?i Ask 
for them now and relieve your soul : the kingdom for your 
son, banishment to the woods for RAma ; thus shall you 
triumph over all your rivals. But ask not till the king has 
sworn by R^ma, so that he may not go back from his word. 
If you let this night pass it will be too late ; give heed to 
my words with all your heart." 

Dohd 23. 
Said the wretch, having fully contrived her abominable 
design : " Go to the sulking-room ; make all your arrange- 
ments circumspectly, and do not yield too readily." 

Chaupdi. 

The queen thought Humpback her best friend, and again 
and again extolled her cleverness, saying : " I have no such 
friend as you in the whole world : I had been swept away 
by the flood but for your support. To-morrow if God will 
fulfil my desire I will cherish you, my dear, as the apple of 
mine eye." Thus lavishing every term of endearment on her 
handmaid, Kaikeyi went to the dark room ; her evil temper 
being the soil in which the servant-girl, like the rains, had 

1 Aforetime Dasarath had marched into the south to Vijayanta, a city 
in the Dandaka forest, to wage war against its king Timi-dhwaja, or Sarabara, 
who had revolted against Indra. The battle lasted till night, and Dasarath, 
wounded and senseless, would have been left for dead on the field, had not 
Kaikeyi taken him up into her chariot, inserting her own arm in the place 
of its broken axle-tree, and speedily driven him away out of reach of the 
enemy. The gratefid monarch, thus restored to life by his wife's devotion, 
promised to grunt her any two boons she might ask ; and she had prudently 
reserved them both till such time as she might require them. 



AYODHYA. 243 

sown the seed of calamity, which, watered by treachery, took 
root and sprouted with the two boons as its leaves, and in 
the end ruin for its fruit. Gathering about her every 
token of resentment, she undid her reign by her evil 
counsel. But meanwhile palace and city were given|over to 
rejoicing, for no one knew of these wicked practices. 

Doha 24. 

All the citizens in their delight were busied with fes- 
tive preparations, and the royal hall of audience was crowd- 
ed with a continuous stream of people passing in and out. 

Ghaupdi. 

Delighted at the news, not a few of Rama's boyish 
friends went to congratulate him, and the Lord, sensible of 
their affection, received them graciously and politely asked 
of their welfare. At his permission they roam through the 
palace discussing his praises : " Is there anyone in the 
whole world so kind and amiable as Raghubir? What- 
ever future births fate has in store for us, God only grant 
us this, that we may always be the servants of Sita's lordly 
spouse : we ask for nothing more.'' This was the desire 
of every one in the city ; only Kaikeyi's heart was in a 
flame; for who is not spoiled by evil communications? 
There is no profit in taking counsel with the vile. 
Doha 25. 

A.t eventide the happy king repaired to Kaikeyi's apart- 
ments, as it were Love incarnate visiting Obduracy. 

Chaupdi. 

He was dismayed when he heard of the chamber of 
wrath and could scarcely put his feet to the ground for fear. 
He, under whose mighty arm the Lord of heaven dwells 
secure, and upon whose favor all monarchs wait, was in a 
fever at hearing of an angry woman ; see how great is the 
power of love. The bearers of trident, thunderbolt, and 
sword are slain by the flowery shafts of Uati's spouse. 
Anxiously the king approached his beloved and was terrib- 
ly distressed to see her condition, lying on the ground in 



244 lYODHTA. 

old and coarse attire with all her personal adornments cast 
away : her wretched appearance according with her wretch- 
ed design, as if in mourning for her instant widowhood. 
The king drew near and asked in gentle tones : " Why are 
you angry, my heart's delight ? 

Ghhand 1. 

Why so angy, my queen ? " and touched her with his 
hands. She put away her lord and flashed upon him a 
furious glance like an enraged serpent, with her two wishes 
for its double tongue, and the boons for fangs, spying out 
a vulnerable point. Under the influence of fate, says 
Tulsi, the king took H all as one of love's devices. 
Sorathd 1. /y W 

Again and again the king cried : " Tell me the cause of 
your anger, beautiful, bright-eyed dame, with voice as 
melodious as the koil, and gait as valuptuous as the 
elephant. 

Chaupdi. 

Who is it, my dear, who has vexed you ? Who is it with 
a head to spare and so enamoured of death ? Tell me what 
begger I should make a king, or what king I should banish 
from his realm. I could slay even an immortal, were he 
your enemy ; of what account then are any poor worms of 
men and women ? my love, you know my sentiments 
and how my eyes ever turn to your face as the partridge to 
the moon. my beloved ! my life, my sOn, and everything 
that I own, my palace, my subjects are all at your disposal. 
Could I tell you a word of untruth, lady, at least an oath by 
RAma must be binding. Ask with a smile whatever you 
desire ; adorn your lovely person with jewels; consider 
within yourself what an hour of torture this is for me, and 
at once, my darling, put away this unseemly attire." 

Dohd 26. ,' 

On hearing this and considering the greatness of the 
oath, the wicked queen arose with a smile and resumed heti 
royal attire, like a huntress who sets the snare on marking' 
the chase, 



AYODHYA. 245 

Ghaupdi. 
Thinking her reconciled, the king spoke again in soft 
and winning accents, his whole body quivering with love; 
" Your heart's desire, lady, has come to pass ; there is joy 
and gladness in every house in the city; to-morrow I give 
R^ma the rank of Regent ; so, my love, make ready for the 
festival." At the sound of these untoward words she sprang 
up with a bound, like an over-ripe ^gourd that bursts at a 
touch ; with a smile on her lips, but with such secret pain 
at heart as a thief's wife who dare not cry openly. ^ The 
king could not penetrate her crafty schemes, for she had 
been tutored in every villainy by a master ; and skilled as 
he was in statesmanship, the abyss of woman's ways was 
more than he could fathom. Again she cried with a further 
show of hypocritical affection and a forced smile in her eyes 
and on her lips : r 

Dohd 27. y^ 

' Ask, ask, indeed ; but tell me, sir, when has it come to 
giving and taking? you once promised me two boons, and 
yet I doubt my gettinor them." 

Chaupdi. 

The king replied with a smile : " I see what you niean, 
you are very fond of a little quarrel. You kept my promise 
in reserve and asked for nothing, and as my way is, I 
forgot all about it. Do not tax me with the guilt of a lie, 
but for two requests make four and you shall have them. It 
is an immemorial rule in the Raghu family to lose life 
rather than break a promise. No number of sins is eqaul 
to a lie ; in the same way as myriads of ghunehi seeds will 
not make a mountain. Truth is the foundation of all merit 
and virtue, as the Vedas and Puranas declare and as Manu2 

1 On seeing her husband suffer punishment, lest she too should be 
made to suffer with him. Such at least seems to me the most obvious 
meaning of the comparison, though some of the Hindu commentators explain 
it differently. 

2 Some manuscri-pt for Manu read Miini, " the saints ; "bnt the former' 
may well stand, as the great lawgiver in many passages of hi-* Code insists 
very strongly on the merit of truth. Thus in VIII., 81-83" A witness, who 
states the truth in evideuce, obtains a high place in heaven and the grea- 



246 AYODHYA. 

has expounded. Moreover I have sworn by R^ma, the 
chief of our house, the perfection of all that is good and 
amiable." When she had thus bound him to his word, the 
wicked queen smiled and cried loosing as it were the 
bandage from the eyes of her hawk-like plot. 

Doha 2^. '(' 

The King's desire being as a pleasent forest, and the 
general happiness as a flock of birds, at which as a huntress 
she sent forth the cruel falcon of her speech ; 
Chaupdi. 

" Hear, my beloved, what is the desire of my heart. 
Grant me for one boon Bharat's installation ; and for the se- 
cond (I beg with clasped hands, my lord, accomplish my 
desire) may Rdma be banished to the woods for 14 years 
there to dwell in the penitential garb of a hermit." At 
these words of the queen the king's heart grew faint, as the 
chakwa is troubled by the rays of the moon : he trembled 
all over, nor could he utter a sound, like a partridge in the 
wood at the swoop of a falcon ; the mighty monarch was as 
crestfallen as a palm-tree struck by lightning ; with his 
hands to his forehead and closing both his eyes, as it were 
Grief personified, he began his moan : " My desire, that 
had blossomed like the tree of paradise, has been stricken 
and uprooted as it were by an elephant at the time of bear- 
ing. Kaikeyi has desolated Avadh and laid the foundation 
of everlasting calamity. 

Dohd2d. \^ 

What a thing to happen at such a time ? 1 am undone 
by putting trust in a woman ; as at the time of heavenly 
reward for penance an ascetic is destroyed by ignorance." 

(^haupdi. 

I In this manner the king burned within himsf^lf, and the 

^ , _ 

tpst rpputation on earth : tuh a statement ia held in reverence even by 
Brihma himself By truth a witness is purific'l from sin ; by truth jus- 
tice is arlvancPfl ; therefore the trutii should be spoken by witnesses of 
every caste." I have often thought that if these four lines were printed 
or engraved in bold characters in ttie Sanskrit original and set up in our 
courts of justice they might have a wholesome effect. 



AYODHYA. 247 

wicked womau, seeing his evil plight, thus began : " What, 
then, is Bharat not your son too, but a slave even as I am, 
bought for a price r If my words, thus like arrows, pierce 
you to the heart, why did you not think before you spoke ? 
Answer now, say either yes or no, most truthful lord of 
Raghu's truthful line. Refuse me the boon you promis- 
ed, break your word and be publicly disgraced. When you 
engaged to grant the boon, you were loud in your praises 
of truth, imagining, no doubt, that I should ask for a hand- 
ful of parched grain. When Sivi,' Dadhichi^ and Bali,^ 
made a promise ; they gave life and wealth to keep their 
word." Kaikeyi's speech was as stinging as salt applied 
to a burn. 

Dohd 30. Si 

The righteous king took courage and opened his eyes, 

1 King Sivi (or Saivya), the son of Usinara, had already offered 92 
great sacrifices, and was hoping to complete the full number of a hundred, 
a feat which would have exalted him to the highest dignity in heaven, 
when Indra, jealous of his own supremacy, determined to prevent him. 
Himself assuming the form of a hawk and changing Agni, the god of fire, 
into a dove, he chased it through the air till it flew into the temple and 
took shelter in Sivi's bosom, who thereupon promised that he would protect 
it from all harm. The hawk followed close behind and protested that the 
dove was his lavvful spoil, and that it was unjust of the king to rob him of 
food which \w had fairly won, and without which he would die of starvation. 
The king offered him anything else that he liked to name ; but the hawk 
would be Satisfied with nothing bu.; an equal weight of the king's own 
flesh. Scales were brought, the dove was put in the one balance, and the 
monarch began to hack and hew pieces of his own body and cast in the 
other ; but still the dove weighed heavier. At last, when all had been 
cut avvay and only his bones were left, he threw himself in. The gods then 
came and restored him to life and bore him off in triumph to heaven. 

2 VVhen Indra and the other gods were hard pressed by the demon 
Vriira, Vishnu told them that there was a gr at saint named Dadhichi 
practising penance in the Naimisha forest, and that if he would let them 
have bis bones they C'uld be made into weapons, before which no enemy 
could stand Dadhichi, as soon as he heard what they wanted, at once 
devoted himself to death, and out of his bones the gods made thunder- 
bolts, with which they won an easy victory. 

3 King Bali, the son of Virochana, had so extended his empire that he 
had acquired dominion over the three worlds. Indra, to i id himself of so 
dangerous a rival, applied to Vishnu who asssuming the form of a dwarf, as 
the son of Kasyapa, appeared before Bali and begged an alms. The king 
promised to give him wha'ever he asked He said he only want< d as much 
land as he could pace in three steps This modest requ< st was granted 
without hesitation ; whereupon he at once developed himself into a giant, 
and with the first stride covered the whole earth, and with the second the 
heaven. For the third step he planted his foot on Bali's head and crushed 
him down into the infernal regions, of which he became the sovereign. 



248 AYODHYA. 

and beating his head gasped out : " She has pierced me in 

the most vital part " 

Ghaupdi, 

He saw her standing before him burning with passion, 
as it were Fury's own sword dniwn from the sheath, with 
ill-counsel for its hilt and cruelty for its sharp edge 
whetted on the Humpback grindstone. The monarch saw 
her stern and terrible : " She will rob me either of life or 
honour ; " but stilling his heart he cried in suppliant tones 
which she regarded not : " Bharat and Rdma are as my 
two eyes. I tell you truly and call Siva as my witness. 
my beloved, what is this ill word that you have uttered, 
destructive of all order, confidence and afEection ? I will 
not fail to despatch a messenger at daybreak and as soon 
as they hear the news both brothers will come. Then after 
fixing an. auspicious day and making all due preparation. I 
will solemnly confer the kingdom on Bharat. 

Doha 31. ^^ 

RjJma has no greed of empire ana is devotedly attached 
to Bharat : I made my plans according to royal usage, 
thinking only of their respective ages. 

ChaupcH. 

I swear by R^ma that I tell you true of his mother, that 
she never said a word to me. I arranged it all without 
asking you, and this is how my scheme has failed. Put 
away your displeasure, assume a festal garb ; yet a few 
days and Bharat shall be Regent. There was only one 
thing that pained me, your second petition, really an 
unreasonable request. To-day your bosom burns with 
unwonted fire ; is it anger, or do you jest, or is it all really 
true ? Tell me calmly Rama's offence. Every one says 
that he is amiability itself. Even you used to praise and 
caress him, and I am quite perplexed at what I now hear. 
His pleasant ways would charm even an enemy ; how 
then can he have vexed his own mother ? 
Dohd32. '^%^ 

Have done, my beloved, with tnis, be it raillery or 



AYODHYA. 249 

displeasure ; make a just and reasonable request, that I may 
rejoice in the sight of Bharat's installation, 

Chaupdi. 
Rather might a fish live out of the water, or a wretched 
serpent live without its head-jewel I tell you my true case 
without any deception but there is no life for me without 
Rama. Consider well, my dear, my prudent wife, my very 
existence depends upon my seeing Rama." On hearing this 
soft sppech the wicked woman blazed up like the fire on 
which has fallen an oblation of ghi : " You may devise and 
carry out any number of plans, but your subterfuges will 
not avail with me. Either grant my request, or refuse me 
and be disgraced ; I do not want any long discussion. 
R^ma is good, you too are good and wise, and Rdma's 
mother, as you have discovered, is also good. The benefit 
that Kaasalya devised for me is the only fruit that I now 

in turn give her. ^ 

Doha 33. yy 

At daybreak, if Rama does not assume the hermit's dress 
and go out into the woods, my death will ensue, king, 
and your disgrace ; be well assured of this " 

Chaupdi. 

So saying, the wretch rose and stood erect, as it were a 
swollen flood of wrath that had risen in the mountains of 
sin, turgid with streams of passion, terrible to behold, with 
the two boons for its banks, her stern obduracy for its 
current, and her voluble speech for its eddies, overthrow- 
ing the king like some tree torn up by the roots, as it 
rushed on to the ocean of calamity. The king perceived 
that it was all true, and that death, in fashion as a woman, 
was dancing in triumph on his head. Humblj'^ he clasped 
her by the feet and begged her to be seated, cryirjg : " Be 
not an axe at the root of the Solar race. Demand of me 
my head and I will give it at once, but do not kill me by 
the loss of Rdma, be it in any way you will, or your heart 
will be ill at ease all your life long." 

R-35 



250 AYODHYA. 



^< 



Dohd 34. 

Y Seeing that Ws disease was incurable, the king fell 

upon the ground and beat his head, sobbing out in most 
lamentable tones, '* Rdma, Rama," 

Chaupdi. 

The king's whole body was so broken down by distress 
that he seemed like the tree of paradise that some elephant 
had uprooted. His throat was dry, speech failed his lips, 
like some poor fish deprived of water. Again Kaikeyi plied 
him with biting taunts, infusing as it were poison into 
his wounds : " If yuu meant to act thus in the end, what 
compulsion was there to say, ask, ask ? Is it possible, sir^, to 
be two things at once '' To laugh and jest and at the same 
time mourn ; to be called the munificent, and yet be 
miserly ; to live without anxiety, and yet be a king ? Either 
break your wor/d or show more fortitude, do not, like a 
woman, ^^jieal to compassion. Il is said that life, wife, 
7^ sons, home, wealth, nay the whole world, all are but as a 
straw compared to the Qo e an o f truth." 

Dohd 35. S^^ 

On hearing these fatal words the king exclaimed : " It 
is no fault of yours ; my evil destiny, like some demo- 
niacal delusion, has possessed you and bids you speak. 

Chaupdi. 

Bharat has never dreamed of desiring the royal dignity 
I but by the de^-ee of fate evil counsel has lodged in your 
breast. All this is the result of my sins , I can do nothing ; 'J 
God is against me. Hereafter beautiful Avadh shall flourish 
again under the sway of the all-perfect RAma ; all his bre- 
thren shall do him service and his glory shall spread through 
the three spheres of creation ; your disgrace also and my 
remorse, though we die, shall never be eflFaced or forgotten. 
Now do whatever seemeth you good ; only stay out of my 
sight and let your face be veiled : with clasped hands I ask 
but this, speak not to me again so long as I live. You too 



AYODHYA. 251 

will repent at the last, miserable woman, who ^aimm^jat 7 
the tiger-ha#-4hus ha^-4ea4-t4re cow . " 

Dohd 36. 'a/I 
The king; fell to the ground crying again and again : 
" Why have you wrought this ruin ? " But the perfidious 
queen spoke not a word, like a funeral pile that is ever 'y 
burning. 

Chaupdi. 

The king in his distress sobbing out *' R^ma, Rdma," 
was like some luckless bird clipped of its wings. In his 
heart he was praying : " May the day never break nor any 
one go and tell Rama. Rise not great patriarch of the Solar 
race, for at the sight of Avadh your breast will be consumed t-^ 
with anguish." The king's affection and Kaikeyi's cruelty 
were both the most extreme that God could make. While 
the monarch was yet lamenting, day broke and the music 
of lute and pipe and conch resounded at his gate. Bards 
recited his titles, minstrels sung his praises ; but like arrows 
they wounded the king, as he heard them. All tokens of 
rejoicing pleased him as little as the adornment of a widow 
who ascends the funeral pile. That night no one had slept, 
from the joyous anticipation of beholding Raina. 
Doha 37.'V^\ 

At the gate was a crowd of servants and ministers, 
who exclaimed as they beheld the risen sun : " What can 
be the reason why to-day of all days our lord awaketh not ? 
Chaupdi. 

He was always wont to wake at the last watch ; to-day 
it strikes us as very strange. Go Sumanta, and rouse him 
and obtain the royal order to commence the work." Suman- 
ta entered the palace, but as he passed on was struck with 
awe and dismay at its appearance, as though some terrible 
monster were about to spring upon him and devour him ; 
it seemed the very home of calamity and distress. Asking, 
but with no one to answer him, he came to the apartment 
where were the king and Kaikeyi ; with the salutation 



252 AYODHYA. 

" Live for ever " he bowed the head and sat down. On be- 
holding the king's condition he was much distressed, for 
he was fallen on the ground crushed and colourless, like a 
lotus broken ofE from its root. The terrified minister could 
ask no question ; but she, full of evil and void of all good, 
answered and said : 

Dohd 38. " /'' 
" The king has not slept all night : God knows why. 
He has done nothing but mutter ' RAma, Rdma,' even till 
daybreak ; but he has not told me the reason. 

Chaupdi. 
Go at once and send R^ma here, and when you come 
back you can ask what the matter is " Perceiving it to be 
the king's wish, Sumanta went ; but he saw that the queen 
had formed some evil design. So anxious was he that his 
feet scarcely touched the ground as he wondered to himself : 
' What will the king have to say to R^ina ? ' Composing 
himself as he reached the gate, when all observed his sad- 
ness and asked the cause, he reassured them and proceeded 
to the prince's abode. When Rdma saw Sumanta coming, 
he received him with the same honour that he would have 
shown to his own father. Looking him in the face, he 
declared the ki!\g's commands and returned with him. 
Remarking the state of disorder in which R^ma accompani- 
ed the minister, the people began to be a little anxious. 

Dohd 39. / ^' 
When the jewel of Raghu's race had come and beheld 
the king's miserable condition, like some aged and pain- 4 
stricken elephant in the power of a tigress,rnis lips became fK 
parched and his body all aflame, like a poor snake that has 
been robbed of the jewel in its head. Seeing the furious 
Kaikeyi near, like death counting the minutes, the pitiful 
and amiable Raghundth, though he now for the first time 
saw sorrow, and had never before heard its name even, com- 
posed himself as the occasion required and in pleasant tones 



AYODHYA. 253 

asked his mother : " Tell me, mother, the cause of my 
father's distress, that I may endeavour to put an end to it." 
" Listen, Rdma : the sole cause is this : the king is very 
fond of you ; he has promised to grant me two requests, 
and I have asked for what I wanted ; but he is disturbed 
on hearing them and cannot get rid of a scruple on your 

account. , / , 

Doha 40. ' 
On the one side is his love for his son ; in the other his 
promise ; he is thus in a strait. If it lies in your power, be 
obedient to his commands and so terminate his misery." 

Chaupdi. 
She sat and spoke stinging words so composedly that 
Cruelty itself was disturbed to hear her. From the bow of 
her tongue she shot forth the arrows of her speech against 
the king as it were some yielding target ; as though Obdura- 
cy had taken form and become a bold and practised archer. 
Sitting like the very incarnation of heartlessness, she ex- 
pounded to Raghupati the whole history. R^ma, the sun of 
the Solar race, the fountain of -every- joy, smiled inwardly 
and replied in guileless terms, so soft and gracious that they 
seemed the very jewels of the goddess of speech : " Hearken, 
mother ; blessed is the son who obeys his parent's com- 
mands ; a son who cherishes his father and mother is not, 
often found in the world. 

Doha 41. ^ 

I have a particular wish to join the hermits in the 
woods and now there is also my father's order and your 
approval, mother. 

Chaupdi. 
Bharat, moreover, whom I love as myself, will obtain 
the kingdom ; in every way God favours me to-day. If I 
go not to the woods under these circumstances, then reckon 
me first in any assembly of fools. They who desert the tree 
of paradise to tend a castor-oil plant, or refuse ambrosia to 
ask for poison, having once lost their chance, will never get 



254 AYODHYA. 

it apfaiu ; see, mother, and ponder this in your heart. 

One special anxiety still remains, when I see the king 

so exof^edin^ly disturbed. I cann )t niid^rstand. mother, how 

my faihnr can be so much pained by such a trifling matter. 

He is stout-hearted and a fathomless ocean of piety' : there 

must have been some great offence on my part, that he will 

not say a word to me : I adjure you to tell me the truth." 

Dohd 42. Lf 3 

Though Raghubar's words were as straightforward as 

possible, the wicked queen gave them a perverse twist ;2 

like a leech, which must always move crookedly, however 

smooth the water be. 

Chaupdi. 

Seeing RAma's readiness, the queen smiled and said 
with much show of false affection : " I swear by yoursf^lf 
and Bharat, there is no other cause that I know of. There 
is no room for fault in you, my son, who confer such happi- 
ness both on your parents and your brother. All that you 
say, R^ma, is true ; you are devoted to the wishes of your 
father and mother. Remonstrate, then, solemnly with your 
sire, that he incur not sin and disgrace in his old age. 
Having been blest with a son like you, he cannot properly 
disregard your advice " These fair words in her false 
mouth were like Gaya and the other holy places that are in 
Magadha : but Rama took his mother's spee:)h in good 
part, like the Ganges, which in its course receives and 

hallows any stream. / jj 

Dohd 43. *^ ^ 

At the remembrance of Rama, the king's swoon left 

him and he turned on his side. Taking/ advantage of the'! 

opportunity, the minister huuibly informed him of RAma's 

arrival. 



1 Being 8<) stout of heart, why should he be thus dismayed a- the mere 
thoutjhr ot losing me ? And bfiiiif so oioiis, ho^v is it pos^^ioie that he can 
hesitate for a moment about keeping his wrd r There mu**! be something 
else in ihe bcksironnd. I fear 1 n^v done A-nmj^ an displeaseti him. 

2 The queen rhouvfht t) h-Tg^lf : P.y his prai-^es of a hermir'n life he 
hopes I may t>e persuaded to send Bnarai to i he woods insteid of himself, or 
by his ready compliance, he hopes to wheedle me out of my resolve. 



AYODHYA. 255 

Chaupdi. 

When the kinpj heard that RAma had come, he summon- 
ed up courage and opened his nyes. The minister support- 
ed his sovereign to a seat, where the king saw Rama falling 
at his feet. In an agony of affection, he clasped him to his 
bosom, like some snake that has recovered the jewel it had 
lost. As the monarch continued gazing upon Rdma, a flood 
of tears came info his eyes, nor in his sore distress could he 
utter a word, but again and again he pressed him to his 
heart. Inwardly he was praying God that Raghunfith 
might not be banished to the woods ; and remembering 
Mahddeva humbly begged : " Immortal Siva, hear my 
petition ; thou art easily satisfied, compassionate and 
generous ; recognize then in me a poor suppliant and re- 
move my distress. u^ < ^ 

Doha 54. ^^ 

As thou directest the hearts of all, give Rama the sense 
to disregard my words and stay at home, forgetful for once 
of his filial affection. 

Chaupdi. 

Welcome disgrace and perish my good name ; may I 
sink into Hell rather than mount to Heaven; be it mine to 
support the most intolerable pain rather than have Rdma 
taken from my sight" Thinking thus to himself, the king 
spoke not a word, while his soul quivered liue a pip'd leat. 
Perceiving his father to be thus overpowered with love, 
Raghupati spoke again with a view to his mother, in 
modest and thoughtful phrase, as the place, the time, and 
the circumstances demanded : " Father, if I speak a little 
wilfully, forgive the offence by reason of my childish years. 
You are troubled about a very little matter ; why did you 
not speak and let me know of this at the first ? After 
seeing you, sire, I questioned my mother, and on hearing 
"] her explanation my fear subsided. / 

Dohd4:5. ^i 
Put away, father, the anxiety which at this time of 
rejoicing your affection has caused you, and give me your 



256 AYODHYA. 

commands : " so spoke the Lord with heartfelt joy and a 
body quivering with emotion. 

Chaupdi. 
" Blessed is his birth into the world whose father is 
rejoiced to hear of his doings. He has in his hand all the 
four rewards of life, who holds his parents dear as his own 
life. By obeying your orders, I attain the end of my 
existence. If then it be your command, I can soon come 
back, and after taking leave of my mother, I will throw my- 
self once more at your feet and then start for the woods." 
Having thus spoken, Rama departed, while the king in his 
anguish answered not a word. The bitter news spread 
through the city, like the sting of a scorpion that at once 
affects the whole body. Every man or woman that heard it 
was as distrest as the creepers and bushes when a forest is 
on fire. Wlierever it was told, every one beat his head, and 
the grief was too great to be endured. 

Dohd 46. l^ 7 
Their lips were parched, their eyes streamed, their heart 
could not contain their sorrow ; it seemed as though the 
Pathetic, in battle array and with beat of drum, had march- 
ed into Avadh and taken up quarters there. 

Choupdi 
"It was a well-contrived plan, but God has spoilt it." 
In this fashion they kept abusing Kaikeyi : *' What could 
this wicked woman mean by thus setting fire to a new-thatch- 
ed house ; who tears out, her eyes with her own hands, and 
yet wishes to see ; who throws away ambrosia and prefers 
the taste of poison ; cruel stubborn, demented wretch, a very 
fire among the reeds of Raghu's line ; who sitting on a 
branch of the tree has hacked down the stem ; and in the 
midst of joy has introduced this tragedy ? Rama used 
ever to be dear to her as life ; for what reason has she now 
taken to such perversity ? The poets say truly that a wo- 
man's mind is altogether inscrutable, unfathomable and 



AYODHYA. 257 

beyond comprehension. Sooner may a man catch his own 
shadow in the glass than grasp the ways of a woman. 
Doha ^7. .^rt 

What is there that fire will not burn ; what is there that 
ocean cannot contain ; what cannot a woman do in her 
strength ; or what is there in the world that death does not 
devour ? 

Ghaupcii. 

God first ordained one thing, but now ordains some- 
thing quite different, and what he would show us now is 
the very reverse of what he showed us then." Said one : 
" The king has not done well, and without consideration 
has granted the wicked woman her request. He has 
wilfully brought all this misery upon himself, and in yield- 
ing to a woman has lost all good sense and discretion." 
Another wisely recognized the king's supreme virtue and 
would not blame him, as they repeated to one another the 
legends of Sivi, Dadhichi, and Harischandra.i One suggest- 
ed Bharat's connivance, another was distressed at the men- 
tion of such a thing ; while a third stopping his ears with 
his hands and biting his tongue exclaimed : " Such words 
are false ; you damn yourself by saying such things. 
Bharat is Rdma's dearest friend. 

Dohd 48. ^" I 

Sooner shall the moon rain sparks of fire, or ambrosia 
have the same effect as poison, than Bharat ever dream of 
doing anything to injure Rdma." 

1 For the legends of Sivi and DADHiCHisee notes to page 19. 

Habischandra, the son of Trisanku, was king of Ayodhya and the 
twenty-eighth in descent from Ikshvaku, the founder of the solar dynasty. 
In order to satisfy the claims of Visvamitra. who wanted to make trial of 
his integrity, he sold his kingdom and all that he had, together with his 
wife Satyavati and his only son, and hired himself out as the servant of a 
man who kept a burning ghat. Whenever a corpse was brought, ha had to 
take the fee and make it over to his master. One day a woman brought 
her dead child and he recognized them as his own wife and son. She had 
no money and he was so zealous in his employer's interests that he would 
not allow the body to be burnt till the regular fee was paid. As the only 
way to satisfy his demand, she was stripping off the one poor rag that cov- 
ered her nakedness, when the gods interposed and restored the king to his 
throne and all his former prosperity. 

R-36 



^,58 AYODflYA. 

Ghaupdi. 

One reproached the Creator, who had promised ambro- 
sia but given poison. The whole city was agitated and 
every one so sad that the intolerable pain in their heart 
utterly effaced all the previous rejoicing. The venerable and 
highborn Brdhman matrons, who were Kaikeyi's chief 
friends, began to give her advice and praise her good 
disposition ; but their words pierced her like arrows : You 
have always said, as every one knows, that Bharat was 
not so dear to you as RAma : show him, then, your wonted 
affection ; for what offence do you now banish him to the 
woods ? You have never shown any jealousy of the rival 
queens ; your love and confidence in them were known 
throughout the land. What has KausalyA done wrong now 
that you should launch this thunderbolt against the city ? 

Dohd 49. lj 

What 1 willSita desert her spouse, or Lakshman remain 
here at home ? Will Bharat enjoy the dominion of the 
state, or the king survive without R^ma. 

(haupdi. 

Reflect upon this and expel passion from your breast, 
nor make yourself a stronghold of remorse and disgrace. 
By all means make Bharat the king's coadjutor; but what 
need is there for Rdma to be banished to the woods ? 
Rdma is not greedy of royal power ; he is righteous and 
averse to sensual pleasures. Let him leave the palace and 
go and live with his guru ; ask this of the king as your 
second petition. A son like Rdmadoes not deserve banish- 
ment ; what will people say to you when they hear of it ? 
If you do not agree to what 1 tell you, nothing will prosper 
in your hands. If this is only some jest of yours, speak out 
clearly and let me know. Up quickly and devise a plan to 
avert future remorse and disgrace. 
Chhand 2. 

Devise a plan to avert remorse and disgrace and save 
your family. Be instant in diverting R^ma from going to 



AYODHYA. 



^59 



the woods, and labour for nothing else. As the day with- 
out the sun, as the body without life, as the night without 
the moon, so (says Tulsi T>is) is Avadh without its lord ; I 
beg you, lady, to consider this." 

Sorathd 2. J^^ 

Pleasant to hear and b^nefietat-in result was the advice 
her friends gave ; but she paid no heed to it, having been 
tutored in villainy by Humpback. 
Ghaupdi. 

She answered not a word, but raged with irrepressible 
fury like a hungry tigress that has spied a deer. Perceiving 
her disease to be incurable, they left her, saying as they 
went : ' Demented wretch ! Fate has destroyed her in her 
pride ; she has acted ia such--i^yay as no one has ever acted 
before." Thus all the men and women of the city were 
lamenting and heaping countless abuse on the wicked 
queen. Burning with intolerable fever they sob out : " What 
hope of life is there without R^ma? " Agonized by his loss, 
the people were as miserable as creatures of the deep when 
/^watel' fails. Great was the distress of all, whether man or 
woman : but the saintly RAma went to his mother, with 
joy in his face and fourfold joy in his soul, fearing only 
that the king might detain him. ,<- y 

Doha 50. ^ "^ 

The Glory of Raghu's line resembled some young ele- 
phant with kingship for its chain : the news of banishment 
was as its breaking : at which he rejoices exceedingly. ^ 

Ghaupdi. 

With folded hands the Crown of Raghu's line bowed 
his head blithely at his mother's feet. She gave him her 
blessing and clasped him to her bosom, and scattered ^ 
around him gifts of jewels and raiment. Again and again 
she kissed his face, with tears of joy in her eyes and her 
body all quivering with emotion. Then seating him in 
her lap, she pressed him once more to her heart, while 
drops of affection trickled from her comely breasts. Her 



^ 



260 AYODHYA. 

rapture of love was past all telling, like that of a beggar 
made all at once rich as Kuver. Tenderly regarding his 
lovely features, his mother thus addressed him in sweetest 
tones: " Tell me, my son, I adjure you as your mother, 
when is the happy moment to be ; you are such an exquisite 
paragon of piety, amiability and good fortune, that in you 
Avadh has reaped the full fruition of its existence : 

Dohd 51. i" 3 

For whom the people long as anxiously as a pair of 
thirsting chdtaks, in the season of autumn, for the rainfall 
of Arcturus. 

Chaupdi. 

Go at once, my darling, I beg of you, and bathe and 
take something nice to eat, such as you like, and then, dear 
boy approach your father : I, your mother, protest there 
has been too much delay.' On hearing his mother's most 
loving speech, which seemed as the flower of the paradisal 
tree of affection laden with the fragrance of delight and 
produced from the stem of prosperity, Rdma's bee-like soul 
was not distracted by the sight, but in his righteousness 
he distinguished the path of virtue, and thus in honeyed 
tones addressed his mother: " My father has assigned me 
the woods for my realm, where I shall have much in every 
way to do. Give me your orders, mother, with a cheerful 
heart, that I too may cheerfully and in auspicious wise set 
out for the forest. Do not in your affection give way to 
causeless alarm ; my happiness, mother, depends on your 
consent. ^ . 

Dohd 52. ^n 

After staying fourteen years in the woods, in obedience 
to my sire's command, ^ I will come back and again behold 
your feet ; make not your mind uneasy." 
Chaupdi. 
Raghubar's sweet and dutiful words pierced like arrows 
through his mother's heart. At the sound of his chilling 
1 Or, and thus making good noy father's vow. 



AYODHYA. 261 

speech she withered and drooped like the jawdsa^ at a 
shower in the rains. The anguish of her soul was past 
telling, as when an ^lepfenrt- shrinks at the roar of a T 
tiger. Her eyes filled with tears and her body trembled 
all over, like a fish overtaken by the scour of a flooded ^ 
river .2 Summing up courage, she looked her son in the 
face and thus spoke, in faltering accents :" My son, you 
are your father's darling and it is a constant delight to him 
to watch your doings. He had fixed an auspicious day 
for giving you the sceptre ; for what offence does he now 
banish you to the woods ? Tell me my boy, the upshot of 
it all ; who is the destroying fire of the Sun-god's line ? " 
Doha 53. S' = ^ 

After a look at Rama's face the minister's son explained 
to her the reason. On hearing his account she was struck 
dumb : words fail to describe her condition. 
Chaupdi. 

She could neither detain him, nor yet say Go ; either way 
her heart was distraught with cruel pain: as though for 
' moon' one had written ' eclipse ': God's hand is ever 
against us all. Duty and affection both laid siege to her 
soul ; her dilemma was like that of a snake with a musk-rat. ^ 
"If I keep my son, it will be a sin ; my past virtue will go for 
nothing and my friends will abhor me. If I order him 
into exile, it will be a sad loss." In this distressing strait 
the queen was sore tried. Again reflectingdiscreetly on her 
wifely duty and remembering that Rdma and Bharat were 
both equally! her sons, the queen in the sweetness of her 

1 A popular Flindi couplet says that every creature in the world rejoices 
at the coming of the rains, except four, viz., the dk and jawasa plants, 
which flourish only on dry soil, and the saltpetre manufacturer and the 
carter, who cannot ply|their trade : 

Ak, jawasa, agara, chauthe gariwdn, 

Jyon jyon chamake bijli, tyon tyon tajepran. 

2 the line, as I translate it, stands thus : Manja Manahun min kalian 
vyapi. As to the meaning of the word mdnjd see the note on page 86 ; the 
Commentators explain it^as a sickness that prevails at the beginning of the 
rains ; or, as the scum raised on the water when the rains first brek ; or,^ as 
the juice of a plant. Another reading is Mdnjd-hi Mai minjanu mdpi, 
whfre mdpi would be for mdti, drunk." 

.3 If it swallows the rate, it dies ; if it disgorges it, it goes blind ; such is 
the popular belief. 



262 AYODHYA. 

disposition summoned up courage and, spoke these vvoful 
words : " May I die, my son, but you have done well ; a 
father's command is the most paramo^unt duty. 

Do/ia 54. i> 

Though he promised you the kingdom : and now 
banishes you to the woods I am not the least sad or sorry : 
but, without you, Bharat and the king and the people will 
all be put to terrible distress. 

Chaupdi. 

Yet, boy, if it is only your father's order, then go not ; 
hold your mother still greater.^ If both father and mother 
bid you go, the forest will be a hundred times l)etter than 
Avadh, with its god for your father, its goddess for your 
mother and birds and deer to wait upon your lotus feet. At 
the end of life retirement to the woods is the proper thing 
for a king, but I am troubled at heart when I consider your 
tender age. How blest the forest and how wretched Avadh 
if you abandon it, you, the crown of Raghu's line. If, child, 
I say ' take me with you,' there may be some hesitation in 
your mind ; my son, all hold you most dear, life of our 
life ; if you say ' mother, I go alone to the woods,' on hearing 
your words I sink down in despair. 

Dohd5r). ry 

Being thus minded I do not press niy suit with a show 
of love beyond what I really feel ; agree to your mother's 

request ; or if you go alone, at least I pray you not to forget 
me. 

Chaupdi . 

May all the gods and the spirits of your ancestors guard 
you, noble boy, as closely as the eyelids guard the eyes. The 
term of banishment is like the water of a lake in which the 
fish are your friends and relations ; you are all-merciful and 
righteous ; remember then to make your plans so that you 
may find them all alive when you come again. Go in peace 
to the woods ah ! woe is me ! leaving your servants, your 



I For jdni hari mdtd, the words that I translate, some copies reaii Jdi 
bdl m&td. 



AYODHYA. 263 

relatives, the whole city in bereavement ; to-day the fruit 
of all their past good deeds has gone, and awful death con- 
fronts them." Thus with many mournful meanings she 
clung to his feet, accounting herself the most hapless of 
women. Cruel and intolerable pangs pierced her heart 
through and through, and the burden of her misery was 
past all telling. Rdma raised his mother and took her to 
his bosom and consoled her with many soothing words. 

Doha 56. ;. 7 

At that moment Sita, who had heard the news, rose in 
great agitation, and having reverenced her mother's lotus 
feet, bowed her head and sat down. 

Chaupdi. 

In tender accents her mother gave her her blessing, and 
at the sight of her delicate frame was more distressed than 
ever. With drooping eyes Sita, the perfection of beauty, 
model of wifely devotion, sat and thought : " The lord of 
my life would go to the woods, how can I merit to accom- 
pany him ? Whether in the body or only in the soul, go I 
must ; but God's doings are inscrutable." With her lovely 
toe-nails she wrote upon the ground, while the music of 
her anklets, like the poet's honeyed song, rang out the 
passionate prayer : ' Never may we be torn from Sita's feet.' 
Seeing her let fall a flood of tears from her lovely eyes, 
Rdma's mother cried : " Hearken, my son ; Sita is very 
delicate ; she is the darling of your father and mother and 
all your kindred. ^ 

Do/id 57. ^7 

Her own father is Janak, jewel of kings ; her father-in- 
law is the Phoebus of the solar race ; her lord, the perfection 
of beauty and virtue, is as it were the moon of the lily-like 
progeny of the sun-god ; 

Chaup'H. 

I again have found in her a dear daughter, amiable, 
beautiful and accomplished. She is like the apple of my 
eye and my affection has so grown that it is only in Jdnaki 



264 AYODHYA. 

that I have my being. i I have tended her as carefully as 
the tree of paradise and watered her growth with streams of 
affection. When she should have blossomed and borne fruit, 
God has turned against me, and there is no knowing what 
will be the end. Or ever she left her bed or seat, I cradled 
her in my lap, and never has Sita set her foot on the hard 
ground. I cherished her as the very source of my life, and 
never bade her so much as even to trim the wick of a lamp. 
And this is the Sita who would follow you to the woods; 
what are your orders, Raghun^th ? Can the partridge, 
that drinks in with delight the rays of the moon, endure to 
fix its gaze on the orb of the sun ? ' 

Dohd5S. ^ 
Elephants, lions, goblins, and many fierce animals roam 
the wood : ah, my son, is the charming trea of life fit to 
set in such a deadly pasture ? 

Chaupdi. 
God has created for the forest Kol and Kiriit women, 
who care not for bodily delights. Of nature as hard as the 
stone insect, the woods are no trial to them. A hermit's 
wife again is fit for the woods, who for the sake of penance 
has renounced all pleasures. But how, my son, can Sfta 
live in the woods, who would be frightened by even the 
picture of a monkey ? Can the cygnet that has sported in 
the lovely lotus-beds of the Ganges find fit abode in a 
muddy puddle ? First ponder this, and then, as you order, 
I will instruct Janaki. If she remain at home fend call me 
mother^she will be the support of my life." Raghubir on 
hearing his mother's speech, which was drenched as it 
were with the ambrosia of grace anc^ affection, 

Dohd59. y\ 
replied in tender and discreet terms for his mother's conso- 
lation, and began to set clearly before Janaki all the 
pleasures and troubles of forest life, 

1 Ii) the original is a play upon words which it is impossible to pre- 
serve in a translation ; jdn FrAn, the ordinary expression for the ' breath 
of life,' being presented to the eye by the conjunction of prdn with the first 
syllable of Slta's name Janaki. 



AYOPHYA. 265 

: Chaupdi. 

speaking diffidently as in the presence of his mother, 
and considering well within himself the requirements of 
the time : '* Hearken, lady, to my instructions ; nor from 
any different fancies in your mind. If you desire your own 
good and mine, agree to what I say and remain at home. 
My order is this : the service of a mother-in-law is in 
A, every way, madam, a blessing to a family. There is no 
other duty so paramount as reverential submission to a 
husband's parents. Whenever my mother recalls me to 
mind and is distracted by affectionate solicitude, do you, my 
love, console her with old-world tales and tender speeches. 
I speak from my heart and confirm it with a hundred 
Oaths : it is for my mother's sake, beloved, I leave you here. 

Dohd 60. /'Z 
The reward of virtue can be obtained without trouble 
by submission to Scripture and one's spiritual director; 
through their obstinacy Galava^ and king Nahusha^ were 
subjected to all sorts of trouble. 

Chaupdi. 
I shall soon fulfil my father's words and come back 
again ; hearken, fair and sensible dame. The days will 
quickly pass away ; listen, love, to my advice. If, my 
spouse, you persist in your affectionate obstinacy, you will 
rue it in the end. The forest is exceedingly toilsome and 
terrible, with awful heat and cold and rain and wind ; the 
path is beset with prickly grass and stones, and you will 

1 Galava was a pupil of Visvamitra's. When he bad completed his 
studies, he asked his tutor what fee he ought to pay. He was told there 
was no fee. However, he still persisted in asking, till at last Visvamitra 
was annoyed and, to get rid of him, said he would be satisfied with nothing 
less than a thousand black-eared horses. After a long search and many 
inquiries, Galava discovered three childless rajas who had each 200 horses 
of the kind that he required, and they agreed to let him have them, but 
only on this condition, that he got each of them a son. Galava then went 
to Yaydti, whose daughter had the miraculous gift of bearing a son for any 
one she wished, and yet herself remaining a virgin. By her means each 
of the three kings became a father. The 600 horses were made over to 
Galava, and he presented them to Visvamitra, who as an equivalent for the 
other 400 horses, wanting to make up the thousand, bad himself two sons by 
the same mysterious birde. 

2 For the legend of king Nahusha. 

R~37 



266 AYODHYA. 

have to walk without protection for yonr feet : and your 
lotus feet are so soft and pretty, while the road is most 
difficult : and there are huge mountains, chasms and 
precipices, streams, rivers and torrents, deep and impass- 
able, terrible to behold ; while bears and tigers, wolves, 
lions and elephants make such a roaring that the boldest 
is dismayed. t x 

Dohd 61. 9^ 

1 The ground will be your couch, the bark of trees your 
raiment, and your food bulbs, wild fruits and roots ; nor, 
think that even they will be always forthcoming every day, 
but only when they are in season. 
Ghaupdi. 

There are man-eating demons who assume all sorts of 
deceptive forms ; the rainfall on the hills is excessive, and 
in short the hardships of the forest are past all telling. 
There are terrible serpents and fierce wild birds and 
gangs of goblins that steal both man and woman. The 
bravest shudders at the thought of the dense forest ; while 
you, my fawneyed wife, are timid by nature. Ah ! delicate 
dame, you are not fit for the woods ; people will revile me 
on hearing of such a thing. Can the swan that has been 
nurtured in the ambrosial flood of the M4nas lake exist in 
the salt sea ? Can the feoii, that roves with delight through 
the luxuriant mango groves, take pleasure in a jungle of 
UaHl, bushes ? Ponder this, my fair bride, and stay at 
home ; the hardships of the forest ^re too great. 

Do?irf 62. n' 

Whoever with a view to her own good does not at once 
accept the advice given by a friend, or a guru^ or her husband 
shall assuredly have a surfeit of repentance and gain no 
good." 

1 Yet take good hede, for ever I drede that yecoude not sustain 
The t homey wayes, the deep valleys, the snow, the frost, the rain, 
The cold, the hete, for dry or were, we must lodge on the plain, 
And us above, none other roof, but a brake, bush or twayne, 
For ye must there in your hande bere a bowe ready to drawc, 
And as a thief, thus must ye lyve, ever in drede and awe. 

The Ntit'browne maid. 



AYODHYA. 267 

Chaup i. 

On hearing the tender and winning words of her hus- 
band, Sita's lotus eyes filled with tears, and his soothing 
advice caused her as burning pain as the autumn moon 
causes the ehakwi. In her distress no answer came to her 
lips : ' So great is his love that he would leave me behind.' 
Perforce restraining her tears and summing up courage, 
Earth's daughter embraced her mother's feet, and with fold- 
ed hands thus spake: '' Pardon me, lady, my great presump- 
tion : my dear lord has tliaught me what is all for my own 
good ; but I look to my feelings, and conclude that no sorrow 
in the world is so great as separation from one's beloved. 

Doha 63. 

my dear lord, most comprissionate, beautiful, boun- 
teous and wise, the moon of the lilies of the Raghu race, 
heaven without you would be very hell. 
Ghaupdi. 

Dear are father and mother, sisters and brothers ; dear 
are^my companions and my many friends ; but father-in- 
law and mother-in-law, spiritual director, generous asso- 
ciates, and even sons, however, beautiful, amiable and 
affectionate, nay, my lord, all love and every tie of kindred, 
to a woman without her husband, are a greater distress 
than the sun's most burning heat. Life, wealth, house, 
land, city and empire are but accumulated misery to a 
woman bereft of her lord. Ease is disease, her jewels a 
burden, and the world like the torments of hell. Without 
you, lord of my soul, there is nothing in the whole world 
that could give me any comfort. As the body without a 
soul, as a river without water, so, my lord, is a woman 
without her husband. With you, my lord, are all delights, 
as long as I can behold your face that vies in brightness 

with the autumn moon. 

Doha 64. '^ 
The birds and deer will be my attendants, the forest 
my city, and strips of bark my glistening robes ; with my 
lord a hut of grass will be as the palace of the gods, and 
all will be well. 



268 AYODHYA. 

Ghaupdi. 
The sylvan nymphs and gods will of their grace protect 
me like my own lord's parents ; my simple litter of grass 
and twigs will with my lord become a sumptuous marriage- 
couch ; bulbs, roots- and fruits will form an ambrosial 
repast, and the mountains resemble the stately halls of 
Avadh. Every moment I gaze on my lord's lotus feet, I 
shall be as glad as the chakwi at the dawn. You have 
recounted, my lord, the numerous hardships of the forest, 
its terrors, annoyances and many discomforts ; but, 
fountain of mercy, all these united will not be comparable 
to the pain of bereavement. Consider this, jewel of 
wisdom, and take me with you, abandon me not. Why 
make long supplication ? my lord is full of compassion 

and knoweth the heart. / /v 

Dohd 65. ^ I 
Do you think, if you keep me at Avadh, that I can sur- 
vive till the end of your exile ? most beautiful, help of the 
helpless, fountain of grace and of love, 

Ghaupdi. 
as I go along the road I shall never weary, every 
moment beholding your lotus feet. In every way I shall 
minister to my beloved, and relieve him of all the toil 
of the march. Seated in the shade of some tree, I shall lave 
your feet and rapturously fan you, and gazing on your 
body stained with sweat and blackened by the sun, what 
thought, my dearest lord, shall I have for my own hard 
times? Spreading grass and leaves on the level ground, 
your slave will all night shampoo your feet, and ever gazing 
on your gracious form, nor heat nor wind will ever vex me. 
Who will look at me when I am with my lord, except as a 
hare or jackal furtively regards a lioness ? Am I to be 
dainty and delicate, while my lord roams the woods ? Is 
penance to be your portion and enjoyment mine ? 

Dohdm. / 
My heart will burst at the mere sound of so cruel a sen- 
tence, and never will my miserable existence survive the 
anguish and torture of bereavement." 



AYODHA. 269 

Ghaupdi. 

So saying, Slta was ovei whelmed with distress, nor 
could endure the word ' separation.' On seeing her con- 
dition, Rdma made sure, ' If I insist upon leaving her, I 
leave her dead.' Then said the compassionate lord of the 
Solar race : " Have done with lamentation and come with 
me to the woods. There is no time now for weeping; at 
once make your preparations for the journey." Having 
consoled his beloved with these tender words, he embraced 
his mother's feet an d received her blessing : " Return 
quickly and relieve your subjects' distress, nor forget me 
your hard-hearted mother. i Who knows but God may "^ 
change my lot, and my eyes may see you both again. Ah ! 
my son, when will arrive the happy day and moment that 
I shall live to see your moon-like face once more ? 

DohdQl. M 

When again shall I call you * my child,' ' my darling' 

' noblest and best of Raghu's line,' ' my own son,' and 
fondly bid you come to my arms that I may gaze upon your 

features ? " 

Chaupdi. 
Seeing that his mother was so agitated by affection that 
she could not speak and was utterly overwhelnied with dis- 
tress, Rdtna did everything to console her, and the pathos 
of the scene was beyond description. Then JAnaki embraced 
her mother's feet : " Hearken, mother, I am of all women 
most miserable. At the time when I should have been 
doing you service, fate has banished me to the woods and 
has denied me my desire. Cease to sorrow, but cease not 
to love me; Fate is cruel, I am blameless." On hearing 
Sita's words her mother was so afflicted that her state was 
past all telling. Again and again she took her to her 
breast and summoning up courage thus blest and admonish- 
ed her : '' May your prosperity be as enduring as the streams 
of GangA and Jamuna ! " y\ -; 

Dohdm. y- 

When her mother had repeatedly blessed and admonished 
1 That is to say, I must be hard-hearted, for, if not, I should die at once. 



270 AYODHYA. 

S(fa, she took her leave, after again and again affection- 
ately bowing her head at her lotus feet. 

Chaupdi. 

When Lakshman heard the news, he started up in dis- 
may with a doleful face, his body all of a tremble and his 
eyes full of tears, and ran and clasped his feet in an agony 
of affection. He could not speak, but stood and s'ared 
aghast, like some poor fish drawn out of the water, thinking 
within himself: " G')od G d. what will happen ? All my 
happiness and past good deeds are gone for ever. What 
will Righunnth tell m^ to do? Will he k^ep me here, or 
take me with him?" When Rama saw his brother with 
folded hands renouncing life and home and all, he address 
him thus the all-righteous R4ma, fountain of grace, love, 
and perfect bliss : " Brother, do not afflict yourself with 
love, but reflect that all will be well in the end. 

Dohd 69. ^ i 

They who submit without reserve to the commands of 

their father and mother, their spiritual director or their 

lord, or born into the world to some purpose : otherwise 

their birth is in vain. 

Chaupdi. 

Consider this, brother, and hearken to my advice , wait 
upon the feet of your father and mother. Neither Bharat 
is at home, nor Ripu-sddan ; the king is old and sorrowing 
for me. If I go to the woods and take you with me, Avadh 
be completely masterless, and an intolerable weight of afflic- 
tion will fall upon priest and parents, subjects, family and 
all. Stay then to comfort them ; if not, brother, it will be 
a great sin. The king, whose faithful subj^^cts endure dis- 
tress, is of a truth a prince of hell. This is sound doctrine, 
brother; ponder it and stay." Lakshman was grievously 
distrest on hearing this, and his body became as dead and 
shrivelled as a lotus that has been touched by the frost. 

Dohd 70 A ^K 

Overmastered by love, he could not answer, but clung 



AYODHYA. 271 

in anguish to his feet : " ray lord, I am your slave and 
you my master : leave me, then what cau 1 do ? 
Chaupdi. 

You have given me, good sir, excellent advice ; biit in 
my confusion I find it impracticable. Valiant leaders of 
men and champions of the faith can master such abstruse 
doctrine, but 1 am a mere child, nurtured by your affection ; 
can a cygnet uplift Mount Mandar or Meru 'f I know no 
guru, nor father, nor mother? believe me, my lord, I speak 
from my heart : all the love iu the world, all claims of 
kin, all affection, sympathy, wisdom and skill are for me 
centred in you, my lord, the protector of the humble, the 
reader of the heart. Expound questions of theology to one 
who aims at fame and glory and high estate; lam in heart, 
word and deed devoted only to your feet ; and am I, gra- 
cious lord, to be discarded ? " j 
Dohd 71, ^ '^ 

The compassionate lord, on hearing the tender and 
modest words of his good brother, took him to his bosom, 
and seeing him so affectionately dejected thus consoled him : 

Ghauf'di. 

'* Go, brother, and take leave of your mother, and then 
come and set out for the woods." On hearing Raghubar 
thus speak, he was overjoyed ; his triumph was great, his 
sorrow all gone. He approached his mother as glad of 
heart as a blind man who has recovered his sight, and 
while he bowed his head at her feet, his heart was away 
with Raghunandan and Jdtiaki S^^eing his agitation his 
mother inquired the cause, and Lakshman told her the 
whole history. On hearing his cruel speech she trembled 
like a fawn that sees the forest on fire all around it. 
Lakshman reflected : " Everything gfoes wrong to-day : her 
very love will work me harm." Timidly and hesitatingly 
he asked her permission to go, thinking " Good God, will 
she let me go or not ?" /\ . > 

Dohd 72. ^\^ 

After reflecting on the beauty and amiable disposition 



212 AYODHYA. 

of Rdma and Sfta and considering the king's affection, 
Sumitra beat her head and exclaimed : " That wicked 
woman is at the bottom of this bad business." 
Chaupdi. 

But perceiving the time to be untoward, she took 
patience and in her kindness of heart answered gently : 
" Your mother, child, is Vaidehi, and Rama is your most 
loving father ; where Rdma dwells, there is Avadh ; and 
wherever is the light of the sun, there is day. If R4ma 
and Sita go to the woods, you have no business at Avadb. 
A guru, a father and mother, brethren, the gods and our 
master are all to be tended as our own life; but Rama is 
dearer than life, is the soul of our soul, and the disinterest- 
ed friend of all ; our dearest and most honoured friends are 
to be accounted those of Rama's household. Thinking 
thus to yourself, go with them to the woods, and receive, 
my son, the fruition of your existence. ^ 

Dohd73. ' i 

You have become the receptacle of the highest good for- 
tune, and I too ah, woe is me ! - if from an unfeigned 
heart you have made RAma's feet your home. 

Chaupdi. 

A mother indeed is she who has a son devoted to Raghu- 
bar ; if not, it is better to be barren, she has given birth 
invain ; a son who is Rama's enemy is a curse. It is your 
good fortune that Rama goes to the woods ; and other 
reason is there none ; this, my son, is the highest reward 
for all good deeds, to have a sincere affection for the feet 
of Rdma and Sita. Never give way even in thought to 
lust, or passion, or envy, or pride, or delusion ; but put 
aside all changeableness and serve them in heart, word 
and deed For you the poorest is a place of joy, since R^ma 
and Sita your father and mother, will be there with you. 
Take heed, my son, that RAma be put to no trouble ; this 
is my admonition. 

Chhand 3. 

This is my admonition, my son ; see that R4ma and Sita 



ATODHYA. 273 

live at ease and in the woods forget to remember their 
father and mother, their friends and relations and all the 
pleasures of the city." Having^ given her son such instruc- 
tion and commands (says Tulsi) she again invoked upon 
him her blessing : " May your love for Sita and Raghubfr 
be constant and unsullied and ever renewed ! " 
Sorathd 3. r' 1^ 

Having bowed his head at his mother's feet, he left in 
haste with trepidation of heart, as flies a hapless deer that 
has burst a perilous snare. 

Ghaupdi, 

He went to Jdnaki's lord, and his soul rejoiced to re- 
cover his dear society. After reverencing Rdma and Sita's 
gracious feet, he proceeded with them to the king's palace. 
The citizens say to one another : " How goodly a plan God 
made and now has marred ! " With wasted frame, sad 
soul and doleful face, they were in as great distress as 
bees robbed of their honey ; wringing their hands, beat- 
ing their heads and lamenting, like wretched birds that 
have been dipt of their wings. There was a great crowd in 
the royal hall : grief immeasurable, beyond all telling. 
The minister raised the king and seated him, as R^ma 
advanced with loving address. When he saw Sita and his 
two sons, the king's agitation was profound. 

Doha 74. r\ '\ 

Again and again turning his troubled gaze on Sfta and 
his two fair sons, he clasped them to his bosom time after 
time in an agony of love. 

Ghaupdi. 

In his agitation he could not speak ; grief overmastered 
him and wild anguish of heart. After most affectionately 
bowing his head at his feet, Raghundth arose and begged 
permission to depart: "Father, give me your blessing and 
commands ; why so dismayed at this time of rejoicing ? ^ 
From excessive attachment, sire, to any beloved object, *" 
honour is lost and disgrace incurred." At this the love-sick 

R-38 



274 ATODHTA. 

king arose and taking Ragbupati by the arm made 
him sit down : " Hearken, my son ; the sages say that 
RAma is the lord of all creation, animate or inanimate; 
that God, after weighing good and bad actions and mentally 
considering them, apportions their reward, and the doer 
reaps the fruit of his own doirjgs : this is the doctrine of 
the Scriptures and the verdict of mankind. 

Doha 75. y t 

But for one to sin and another to reap its reward the 
ways of God are most mysterious ; who is there in the 
world who can comprehend them ? 
Chaupdi. 
\ The king in his anxiety to detain R^ma tried every 
honest expedient, but when he saw that he was bent on 
going righteous, brave and wise as he was he took and 
pressed Sita to his bosom and gave her much most affec- 
tionate advice, telling her of all the intolerable hardships of 
the forest, and reminding her of the happiness she might 
enjoy with her parents-in-law or at her father's house. 
But Rita's heart was set on Rima's feet, and neither home 
seemed to her attractive nor the wo^ds repulsive. Every 
one else too warned her with stories of all the many 
miseries of the desert. The minister's wife and the guru^s 
prudent dames affectionately urged her in gentle tones : 
*' He has not sent you into exile. You should do as you 
are told by your parents and your guruV 

Doha 76. 7 Oj 

This advice, friendly and kind and tender and judicious 
as it was, was not pleasinar to Sita to hear ; in the same way 
as the chakwi is distrest by the rays of the autumn moon. 

Chaupdi. 

She was, however, too modest to reply ; but Kaikeyi on 

hearing them started up in excitement and, bringing a box 

of anchorite's dresses and ornaments, placed it before her 

and said in whispered tones : Raghubir, you are dearer than 

*. life to the king ; he cannot rid himself of his too great kind- 

( ness and love, and will never tell you to go, though he forfeit 



AYODHYl. 275 

his virtue, his honour and his hope of heaven. Think of 

this and act as seems to you good" Rdma was glad to 

hear his mother's suggestion, bur, her words pierced the 

king like arrows : * Will my miserable life never leave 

me?' In his distress he fainted outright, and no one 

knew what to do. But Rdma quickly assumed the hermit's 

dress and bowing his head to his father and mother went 

forth. 

Dohd 77. 

Having completed his full equipment for the woods, the 
lord set forth with his wife and brother, after reverencing 
the feet of the Brdhmans and his guru, and leaving them 
all in bewilderment. 

Chaupdi. 

He came out and stood at Vasistha's gate ; the beholders 
were consumed as with fire by the anguish of parting. With 
kindly words Raghubir consoled thetn all and, summoning 
the Br^hmarts, begged his ^uru to give them a year's main- 
tenance. Many gifts he bestowed with respectful courtesy, 
satisfying the mendicants with largesse and civilities, and 
his personal friends with demonstrations of affection. Next 
he called up his men-servants and maid-servants and made 
them over to his guru, saying with clasped hands : " sir, 
be to them as their own father and mother, and cherish 
them all ." Again and again did R4ma with clasped hands 
and in gentle tones address each one of them : '* He is my 
best friend in whom the kins finds comfort. 
Dohd 78. r / 

So act, all thoughtful and considerate citizens, that my 
mother be not distrest by my absence." 
Chaupdi, 

When Rdma had thus exhorted them all, he cheerfully 
bowed his head at his guru's lotus feet, and invoking 
Ganes, Gauri, and Mah^dev, and receiving their blessing, 
sallied forth. As he went, there was great lamentation 
and a mournful wailing throughout the city, terrible to hear. 



276 ATODHYl. 

In Lanka omens of ill, in Avadh exceeding distress : while 
mingled joy and sorrow possessed the hosts of heaven. 
When his swoon had passed, the king awoke and sent for 
Sumanta and thus began : *' RAma has gone to the woods, 
and yet my life flits not ; what good does it hope to get by 
still remaining in my body ? " What more grievous tor- 
tures can there be, to force it from my frame ? Again 
taking patience, he added : '* friend, take you the chariot 
and go ; 

Dohd 79. ^*^' 
the two boys are young and delicate, and Janak's daughter 
a delicate girl ; take them up into the chariot and show 
them the forest, and come back in a day or two. 

Ghaupdi. 
Both brothers are brave, and RaghuMi is the very ocean 
of truth and staunch to his word ; if they will not turn, do 
you with clasped hands humbly entreat him : * Send back, 
my lord, the daughter of Mithila's king.' When Sita is 
alarmed by the sight of the forest, take the opportunity of 
telling her my instructions, saying : * This is the message 
sent by your father-in-law and mother-in-law ; come back, 
daughter ; there are many perils in the desert. You can 
stay at your pleasure now with your own father, now with 
your husband's parents* In this manner try every way you 
can ; if she comes back, it will be the succour of my life ; if 
not, it will end in my death ; what can I do ? God is against 
me." So saying, the king fainted and fell to the ground, 
crying : " that you could bring them back to me, R^ma, 
Lakshman and Sita ! " ^ /) 

Dohd SO. ^ " 
Having received the king's commands, he bowed his 
head and in haste made ready the chariot, and went to the 
place outside the city where were Sita and the two brothers. 

Chaupdi. 
There Sumanta declared to them the king's message and 
respectfully made RAma ascend the chariot. When Sita and 



ilYODHYA. 277 

the two brothers had mounted and drove away, they mental- 
ly bowed the head to Avadh. As the bfreaved city saw Rd- 
ma depart, all the people began confusedly to follow him. 
The gracious lord said everything to console them, and they 
turned homewards, but again came back overmastered by 
their affection. Avadh appeared to them as gloomy and op- 
pressive as the dark night of death ; the citizens looked 
with trembling at one another like so many wild beasts : 
their home seemed like the grave, their retainers like 
ghosts, and their sons, friends and neighbours as the angels 
of death. The trees and creepers in the gardens all wither- 
ed ; the streams and ponds were fearful to behold. 

Dohd 81. ' Y*^ 

All the horses, elephants and tame der, the town- 
cattle, the cuckoos and the peacocks, the koila^ swans, parrots, 
mainas, herons, flapaingoes and partridges, 

Chaupdi. 

All stood aghast at Rdma's departure, dumb and mo- 
tionless as statues. The whole city resembled some dense 
forest in which the agitated people were as the birds and 
deer, while Kaikeyi had been fashioned by God as some 
wild woman of the woods, who had set all in a fierce blaze. 
Unable to endure the burnirg pain of Rama's departure, 
the people all flocked after him in their bewilderment, each 
one thinking to himself : " There is no happiness apart 
from Rdma, Lakshman and Sita. Everything can be had 
where RAma is, and Avadh without Raghubir is of no 
account." With this settled idea they bore him company, 
abandoning halls of delight that the gods might envy. For 
what influence can the pleasures of sense have upon men 
who are devoted to Rdma's lotus feet ? ^ 
Dohd 82. ^ 

Young and old, all left their homes and followed him ; 
and on the bank of the Tamas^ R^ma made his first day's 
halt. 



278 AYODHYl. 

Chaupdi. 
When Ragbupati saw bis people overpowered with love, 
his kind heart was greatly troubled. The merciful lord 
Raghunath, being quickly touched by the grief of others, 
spoke to them matiy words of tenderness and affection and 
did his best to comfort them, admonishing them much of 
their religious duty. But in their fotidness they could not 
tear themselves away. As there was no means of overcom- 
ing their innate affection, Raghurdi was reduced to per- 
plexity. Worn out with grief and toil the people fell asleep 
a divine delusion helping to beguile them and when 
two watches of the night were spent R^ ma affectionately 
addressed his Minister : *' Father drive the chariot so as to 
efface the tracks of the wheels ; there is no other way of 
settling the business." />/ 

DohdSS. Oif 
Rdma, Lakshman and Sita then mounted the car, after 
bowing the head toSambhu's f^et, and the minister drove 
it speedily hither and thither, confusing the tracks. 

Chaupdi, 
At day break the people all woke, and there was a great 
cry, that Raghubir had gone. They could no how distin- 
guish the tracks of the chariot, though they ran in all 
directions, crying Rima, RAma, like as when a ship is 
sinking at sea all the merchants are in terror. One suggest- 
ed to another : R^ma left us on seeing our distress.' 
They revile themselves and envy the fish' crying : " A 
curse on our life away from Rnghubfr : as god has robbed 
us of our Beloved, why has he not graiited us our prayer 
to die?" With many such lamentations they relumed to 
Avadh full of heaviness : the anguish of parting was 
beyond description, and it was only the hope of his return 
kept them alive. c ^'\ 

Doha 84. ^ I 
-7 Men and women alike began to fast and make vows to 

secure his return, like the poor chakwd and the lotus when 
bereft of the sun. 



1 That die at once when withdrawn from their natural element. 



ATODHYA. 279 

Chaupdi. 
Sita with the Minister and thp two brothers arrived on 
their way at the city of Sringavera. On beholding the 
river of the gods, Rama alighted and with much joy made 
it his obeisance. The Minister, Lakshman and Sita saluted 
it also, atjd Rama was as glad as any of them ; for the 
Ganges is the source of all bliss and beatitude, the author 
of all happiness, the destroyer of every sorrow. Many were 
the stories and legerids that R^ma repeated as he gazed 
upon its flood, instructing the Minister, his younger 
brother, and his bride in the majesty and grandeur of the 
heavenly stream. They bathed and all the fatigue of the 
march was removed ; they drank of the holy water and their 
soul was gladd^^ned. It is only in vulgar phrase that 
fatigue is ascribed to him by whose remembrance all the 
burdens of the world are lightened. 

Dohd 85 9 ^ 
R^ma, the champion of the S'lar race, is the holy God 
of supreme wisdom and bliss, the bridge over the ocean of 
existence,^ though he acts like an ordinary man. 

Chaupdi. 
When Guha, the Nishdd, heard the news, he was glad 
and called together his friends and r^^lafions, and taking a 
great quantity of fruits and vegetables as a present, went 
out to meet him with infinite joy of heart. With a pro- 
found obeisance he put down his offering before him and 
gMzed upon the lord with the utmost devotion. Raghur^i 
with his natural kindliness asked him of his health and 
seated him by his side. ** The sight of your lotus feet, 
sire, is health indeed ; I am most highly favoured, as all 

1 Sansi'lti-sagarii-Hetii : The ' tran-^inigiar ions '-.a.vri^" through which 
the soul lias t'> pass would be enrlless, a limitless ocean [sagara) from which 
none ci'ul<1 escape, weie it I'Ot that Hama hus giver) himself to be the bridge, 
sehi, over the abjss. Amihaiat here irn ans simply 'like.' It is almost 
impossible to translate this anfi similar phrases at once liierally, concisely 
and intelli^rihly ; for birth and life, which we are tauijht to regard as 
blessings, are to the Hindu ihenlogian a curse. (Jompare Milton's 
. . . . "This earthly load 
Of death called life, which us from life doth sever." 



^ 



280 kYODntA, 

will admit. My land, my house, ray fortune are yours, 
my lord ; land mine are your poor vassals Do me the 
favour of entering: my abedtT; treat me as one of yf>ur 
servants and I shall be the envy of all men." *' Ail that 
you say, my good friend, is very true ; but my father has 
given me other commands. 

Dohd 86. S" ^ 

For fourteen years I must dwell in the woods and adopt 
the rules, the dress, and the diet of a hermit ; to stay in a 
village is forbidden." On hearing this, Guha was much 
grieved. 

Chaupdi. 

Seeing R^ma, Lakshman and Sita to be so beautiful, 
the citizens affectionately protested : " What kind of 
parents can they be, friend, who have banished such 
children to the woods ? " Said one : '* The king has done 
well to give our eyes such a treat." Then the Nishdd chief 
on reflection decided upon a beautiful sinsapa^ tree, and 
took RaghunAth and showed him the place, who declared 
it to be most excellent. The citizens after paying him 
their respects went home, and Rdina proceeded to the per- 
formance of his ev<^ning devotions. Guha made and spread 
for him a charming bed of grass and soft leaves, and brought 
him leaf-made bowls filled with all such fruits and veget- 
ables as he knew to be sweet and wholesome and good. 

Dohd S7. fa 

After he had partaken of the fruits and herbs with 
the Minister and Sita and his brother, the jewel of Raghu's 
line lay down to sleep, while Lakshman shampooed his feet. 
Chaupdi, 

When he l<new his lord to be asleep, he arose and softly 
bade Sumanta take rest, while he himself fitted an arrow 
to his bow and took up the position of a marksman at a 
little distance, there to watch. The affectionate Guha, 
having summoned trusty sentinels and stationed them 
1 The sinsapa is cither the asoka, or the shisbam tree.- 



i 



AYODHYA. 281 

rounH about, went himself and sat down by Lakshraan, 
with his quiver at his back and an arrow fitted to his bow. 
When the Nishdd saw Rdma asleep, his soul was troubled 
with excess of love, his body tlirilled with emotion, his eyes 
flowed with tears, and he thus in tender accents addressed 
Lakshman : " The king's palace is altogether beautiful, 
nor can the courts of heaven be compared to it ; its charm- 
ing pavilions, inlaid with precious stones, seem to have 
been adorned by Love's own hands. 

Dohd 88. ^/ 
Rich and luxurious are its beds, sweet with odorous 
flowers and perfumes, with jewelled lamps and appliances 

of every description, 

Chaupdi. 

with all kinds of coverlets and pillows, and matresses as 
soft and white as the froth of milk, where Slta and Rdma 
reposed at night and put to shame with their beauty both 
Rati and K4madev, who now sleep on a pallet, weary and 
naked, pitiful to behold. The Rdma whom his father and 
mother, his own family and all the people of the city, his 
companions and associates, his men-servants and maid- 
servants, all cherished as tenderly as their own life, is 
now sleeping on the bare ground. The Sita, whose father 
is Janak of world-wide fame ; whose father-in-law is 
Dasarath, the friend of the King of heaven ; whose spouse 
is R^mchandra ; is now sleeping on the ground ; is not 
God against us all? Are Sita and R^ma fit- dwellers of the 
desert ? Well do men say, * Fate is supreme.' 
Dohd 89. ij > 
The foolish daughter of Kekay^ has wrought sad mis- 
chief by bringing this trouble on Rdma and J^naki on their 

day of rejoicing. 

Chaupdi. 

She has become the axe at the root of the tree of the Solar 

race, and through her wickedness has plunged the whole 

world in woe." Seeing Rdma and Sita asleep upon the 

R-39 



282 AYODHYA. 

ground, the NishiCd became sad exceedingly ; but Lakshman 
addressed him in sweet and gentle tones that were full of 
the essence of wisdom, sobriety and faith : ** No man is the 
cause of another's joy or sorrow ; all is the fruit of one's 
own actions, brother. Union and separation, pleasure, good 
and evil, friendship, enmity and neutrality are snares of 
delusion. Birth, death, all the entanglements of the world 
prosperity and adversity, fortune and destiny, earth, home, 
wealth, city and family, heaven, hell and all human affairs ; 
all that you can see, or hear, or imagine in your mind, all is 
delusive and unreal. 

Dohdgo. f3 
In a dream a beggar becomes asking, and the lord of 
heaven a pauper ; but on waking the one is no gainer, nor 
the other a loser ; this is the way in which you should regard 

the world. 

Chaupdi. 

Reasoning thus, be not angry with any one, nor vainly 
attribute blame to any. All are sleepers in a night of 
delusion and see many kinds of dreams ; in this world of 
darkness they only are awake who detach themselves from 
the material, and are absorbed in ccmtemplation of the 
Supreme; nor can any soul be regarded as aroused from 
slumber till it has renounced every sensual enjoyment. 
Then ensues spiritual enlightenment and escape from the 
errors of delusion, and finally devotion to Rima. This, 
friend, is man's highest good, to be devoted to R^ma in 
thought, word and deed. RAma is God, the totality of 
good, imperishable, invisible, uncreated, incomparable, 
void of all change, indivisible, whom the Veda declares 
that it cannot define. 

Dohd 91./V 

In his mercy he has taken the form of a man and per- 
forms human actions, out of the love he bears to his faithful 
people and to Earth and Br^hmans and cows and gods. On 
hearing them, the snares of the world broken asunder. 



AYODHYA. 283 

Chaupdi. 

Haviog thus reflected, friend, give no place to deceits, 
but fix your affections on Sita and Rdma's feet." While he 
was yet speaking of Rama's virtues, the day dawned and 
the joy of the world awoke. After performing every puri- 
ficatory rite he bathed, the all-pure and wise, and called 
for some milk of the bar tree, and bound up the hair of his 
head into a knot, as did also his brother. On seeing this, 
Sumanta's eyes filled with tears. Sore pained at heart, 
with doleful face and clasped hands he made this humble 
speech : " The king of Kosala, my lord, thus enjoined me : 
' Take the chariot and go with Rdma ; let them see the 
forest and bathe in the Ganges, and then speedily bring 
them home again, both the brothers, Lakshman and Rama 
and Sita too, bring them back, settling all their doubts and 
scruples.' _^ 

Do}id92. 1^ 

Thus spoke the king, sire ; but woe is me ! I can do 
only as you tell me." He fell in supplication at his feet 
weeping helplessly as a child. 

Chaupdi. 

" Have pity, my son, and so act that Avadh be not left 
a widow." Rd,ma raised the Minister and thus exhorted 
him : " Father, you know the path of virtue. Sivi, 
Dadhichi and king Harischandra, for the sake of their reli- 
gion, endured countless afflictions. Rantideva^ and wise 
king Bali kept their faith through many trials. There is 
no virtue equal to truth, as the Vedas, Sh^stras, and 
Purdnas declare. I have reached this virtue by an easy 
road : if I abandon it, my disgrace will be published in 
earth, heaven and hell : and disgrace to a man of honour 
is pain as grievous as a million deaths. But why say all 
this to you, father ? I only incur sin by, answering you. 
Do/ia 93. ^-i 

Fall humbly at my father's feet and with clasped hands 

beg of him not to distress himself in any way on my account. 

1 Rantideva, the son of Sanskrit!, was a king famous for his great 
liberality. He offered so many cattle in sacrifice th|.t their l?lood formed 
a river, said to be the Chambii,!. 



284 AYODHYA. 

Ghaupdi, 
You, again, are equally dear to me as my father, and 
I implore you, sire, to do everything that will prevent 
the king from grieving about me." On hearing this 
conversation between Raghun4th and the Minister, the 
Nishdd and his people were sad and Lakshman spoke a 
little angrily. But the lord stopt him, knowing it to be 
altogether out of place, and nervously adjured Sumanta, f 
by the love he bore him, not to repeat his words. Sumanta 
then proceeded with the king's message : Sita is not able 
to bear the hardships of the desert ; you should try and 
persuade her to return to Avadh, otherwise I shall have no 
prop left, and must die as inevitably as a fish out of water. 

Doha 94. "^ /"' 
She has a happy home both with her own mother and 
with her husband's parents, and she can live when she 
pleases at either, till these troubles are overpast. 

Chaupdi. 
The piteousness of the king's entreaties and the earnest- 
ness of his affection are more than I can express. On hear- 
ing his father's message, the All-merciful tried in every 
way to persuade Sita : '* Only return ; and the affliction 
of your parents, your guru, and all your friends and re- 
lations will be at an end" Replied Vaidehi to her hus- 
band's words : Hearken most dear and loving lord, full of 
compassion and infinite wisdom ; can a shadow exist apart 
from its substance ? Where is the sunlight without the 
sun, or the radiance of the moon when the moon is not ? " 
Having uttered this affectionate prayer to her husband, 
she turned to the Minister with these winning words : 
" You are as much my benefactor as my own father or my 
father-in-law, and if I answer you, it is the height of 
impropriety. ^ ^ 

Dohd95. ^ ^ 

Yet, sire, take it not ill of me if in my grief I withstand 
you : away from the lotus feet of my lord's son all my 
kindred are nought- 



AYODHYA. 285 

Cliaupdi. 
I have seen my father's luxury and magnificence and 
his foot-stool thronged with the jewelled crowns of kings, 
yet though his palace be such a blissful abode, I have no 
pleasure there without my spouse. My Imperial father-in- 
law, the sovereign of Kosala, is of such glorious renown 
throughout the fourteen spheres that the king of heaven 
would advance to meet him and cede him half his throne ; 
yet though he be so great and Avadh his home, and though 
the whole of his family be dear to me and my mother-in- 
law as my own mother, I could not find pleasure in a single 
thing for a moment, away from the lotus flowers of Rdma's 
feet. Though the forest road be rough, and the country 
mountainous, full of elephants and tigers, boundless, lakes 
and streams, wild Kols and KirAts, and beasts, and birds ; 
all is delightful, if my dear lord be with me. 

Do/ia 96. ^Cf 

Fall at the feet of my father-in-law and my mother-in- 
law and tell them humbly from me not to grieve on my ac- 
count, for I am perfectly happy in the woods. 

Chaupdi, 

With the sovereign of my soul and my dear brother, 
stoutest of champions, bearing bow and quiver, the toilsome 
wanderings of the march will not trouble me at all ; be not 
then the least anxious about me." On hearing Sita's chilling 
speech, Sumanta became as distressed as a serpent at the 
loss of its headjevvel. With eyes that saw not and ears that 
heard not, and unable to utter a word, he was completely 
confounded. Rdma said everything to console him, but his 
heart refused to be comforted. Earnestly he begged that 
he too might accompany him ; but Raghunandan returned 
an appropriate answer to all he urged. " Rdma's commands 
cannot be withstood ; Fate is against me, I can do nothing." 
Bowing his head at the feet of R^ma, Lakshman and Sita, 
he turned away like a merchant who has lost his all. 



286 



AYODHYA. 



Dohdd7. [^ 

The very horses of his chariot, as he drove, continued 
whinnying and looking back upon RAma ; and the Nish^d 
at the sight gave way to his grief and beat his head and 
moaned . 

Ghaupdi. 

" When even brute beasts are so distrest at his loss, 
how can his subjects and his father and mother exist with- 
out him ? " Having thus perforce dismissed Sumanta, Rima 
went on his way and came to the bank of the Ganges. 
When he called for the boat, the ferryman would not bring 
it, saying : " I know your magic power : every one says 
that the dust of your lotus feet is a charm for making man. 
A rock on which it fell became a beautiful woman, and 
wood is not so hard as stone. Should my boat in like 
manner be turned into a saint's wife, the ferry will be closed 
and the boat lost, which is the support of my whole family. 
I have no other means of living. If, my lord, you are bent 
on crossing, you must allow me first to wash your feet. 
Chhand 4. 

After bathing your lotus feet I will take you on board 
but I will not accept any toll. I tell you the truth, 
Rdma, swearing by yourself and Dasarath Lakshman may 
shoot me with his arrows, but I will not take you across, 
gracious lord, until I have bathed your feet." 

Sorathd. \J\ 

On hearing the ferryman's rude but loving speech, the 
All-merciful smiled' and looked at Janaki and Lakshman ; 

Chawpdi. 
then gaily cried : " Do anything to save your boat, bring 
water at once and bathe my feet ; time has been lost ; take 
me across." The gracious lord thus made request of a 
boatman ; even he by one thought on whose name mankind 
is transported across the boundless ocean of existence, and for 

1 As much as to say : We thought the NishAd king a pattern of piety, 
but even he is outdone by this rude ferryman, 



AYODHYA. 287 

whose three strides the whole universe did not suffice. i The 
Gauges rejoiced on beholding his toe-nails,2 and the sound *L 
of his words was relieved of all anxiety. On receiving 
Rama's commands, the ferryman brought a basin full of 
water and in an ecstacy of joy and love proceeded to bathe 
his lotus feet. All the gods rained down flowers and uttered 
their congratulations : " Never was any one so merito- 
rious !" < ^ / 
Doha 98. '7 
After laving his feet, and drinking of the water, both 
himself and his family, and thus redeeming the souls of his 
fathers, he joyfully conveyed his lord across to the other 
side. 

Chaupdi. 

They landed and stood on the sands of the Ganges, Sita, 
R^ma Lakshman and Guha. The ferryman landed too and 
made his obeisance. The lord was ashamed that he had 
nothing to give him. Sita knew what was passing in the 
mind of her beloved and cheerfully drew a jewelled ring from 
off herfinger. Said the All-merciful : " Take your toll." The 
ferryman in distress clasped his feet : '* What have 1 not 
already received, my lord ? sin, sorrow, poverty and all 
their attendant ills have been removed I have laboured for . 
a length of years, but today God has given me my wages 
in full. Now, gracious lord, I ask for nothing but your 
favour ; at the time of your return, whatever you bestow 
upon me I will thankfully accept." , ^>, 

Doha 99. . ' 
Lakshman and the lord botti pressed him much, but the 
ferryman would take nothing; the All-merciful then dismiss- 
ed him with the gift of unclouded faith, best of all boons. 

Chaupdi. 

Then the lord of Raghu's line bathed and bowed his 
head in adoration to Mahadeva :'^ while Sita with clasped 



1 Rama is here indentifie 1 with Vishna who in the form of a dwarf out- 
witted king Bali : see note to page 19, Volume II. 

2 From beneath which it had issued at its birth. 

3 The word in the text is Fdrathi, or in some manuscripts Pdrthita, 
a derivative of prlthi, ' the earth,' meaning ' a king,' and here -it would 
seem denoting Mahadeva. 



288 AYODHYA. 

hands thus addressed the sacred stream : " mother, 
accomplish my desire that I may return in safety with my 
husband and his brother and again adore you." On hear- 
ing Sita's humble and affectionate speech, a favourable res- 
ponse came from the holy flood : " Hearken, Vaidehi best be- 
loved of Raghublr ; who is there in the world who knows not 
your glory ? they who behold you become as the sovereigns 
of the spheres, and all the powers of magic meekly do you 
service. In the petition that you have deigned to address 
to me, you have graciously paid me all too high an honour ; 
yet, lady, unworthy as I am, I bestow upon you my bles- 
sing, in order to prove my utterances true. 

Dohd 100. iOf 

You shall return in safety to Kosala with your beloved 
and his brother; your every wish shall be accomplished, 
and your renown shall be spread throughout the world." 

Chaupdi. 

On hearing Gauge's gracious speech, Sita was delighted 
to find it so propitious. Then said the lord to Guha : 
" Return home." At this his face grew wa and his bosom 
burned, and with clasped hands and in suppliant tones he 
cried : *' Noblest of the sons of Raghu, hearken to my 
prayer. Let me remain with my lord to show the road and 
do him service for a day or two, and make a shapely hut 
of twigs for him in the wood where he goes to stay. After 
that I swear by Raghu bir to do as he shall command me." 
Seeing his unfeigned affection, he took him with him, to 
Guhas delight, who there upon called all his kinsmen and 
dismissed them with kind assurances. ^ 
Dohd lOl. \<J^ 

Then directing his intention to Ganes and Siva, and 
bowing his head to the Ganges, the lord with his com- 
panion and his brother and Slta took his way to the woods. 
Chaupdi. 

That day he halted under a tree, and Lakshman and his 
attendant supplied all his necessities. At dawn, having 



AYODHYA. 289 

performed his morning ablutions he proceeded to visit the 
king of Sanctuaries. A king with Truth for his minister, 
Faith for his cherished consort, the god fM^dhava^ for 
his friend and favourite ; his treasury stored with the four 
great prizes of life, and all holy places for his fair dominion ; 
with an impregnable -domain and magnificent forts, so 
strong that no enemy could ever dream of taking them ; 
with an army of shrines of such virtue and power as to 
rout the whole army of Sin ; with the meeting of the rivers 
for his glorious throne and the Akhaya-bat for his royal 
umbrella, dazzling even the soul, of a saint ; with the 
waves of the Ganga and Jamund for his chauries, a vision 
to disperse all sorrow and distress : . 

Doha 102. K P 

His attendants pure and holy anchorites, guerdoned 
with all they desire : his heralds, the Vedas and Purdns, 
to declare his immaculate virtue. 
Chaupdi. 

Who can tell the power of Praydg, a lion to destroy the 
elephantine monster Sin? On beholding the beauty of this 
"ing of sanctuaries, Raghubar, the ocean of delight, was 
delighted, and with his holy mouth he discoursed on its 
greatness toSita, his brother and his companion. After mak- 
ing it an obeisance he visited the woods and groves, dilating 
on their virtue with the utmost devotion. So he came lo 
the Tribeni - the mere thought of which confers all happi- 
nessand after gazing upon it, rapturously bathed and 
paid homage to Siva and to the divinity of the spot in all 
due form. Then came the lord to Bharadvaja ; as he 
prostrated himself at his feet, the saint took him to his 
breast in an ecstacy of joy past all telling, as though he had 
realized the perfect bliss of heaven. 

Dohd 103. idl 

The patriarch gave him his blessing with as much joy 
of heart as though God had set before him in visible form 
the reward of his virtue. 

1 Veni-Madhava is the name of the god worshipped as the tutelary 
divinity of the Tribeni, the confluence of the three streams, at Prayag. 

R-40 



290 lYODHtA. 

Ghaupdi. 

After enquiring of his welfare, he conducted him to a 

seat and indulged his affection in doing him honour. Then 

he brought and presented roots, fruits and herbs, all sweet 

as ambrosia, of which Rdma, with Sita, Lakshman and their 

attendant, partook with much pleasure and content. Rdma 

was refreshed and all his fatigue forgotten. Then cried Bha- 

radvija in complacent tones : " This day my penance, my 

pilgrimages, and my vigils have been rewarded ; my 

prayers my meditations and my detachment from the world 

have to-day borne fruit ; yea, all my pious practices have 

to-day, Rdma, been rewarded by the sight of you. This and 

nought else is the height of gain, the height of happiness ; 

in beholding you my every desire is satisfied. Now of your 

favour grant me this one boon, a life-long devotion to your 

lotus feet. . n 

Dohd 10^, \^^ 

Until a man in heart, word and deed, and without re- 
serve, becomes wholly yours, he cannot even dream of 
happiness, despite all that he may do." 

Ghaupdi. 

On hearing the saint's words, Rdma was confused, yet 
revelled with delight in so exquisite a display of faith. Then 
proceeded he to declare unto them all in countless ways the 
saints illustrious renown : " Great indeed and highly 
endowed is he. Holy Father, whom you are pleased to 
honour." Thus they bowed to one another, the saint and 
Raghubir, and were filled as they conversed with indescrib- 
able happiness. When the people of Pray^g heArd the 
news, all the religious students, ascetics, monks, hermits 
and anchorites flocked to BharadvAja's cell to see the glorious 
son of Dasarath. All made their obeisance and rejoiced 
that their eyes had been so highly favoured. They blessed 
him and returned with exceeding joy, extolling his beauty. 

Doha 105. \cA i 

Rfima rested for the night. At daybreak he bathed 

at Pray^g, and then, after bowing his head to the saint 



ATODHYA. 291 

proceeded joyfully on his way with Sita, Lakshman and his 

attendant. 

Chaup i. 

Rdma had affectionately asked the saint : " Tell me, my 

lord, by what road we shall go." The saint replied with a 

smile : " All ways are easy to you," but called his disciples 

to go with him. They came with joy, some fifty in number, 

all in their boundless love for Rdma declaring that they 

knew the road. The saint selected four students, who in 

many previous existences had done many good deeds. Then 

having bowed to the saint and received his permission to 

depart, Raghurdi went forth rejoicing. When they had 

come out near to the village, the men and women who all 

flocked to see them found in the sight of their lord the 

fruition of their life, and sadly turning home, sent their 

heart after him. 

Doha 106. U^ 

Courteously Rdma dismissed the disciples, who return- 
ed with their heart's desire obtained ; then alighted and 
bathed in the stream of Jaraun^, dark as his own body. 
Chaupdi. 

The dwellers on the bank, when they heard of his arri- 
val, left whatever they were doing and ran to see him. On 
beholding the beauty of Lakshman, Rdma and Sita, they 
congratulated themselves on their good fortune, and all 
with longing heart began diffidently to ask their name and 
home. The sage elders of the party had wit enough to 
recognize R^ma, and related his whole history, and how 
he had come into the desert by his father's order. At this, 
they were all sad and complained : * The king and queen 
have done ill.'i Men and women alike, on beholding the 
beauty of R^ma, Lakshman and Sfta, were agitated with love 
and pity : " What kind of father and mother must they be, 
friend, who have sent such children into the wood ? " 

1 Here in some copies is found a whole additional stanza, which is said 
to exist also in the Rdjapur MS. It may, therefore, have been written by 
Tulsi Das : but if so, was probably afterwards cancelled by him. The lines 
contain nothing of any interest, and they fit in very awkwardly with the 
context, I therefore, like most of the native editors, prefer to omit then^, 



292 AYODHYA. 

Dohd 107. \ V 

Then Raghubir urgently exhorted his guide, who in 
submission to his commands took his way home. 

Chawpdi. 

Again with clasped hands Sita, Rdma and Lakshman 
made renewed obeisance to the Jamuna, and as they went 
on their way their talk was all of the daughter of the Sun 
and her glory. Many travellers met them on the way, and 
exclaimed, after gazing with affection at the two brothers : 
" You have all the marks of royalty on your person ; on 
seeing them we are troubled at heart, for you go your way 
on foot, and the astrologers methinks are false. The road is 
difficult ; the mountains and forests are very great ; yet you 
have with you a delicate girl. Elephants and tigers make 
the woods too terrible to contemplate ; with your permission, 
we will accompany you, will escort you as far as you please, 
and then make our bow and return." 

Bohd 108. ^' '^ 

As they proffered this request, their body trembled all 
over with excess of love, and their eyes filled with tears ; 
but the All-merciful gently and courteously dismissed them. 

Chaupdi. 

All the towns and villages along the road wnere the 
envy of the cities of the Serpents and the Gods : * At what 
an auspicious moment and by what a holy man must they 
have been founded, to be so happy and blessed and alto- 
gether highly favoured ! ' Whatever spot was trodden by 
noma's feet Paradise was not to be compared to it. The 
dwellers by the wayside, of high desert, w^ere the praise of 
the denizens of heaven, as they feasted their eyes on Sita 
and Lakshman and RAma dark of hue as a storm-cloud. The 
ponds and river in which Rima bathed were the envy of the 
lake and river of heaven ; the trees under which the Lord 
sat were magnified by the tree of life ; and Earth, touched 
by the dust of Rdma's lotus feet, thought her good fortune 
complete. 



AYODHYA. 293 

Dohd 109. ^^^ 

The clouds gave him shade, the exultant hosts of heaven 
rained down flowers, as RAma proceeded on his way look- 
ing at the rocks and woods and birds and deer. 
Chaupdi. 

Whenever Sfta, Lakshman and Raghur^i came out near 
a village on the way, every one, young and old ; man and 
woman came directly they heard the news, forgetting their 
own private affairs, and as they gazed on their beauty ob- 
tained the fruition of their eyes and were made happy for 
ever. At the sight of the two heroes their eyes filled witli 
tears, their body quivered with emotion, and they became 
all-enraptured, their state of mind as indescribable as 
though a beggar had discovered a pile of heavenly jewels. 
Every one was telling his neighbour : " Now is the time 
to prove the value of sight." One in his delight to see 
RAma would go with him, gazing as he went ; another, 
drawing his beautiful image into his heart by the way of 
his eyes, was utterly overpowered in body, soul and speech. 

Doha no. \ij^ 

One, seeing a fine shady fig-tree, would spread under 

it soft grass and leaves and cry ; " Rest a little after your 
fatigue, and proceed again either at once or at daybreak." 

Chaupdi. 
Another brought a jar full of water and tenderly besought 
him 'Drink ' my lord." On hearing, their affectionate 
speech and seeing their great devotion, the compassionate 
and most amiable R^ma, who moreover perceived that Si'ta 
was wearied, rested for a while in the shade of the fig-tree. 
All were enraptured with his beauty men and women 
alike and their soul was enamoured of his incomparable 
loveliness. Like a circle of partridges about his moon-like 
face, so fixed was their gaze. At the sight of his body, dark 
in hue as a young tamdl tree, a myriad Loves were fascin- 
ated ; while >Lakshman, all comely from head to foot, 
charmed the soul with his fair limbs, bright as the light- 



294 lYODHTA. 

ning ; in his anchorite's dress, with his tightly-fitted quiver 

and bow, and arrows gleaming in his lotus hand. 

Doha 111. ' f r 

With their hair done up in a knot as a crown upon their 

graceful heads, with broad chest, strong arms, and large deep 

eyes, with face like the autumnal full moon, glistening with 

beads of moisture, 

Chaupdi. 

the loveliness of the two brothers is past all telling ; it is 

boundless, and my wit is scant. With every faculty of mind 

and soul, they all gaze upon the beauteous trio; m^n and 

woman thirsting and faint with love, like deer dazed by a 

' light. The village women drew near Sfta with tender and 

bashful enquiries, and again embracing her feet, in their 

simplicity whispered the question : " Noble lady, we have 

a petition, but, like women, are afraid to make it. Pardon 

our presumption, madam, and be not offended by our 

country manners. These two charming young princes, from 

whom emerald and gold might borrow splendour, 

Doha 112. '7 

the one dark, the other fair, but both beautiful and homes 

of delight, with face like the autumn moon, and eyes like 

the lotuses of autumn, 

Chaupdi. 
that would put to shame a myriad loves, say, fair lady, how 
stand they to you." On hearing their pleasant and loving 
speech, Sita smiled in modest confusion, and looking first at 
them and then at the earth was abashed the pretty maid 
with a double abashment. But drooping her fawn-like eyes, 
and with a voice sweet as the koiVs, she lovingly replied : 
" The fair youth, so easy and graceful, is by name Laksh- 
man, my younger brother-in-law ; while he, the dark com- 
plexioned, with the large eyes and arms, the all-beautiful J 
with the gentle voice :" here veiling her moon-like face * 
with the border of her robe she looked towards her husband, 
and her eyebrows with a side-long glance like a pretty 



AtODHYA. 295 

khanjarO- thus by signs indicated to them her lord. All 
the village women were as delighted as beggars who have 
robbed a pile of jewels. /> 

Dohd 113. 

Falling at Sitas feet in their great affection, they invok- 
ed upon her every blessing : May your happy wedded life 
last as long as Earth rests on the serpent's head. 
Chaupdi. 

May you be as dear to your lord as Parvati to Siva. 

Yet, lady, cease not to have some regard for us : again and 

again with clasped hands we beseech you, if you return by 

this road, remember us your servants, and allow us to see 

you." Finding them all so athirst with love, Sita comforted 

them with many soothing words, as the lily is cheered by 

the moonlight. Then Lakshman, perceiving Raghubir's 

wish, gently asked the people the way. At his words they 

became sad, their limbs trembled, their eyes filled with 

tears, their joy was extinguished, and they were troubled at 

heart : " God has given us a treasure only to take it away 

again I" Then reflecting on the ways of Fate and taking 

courage, they fixed upon the easiest road and explained it 

to them. 

DohdlU. \/ 

Raghundth took his way to the woods, and with him 
Lakshman and Janaki ; and they all returned home, but 
with many fond speeches, and in heart accompanied them. 
Chaupdi. 

Men and women alike on their way back lamented ex- 
ceedingly and imputed blame to Fate, saying sadly to one 
another : *' God's doings are all perverse. He is utterly 
uncontrollable, cruel and remorseless ; who has made the 
moon sickly and spotted, the tree of paradise a lifeless 
block, and the ocean all salt, and who now has sent these 
princely boys into the wilderness. If the woods are their 
proper abode, then for whom has he intended ease and 
pleasure ? If they are to wander on their way barefooted, 
it is to no purpose that he has invented so many kinds of 

1 The kkavjan is a species of wagtail. 



296 AYODHtA. 

carriages. If they are to lie on the ground littered only 
with grass and leaves, for whom has God created comfort- 
able couches ? If he makes them live under the trees, why 
has he taken such pains to erect splendid palaces ? 

Dohd 115. y\p 

If such lovely and delicate children wear the rough dress 
and matted locks of anchorites, it is to no purpose that the 
great artificer has made so many kinds of dress and orna- 
ment. 

Ghaupdi. 
If they are to eat only fruits and herbs, all the delicacies 
of the world are thrown away" Said one : " They are so 
beautiful, they must have been spontaneously produced and 
not made by God at all. In all the works of God of which 
the Vedas speak, that either the ears can hear, or the eyes see, 
or the mind imagine, or the tongue tell --search and examine 
the whole fourteen spheres where is there such a man, and 
where such a woman? When he saw them, God was so 
pleased that he essayed to make their match : but after 
much labour, nothing came of it, an 1 thus in spite he has 
sent and buried them in the woods " Said another : *' I 
am no great scholar, but I account myself supremely happy , 
nay, blessed are all, in my opinion, who see him, or have 
seen him, or shall see him." \ 

Dohd 116. y ^ 
With such affectionate discourse their eyes filled with 
tears : " How can they, who are so delicate, traverse so 
difficult a road." 

Ghaupdi. 

All the women were made as uneasy by their love as is 
the chakwi at evening time. As they thought upon their 
tender lotus feet and the liardness of the road, they were 
distrest at heart and cried in plaintive tones : " At the touch 
of their soft and rosy feet, the very earth shrinks, as shrinks 
our heart. If the great God must send them to the woods, 
why did he not strew their path with flowers ? If there be 
one boon that we may ask of Heaven and obtain, let it be. 



AYODHYA. 2D7 

friend, that we keep them ever in our eyes." All the peo- 
ple who had not come in time, and thus had missed seeing 
Sita and Rdma, when they heard of their beauty, asked anx- 
iouly ' How far, brother, will they have got by this time ? ' 
They who were strong ran on and saw them, and returned 
with joy, having obtained the fruition of their eyesr. I 

Doha 117. I V'-^ 
The women and children and the aged wrung their 
hands and lamented. In this manner, wherever Rama went, 
the people were smitten with love. 

Chaupdi. 
In every village was similar rejoicing at the sight of the 
moon of the lilylike solar race. Some who had learnt by hear- 
say of what had been going on imputed blame to the king 
and queen. One said : "It was very good of the king to give 
our eyes such a treat." Said others among themselves in 
simple and loving phrase : " Happy the father and mother 
who gave them birth and happy the city from whence they 
came ? Happy the hills, and plains, and woods, and towns, 
and every spot which they visit. Even the Creator who 
made them is pleased nay, is absolutely in love with them." 
The delightful history of Rdma, Lakshman and Sita thus 
spread over every road and forest. ^ -n ^R 

Doha 118. \ ^ 
In this manner the Sun of the lotus-like solar race glad- 
dened the people on the road, as with Sita and the son of 
Sumitra he proceeded on his travels through the woods, 

Ghaupdi. 
Rdma walked in front and Lakshman behind, con- 
spicuous in the hermit's dress they wore ; and between the 
two Sita shone resplendent as Mayd who connects the life 
of God with the life of the world. Or, to describe her beauty 
by another fancy, she seemed like Rati between Spring 
and Love ; or, to ransack my mind for yet another simile, 
like the constellation Rohinii between Budha and the Moon. 

I Rohini is the ninth lunar asterism personified as the daughter of 
Daksha and the favourite wife of the Moou. Budha is the planet Mercury. 

R-41 



298 lYODHYA. 

As she went along the way, Sita carefully planted her feet 
between the footprints of her lord ; while Lakshman, avoid- 
ing the footprints of them both, set his feet as he went to 
their right and left. The charming affection of all three was 
beyond all telling; how can I declare it ? Birds and deer 
were fascinated at the sight of their beauty, and R^ma the 
wayfarer stole their heart. L 

Dohd 119. ' ^ 
All who beheld the dear travellers, Sfta and the two 
brothers, joyously and without faligue arrived at once at 
the end of the toilsome journey of life. 

Chaupdi. 
And to this day any soul in which the vision of the way- 
farers, RAma, Sita and Lakshman abides, finds the path 
that leads to RAma's home, path that scarce a saint may 
find. Then Haghubi'r, knowing that Sita was tired, and 
observing a fig tree close at hand and cool water, there rest- 
ed and took some roots and fruits to eat, and after bathing 
at dawn again went on his way. Admiring the beauty of the 
woods and lakes and rocks, he arrived at V^lraiki's hermit- 
age. He found the saint's dwelling a charming spot, a 
lovely wooded hill with a spring of clear water, lotuses in 
the pond, the forest trees all in flower, with a delightful hum 
of bees drunk with sweets, and a joyous clamour of birds 
and beasts feeding happily and in peace togetjier. 

Dohd 120. \ VS 

The Lotus-eyed was glad as he gazea upon the bright 

and fair retreat, and the saint on hearing of his arrival 

came forth to meet him. 

Chaupdi. 

Rdma prostrated himself before him, as the holy man 

gave him his blessing. At the sight of Rima's beauty, his 

eyes were rejoiced and he conducted him with all honour to 

his cell ; there gave him a choice seat as a guest dear to 

him as his own life, and sent for herbs and sweet fruits, of 

which Sita, Lakshman and Rima ate. Great was the joy 



AYODHTA. 299 

of Vdlmiki's soul as his eyes beheld the image of bliss. 
Then folding his lotus hands, Rdma thus spoke in words 
to charm his ears : " King of sages, all time, past, present 
and future, is in your ken, and the universe is like a little 
plum in the pahn of your hand." So saying, the lord 
related to him the whole history and how the queen had 
banished him. / 

Dohd 121. iP^ 

" My father's promise, my mother's schemes, my brother 
Bharat's coronation, and my own meeting with you, my lord, 
are all blessings that only past merit can have won for me. 

Chaupdi. 

In beholding your feet, holy sir, all my good deeds are 
rewarded. Now, wherever it may be your order, and no an-^ 
chorite be troubled for those monarchs burn, even though 
there be no fire, who vex either saint or ascetic : the satisfac- 
tion of a Brahman is the root of all happiness, while his 
wrath consumes a thousand generations tell me then some 
place to which I can go with Slta and Sumitr^'s son, and 
there build a prety hut of grass and twigs and rest awhile, 
kind sir." On hearing his ingenious speech, the allwise, 
seer exclaimed : " True, true ! It is only natural for you 
so to speak, pride of the Raghu line, guardian of the eternal 

bridge of Revelation. 

Ghhand 4. 
Guardian of the bridge of Revelation, you, Rima, are 
the lord of the universe, and J^naki is Mayd, who at your 
gracious will creates, preserves, or destroys the world. And 
Lakshman is the thousand-headed serpent lord, the support- 
er of the world with all that it contains, living or lifeless, 
who in behalf of the gods has taken a kingly form and goes 
forth to rout the demon host. 



1 



Sorathd 4. | r 
Your semblance, Rdma, transcends speech and is be- 
yond conception, all-pervading, unutterable, illimitable, 
undefinable even by the Scriptures. 



300 AYODHYA. 

Chaupdi. 
You look on at the drama of life, and Brahma, Hari and 
Sambhu are your puppets. Even they know not your 
secret, and who else could discover you ? He only knows 
you to whom you have vouchsafed knowledge ; and he who 
knows you becomes one with you. It is by your grace, 
Raghunandan, that your votaries learn to know you, soothing 
sandal-wood of the devout soul. Your body is pure intelli- 
gence and bliss, devoid of change, as they know who have 
found you. In behalf of the saints and the gods you have 
taken a human body and speak and act like an ordinary 
king. Fools are bewildered, but the wise rejoice, as they 
see or hear of your doings ; whatever you say or do is true, 
and we can only play such parts as you set us. 

Doha 122. ) yi 

You ask of me ' Where can I stay ? ' but I ask with 
trembling, tell me where are you not, there will I assign 
you a place." 

Chaupdi. 

On hearing the sage's affectionate words, Rdma was 
abashed and smiled to himself. Again V^lmiki cried gaily 
in tones of honeyed sweetness : " Hearken, Rdma ; I will now 
tell you the places where you and Sita and Lakshman should 
abide. They whose ears are like the ocean to catch the 
blessed streams of your traditions, and though ever replen- 
ished are never filled to the full, their heart shall be your 
chosen abode. They whose eyes long for your presence, as 
passionately as the chdtak for the rain-cloud, and scorning 
the water of river, lake or sea, quench their thirst only in 
your beauty, their hearts are your glorious mansion ; there 
abide, Raghun^yak,'with Lakshman and Sfta. 
Dohd 12Z. \'^'l 

Whose tongue, like the swan in the clear hyperboreal 
lake of your renown gathers up the pearls of your perfec- 
tions ; in his heart, RAma, fix your home. 



AYODHYA. 301 

Chaupdi. 
They whoever reverentle inhale the sweet and blessed 
odour of the offerings to their lord ; who feed upon what has 
been offered to you ; who wear only raiment and adornments 
first offered to you ; who bow their heads when they see a 
god, a guru, or a Brahman, and treat them with all honour 
and affection ; whose hands are ever engaged in paying 
R4ma worship ; who have no other hope but R^ma in their 
heart ; and whose feet ever bear them to his shrines ; be their 
soul, Rama, your dwelling-place. They who are ever repeat- 
ing your holy name, and adoring you with their family; 
who perform the varied rites of oblation and sacrifice ; who 
feast Br^hmans, and give them liberal donations ; who re- 
gard their own guru even more than you, and serve him 
with all honour and affection, 2 

Doha 124. '^ ^^ 
who ask of all one only boon, devotion to Rdma ; be their 
heart your temple wherein to abide, Sita and yoa two 

brothers. 

Chaupdi. 

Who so is unmoved by lust, anger, pride or arrogance, 
and is without covetousness, excitement, partiality or malice 
without fraud, hypocrisy or heretical delusion ; dwell in his 
heart, Raghuriya. They who are all men's friends, and are 
friendlyto all ; to whom pleasure and pain, praise and abuse 
are alike ; who are careful to say what is both true and 
kind ; who, whether sleeping or waking, place themselves 
under your protection and have no other way of salvation 
but you ; in their heart, R^ma, abide. They who look upon 
another man's wife as their own mother, and another man's 
wealth as the deadliest poison, who rejoice to see a neigh- 
bour's prosperity and are grieved for his misfortunes ; and 
to whom you, R^ma, are dear as their own life : be their 
heart your auspicious abode. , 'i 

Doha 125. / ' ' 

To whom, my son, you are at once master and companion, 



302 AYODHYA. 

father, mother and spiritual guide ; be their heart your 
temple, ye brothers twain, wherein with Sita to abide. 
(hiupdi. 

They who pick out all men's good points and leave their 
bad ; who endure troubles on behalf of Brdhmans and kine ; 
and who are of note in the world for soundness of doctrine ; 
in their heart be your chosen home. They who understand 
your righteousness and their own defects and fix all their 
hopes on you, and have an affection for all your worship- 
pers ; in their heart dwell, you and Sita. He who has left 
all tribe, sect, wealth, hereditary religion, worldly advance- 
ment, friend, relations, home and all, and given himself 
wholly to you; in his heart take up your abode, Raghurai. 
To whom heaven and hell and release from trjinsmigration 
are all alike, if only they can behold the god with his bow 
and arrows ; and who in heart, word and deed are your 
faithful slaves ; be their heart, RAma, your tabernacle. 
Dohd 126. / '^ V 

They who never ask for anything but simply love you ; 
in their heart abide for ever, for that is your very home." 

Chaupai. 

Such were the dwelling-places the sage indicated, and 
his loving speech pleased Raima's soul. The paint continued : 
Hearken, lord of the solar race ; I will tell you a hermitage 
suitable for your present wants. Take up your abode on the 
hill of Chitra-k6t;* there you will have every convenience. It 
is a beautiful hill finely wooded, the haunt of elephants, 

1 The sacred hill of Ohitra-kiit is one of a small group that forms the 
last Bpurofthe great VinHhyan range. It isHimafndin the rao<lern dis- 
trict of Bjlfidn, close to the town of ITarwi and ahout 6<i miU-s from Pray^g 
(Allahabad). A river flows at its hasn, now called the ^'aisuni (the "Sanskrit 
Payoshni ; ' warm as milk'), which has some fine waterfalls before it joins 
the Jamiind. The MundAkini. so frequently mentioned, is only a small 
tributary stream which enters the Haisuni near the villhgc of Sitipur, 
where are a number of handsome temples The hill is about three miles in 
circumference, antl a narrow paved path runs the whole way round. This 
was constructed about laO years ago by one of the Mdj^s of the neighbouring 
stale of Panna for the convenience of pilgrims pertorming the ceremony of 
circumambulation. The two principal fe'e days are the K^m-navmi 
(Kama's birthday) in the mor)th of Chait, and th^- Diw&li in Kartik, About 
20 miles from Chitra-kiit on the bank of the JamunA is the town of Kdja- 
pur, which was founded by Tulsi Das, where he lived for several years, and 



1 



AYODfiYA. 303 

tigers, deer and birds. It has a sacred river mentioned in 
the Puranas, wliich the wife of Atri brought there by the 
power of penance. ^ It is called the Mandikini, and is a 
branch of the Ganges, as quick to drown sin as a witch to 
strangle and infant. Atri and other sages live there, en- 
gaged in meditation and prayer and wasting their body 
with penance. Go and bless their labours, Rdma, and 
confer dignity on the mountain." 

Dvhd 127. / 3 2? 

All the glories of Chitra-ktit did the great saint tell and 
declare. The two brothers and SIta proceeded to bathe in 
the sacred stream. 

Chaupdi. 

Said Ragubar, " It is a good place, Lakshman ; now 
make arrangements for our stopping somewhere here." 
Lakshman then spied out the north bank : " The ravine 
bends round it like a bow, with the river for its string, 
asceticism and charity for its arrows, and all the sins of 
this evil age for its quarry, while Mount Chitra-k\it is the 
huntsman of unerring aim striking: at close quarters." So 
saying, Lakshman showed the spot; when he had seen it, 
Raghupati was pleased. The gods learnt that Rdma was 
well content, and came with Indra at their head. In the 
garb of Kols and Kirats they came and put up neat huts of 
boughs and grass, two of them ; both prettier than words 
can tell, the one of larger sizf, the other a nice little cottage. 
Doha 128. ( Vl^ 

In his rustic cell the Lord, attended by Lakshman and 



where a manuscript of the Rdmayana in his own handwriting is still pre- 
served. He imposed some curious rf^sirictions upon the inhabitants of the 
place, which are still to tliis day reliyiou-ly obsfived No private houses, 
however wpalthy the owners msiy be, are allowed to be built of any mateual 
but mud and wood, stone bpinjr reserved exclusively foi the temples : and no 
barber, potter or dancing-yirl may live within the limits of the town ; when 
their services are required, they have to be called in fr<m some other village. 

1 Ansftya, the wife of Atri, was one of Daksha's 24 daughters. She 
practise*! severe penance for ten thousand years, and by virtue of the religi- 
ous merit that she had thus acquired she created tlie river Mandakini, and by 
its waters maintained the fertility of the country through a ten years 
drought. 



304: AYODHYA. 

Janaki, shone forth as beautiful as Love in the dress of a 
hermit between Ratii and Spring. 

Chawpdi. 
Then flocked to Chitra-kiit gods, serpents, Kinnars and 
Digpdls. All the immortals bowed low before Rama and 
gazed with joy on that most longed-for vision. Showering 
down flowers and exclaiming " At length, Lord, we have 
found our Lord," the heavenly host in piteous wise declared 
their intolerable distress, and joyfully started for their 
several homes. As soon as they heard the news of 
Raghunandan's stay at Chitra-kdt, the saints sallied forth ; 
seeing the holy company draw near, Rima prostrated him- 
self before them : but they all took him to their bosom, and 
invoked upon him blessings,2 knowing that they would be 
accomplished. As they beheld the beauty of R6ma and 
S'ta and Sumitra's son, they accounted all their good deeds 
to have been well rewarded. . o L 

Dohd 129. ' ^ 
After ail due honours paid, the Lord dismissed the 
saintly throng to practise contemplation, prayer, sacrifice 
and penance at pleasure in their own retreats. 

Ghaupdi. 
When the Kols and Kir^tsgotthe tidings, they were as 
glad as if the nine treasures^ had come to their house. 
With leaf platters full of herbs, roots and fruits, they ran 
like beggars scrambling for gold. Those among them who 
had already seen the two brothers were questioned about 
them by the others on the road. Telling and hearing Rdma's 
perfections, all came and saw him. Laying their offering 
before him and making obeisance, their love increased ex- 
ceedingly as they gazed upon their Lord. Motionless as 

1 RAti is the Indian Venus, 

2 Their blessing coald do R^ma no jjood, but its fulfilment would re- 
dound to their own credit, as showing them to be true prophets. 

3 The nine JVidkis or heavenly treasures of Kuvera, the god uf wealth, 
are thus enumerated : the Padma, Mahd-padma, Sanklia, makara, Mach- 
chhapa, Makunda. Nlla, Nanda and Kharba ; but their nature is not exactlj' 
defined, though some of tliem appear to be precious gems. According to the 
Tdntrik system they are personified and witrshippcd as demi-gods, attendant 
either upon Kuvera, who is sometimes called Nidhlnhin Adkipah, ' lord of 
the Nidhis,' or upon Lakshrai, the goddess of prosperity. TF?7;ta?;w. 



AYODHYA. 305 

figures in a picture they stood about aayfeew, their body 
thrilling with emotion and their eyes filled with tears. 
Rdma, perceiving that they were overwhelmed with affec- 
tion, spoke to them words of kindness and received them 
with honour. Again and again bowing low before the Lord, 
the addressed him in humble strain with iolded hands : 
Doha 130. j y 

"Now at length that we have seen our Lord's feet, we 
have all found a protector : prince of Kosala, what a bles- 
sing for us is your arrival. 

Ghaupdi. 

Happy land and forest and road and hill, where thou, 
my lord, hast planted thy foot ; happy the birds and deer and 
beasts of the forest, whose life has been crowned by thy 
sight ; happy we and all our kin, who have filled our eyes 
with thy vision. Thou hast chosen an excellent spot 
whereon to take up thy abode ; here at all seasons of the 
year thou wilt live at ease. We will do thee service in 
every way, by driving away elephants, lions, snakes and 
tigers. The thickets, ravines, mountains, chasms and caves 
have all, my lord, been explored by us foot by foot; we will ' 
take you to the different haunts ol game, and point out to 
you the lakes and waterfalls and every other place. We and 
our people are thy servants ; do not hesitate to command 

Doha 131. I ^ ; 

The lord, whom the Veda cannot utter nor the saints 
comprehend, in his infinite compassion listened to the 
words of the Kirats, as a father to the vice of a child. 

Ghaupdi. 

It is only love that Rdma loves ; understand this, ye who 
are men of understanding. He charmed all the foresters by 
his tender loving^ speeches. Having taking, leave and 
bowed the head, they set forth, and discoursing on the way of 
their Lord's perfections they reached their homes. In this 

I Parlpo-she, ' abounding with,' * frauglit with,' is for the Sanskrit 
[taripushta. 

R-42 



306 AYODHYA. 

fashion the two brothers and Sita dwelt in the forest, delight- 
ing gods and saints. From the time that Raghu-n^yak 
took his up his abode there, the wood became bounteous 
in blessing ; every kind of tree blossomed and bore fruit ; 
luxuriant creepers formed pleasant and beautiful canopies ; 
as though the tree of paradise in all its native loveliness had 
abandoned the groves of heavan. Strings of bees made a 
greatful buzzing, and a delicious air breathed soft, cool and 

fragrant. pC 

Dohd 132. ! ' ^ 
Jays, cuckoos, parrots, chdtaks, chakwds, chakors, and 
birds of every description charmed the ear and ravished 
the soul with their notes. 

(haupdi. 

Elephants, lions, monkeys, boars and deer forgot their 
animosity and sported together. Enraptured above all were 
the herds of deer who beheld the beauty of RAma as he 
tracked the chase. All the forests of the gods that there 
are in the world were envious at the sight of Rdma's forest. 
The Ganges, the Sarasvati, the sunborn Jamun^, the Nar- 
mada, daughter of Mount Mekal, and the sacred Godjivari, 
every river, stream and torrent discoursed of the Mandii- 
kini. The mountains of the rising and the setting sun, 
Kail^s, Mandar, Meru, home of all the gods, the crags of 
Himalaya, and all the hills there be, sang the glory of 
Chitra-kiit. The delight of the gods was more than their 
soul could contain, to think it had won such renown with- 
out an effort. . #v <A 
Dohd 133. \^\ 

" Of highest merit and blessed indeed are all the birds, 
deer, creepers, trees and grasses of Chitra-ktit," so day and 
night cried the gods. 

Chaupdi. 

All creatures with eyes, who looked on RAma, felt wiih 
delight that now they had lived to some purpose. Things 
without life, touched by the dust of his feet, were gladdened 
by promotion to the highest sphere. The woods and rocks, 
all charming in themselves, were so blissful, so entirely the 



AYODHYA. 307 

holiest of the holy, that how can I declare their glory, when 
they became the abode of the infinitely blessed, and when 
leaving the Milky Ocean^ and deserting Avadh, Sita, RAma, 
and Lakshman came there to dwell ? The delights of the 
forest would be past telling even by a hundred thousand 
Seshn^gs. How then can I describe them, any more than a 
common hole tortoise could uplift Mount Mandar ? In every 
thought, word and act Lakshman does him service, with an 
amiability and devotion more than can be told. 

DoU 134. / K^ 

For ever gazing on the feet of Sltaand Rdma and con- 
scious of their love for him, not even in his sleep did Laksh- 
man dream of absent kindred, or father or mother, or home. 
Ghawpdi. 

In Rama's company Sita lived so happy that she lost all 
memory of city, family and home. Ever watching the 
moonlike face of her beloved, she rejoiced like the partridge 
at night, and seeing her lords affection daily increase she 
was as happy as the cuckoo by day. Her heart was so 
enamoured of him that the forest was a thousand times as 
dear to her as Avadh ; dear was the cottage with her love's 
society, dear were the fawns and birds, now her only atten- 
dants : like her husband's father and mother were the her- 
mits and their wives, and sweet as ambrosia the wild fruits 
and roots. Shared with her lord, a litter of leaves2 was a 
hundredfold more delightful than Cupid's own couch. How 
can material delights beguile him, the mere sight of whom 
confers the sovereignty of the spheres ? 

DoU 135. ' M ' 
Remembering RAma, men discard as no more worth than 
a blade of grass all the pleasures of sense ; no wonder then 
in Sita's case, Rdma's own beloved, the mother of the world . 

1 Here Sita, Rdma, and Lakshman are all three regarded as incarnations 
of Vishnu, whose eternal home is the Milky Ocean. 

2 Sdthari is for the Sanskrit Sastara, ' made by strewing,' a bed of 
leav2s, 



308 AYODHYA. 

Chaupdi. 
Anything that would please Sita and Lakshman, that 
would Raghunath do, exactly as they suggested. He would 
recite legends and tales of olden times, in the hearing of 
which Lakshman and Sita took great delight. If ever he 
made mention of Avadh, his eyes filled with tears ; as he 
called to mind his father and mother, his family and his 
brother, with all Bharat's affection and amiable attention, 
the compassionate Lord grew most sad, but restrained him- 
self knowing that the time was out of joint. At the sight 
Sita and Lakshman became distressed also, like the shadow 
that follows a man. When Raghunandan noticed the emo- 
tion of his spouse and his brother, being self-restrained 
and tender and as soothing to his votaries as sandal-wood 
when applied to the breast, he would begin to relate some 
sacred story to divert them. , n 

Doha 136 . l^ 
R4ma and Lakshman with Sita in their leafy hut were 
as resplendent as Indra in the city of heaven with his 
spouse Sachi and their son Jayanta. 

Chaupdi. 
The liord was as watchful over Sita and his younger 
brother as the eyelids over the pupil of the eye ; while 
Lakshman was as careful of Sita and Raghubir as a fool of 
his own body. Thus happily the Lord lived in the woods, 
gratify alike birds beasts and pious ascetics. I have now 
told the story of Rdma's excile to the woods ; here how Su- 
manta reached Avadh. TheNishdd returned after escorting 
his Lord, and came in sight of the Minister and the chariot. 
No words can tell the distress with which he found the Mi- 
nister to be agonized. Crying out ** R^ma, RAma, Sita, 
Lakshman," he had fallen to the ground utterly overpower- 
ed, while the horses kept on looking to the south^ and 
neighing as piteously as a bird that has lost its wings. 

1 Hoping, as Rima had gone to the sooth, to get the first glimpse of 
him coming back again from that direction. 



1 



AYODHYA. % 309 

DohdlSl. ^ ' 

They would neither eat grass nor drink water, and their 
eyes shed tears. At the sight of RAma's horses all the Ni- 
shdds were deeply grieved. 

Ghaupdi. 

At length summoning up courage the Nishad said: "now, 
Sumanta, cease mourning ; you are a learned man and a 
philosopher, submit patiently to adverse fortune." With 
such kindly expostulations he made him mount the chariot, 
whether he would or no ; but he was so unstrung by grief 
that he could not drive, his heart ached so grievously for 
Rama's loss. The horses reared and would not go ; you would 
think they were wild deer put in harness, jibbing, lying 
down and turning to look behind them, being overcome by 
sore pain for RAma's loss. If any one mentioned the name of 
Rama, Lakshman, or Sita, the horses would at once neigh 
and look at him ;the way in which they declared their grief 
is not to be described, like a snake that has lost its head- 
jewel. I i>l^ 
Dohd 138. ' 

The sight of the Minister and the horses made the Nishifd 
very sad. He told off four trusty grooms and with them a 
charioteer. 

Chaupdi. 

After making over the charioteer, Guha returned home, 
more sorry at leaving than words can tell. The Nishdd's 
drove off to Avadh ; sunk every moment in deeper distress, 
Sumanta, tortured by regrets, a prey to woe, cried : " A 
curse for life without Raghu-bir ! This vile body must per- 
ish at last ; it lost all glory when bereft of Raghu-bir and 
became a sink of infamy and crime ; why does it not take 
its departure ? Ah ! fool that it is, it missed its opportunity, 
seeing that to-day my heart has not broken in twain," 
Wringing his hands and beating his head in his remorse he 
went his way like a miser robbed of his pelf, or like a 
warrior of high renown, some famous champion, who has 
had to flee from the battle-field. 



310 AYODHYA. J 

Do/lrf 139. ^^ 

The Minister's grief was like that of some learned Brah- 
man well read in the Vedas, a man of good repute, of integ- 
rity and birth, who has been entrapped into drinking. 

Or like some well-born, virtuous and discreet lady, who 
is entirely devoted to her lord, but whom Fate has forced to 
desert him ; such was the cruel torture that racked the Min- 
ister's heart. His eyes so full of tears that he could scarce- 
ly see ; his ears deaf, his senses all confused, his lips dry his 
tongue cleaving to his palate, the breath of life only restrain- 
ed by the bar of Rama's promise to return ; all the colour 
gone from his face, he looked like one who had murdered 
his father and mother. His soul was so possessed with the 
greatness of his loss and his remorse that he might be some 
grievous sinner trembling at the gate of death. Words would 
not come, but to himself he moaned : " How can I look 
Avadh in the face ; when they see the chariot and no Rdma 
in it, they will turn in bewilderment to me. 
Dohd 140. I (> U 

When the agitated citizens run to question me and I 

have to answer them, my heart will be cleft asunder as by a 

thunderbolt. 

Ghaupdi. 

When the piteous queen-mothers ask of me, Good God ! 
what shall I say to them ? When Lakshman's mother ques- 
tions me, what good news can I tell her ? When Rama's 
mother comes running, like a cow mindful of its now weaned 
calf, and questions me, I can only answer, * Rima, Laksh- 
man and Slta have gone into the forest.' Whoever asks, I 
must answer so : this is the treat I shall have at Avadh. 
When the sorrowful king, whose life hangs upon Rrima, 
questions me, with what face can I answer him, * I have 
seen the princes safe to their journey's end and have come 
back.' When the king hears the news of Lakshman, Sita 
and R^ma, he will discard his life as not worth a straw. 



AYODHYA. /I 311 

DoU 141. ' 
My heart bereft of its beloved is like clay drained of 
water, but it cracks not : now I know how capable of torture 
is this body that God has given me." 

Ghaupdi. 
Thus bemoaning himself as he went, he quickly arrived 
in his chariot at the bank of Tamasa. There he courte- 
ously dismissed the Nishads, who after falling at his feet 
turned sorrowfully away. The Minister was as downcast on 
entering the city as one who had killed his own spiritual 
guide or a Brahman, or cow. He passed the day sitting 
under a tree, and at eventide took the opportunity to enter 
Avadh in the dark. He slunk into his house, leaving the 
chariot at the gate. All who heard the tidings came to the 
king's door to see the chariot, and having recognized it 
and observed the distress of the horses, their body melted 
away like hail in the sun. All the citizens were as woe- 
begone as fish when the waters are dried up. 

DohdU2. ic^% 
When they heard of the Minister's arrival, all the ladies 
of the court were agitated. The palace struck him with as 
much dread as a haunted chamber. 

Ghaupdi. 
All the queens questioned him in great excitement ; no 
answer came, his voice was all broken. With no ears to hear, 
nor eyes to see, he could only ask every one he met, ' Tell 
me where is the king.' Seeing his confusion, the handmai- 
dens conducted him to Kausalya's apartments. On entering, 
Sumanta found the king in such state as the moon shows 
when all its lustre has waned. Fasting, sleepless, stript of 
every adornment, he lay on the ground in utter wretched- 
ness, sighing as piteously as Yay^ti^ after he had been 



1 Yayati as a reward for his many sacrifices was exalted to heaven. 
There Indra met him, ceremoniously conducted him to the throne, and then 
craftily drew him out to speak of all the meritorius acts he had done. 
The more he boasted, the more his virtue evaporated, till at last he was left 
without any merit at all. The gods then turned him out of heaven and 
Indra was able to resume the vacant throne. 



312 AYODHYA. 

hurled from heaven, his heart every moment bursting with 
grief, like Sampdti^ falling with singed wings, fondly cry- 
ing *Rdma, R4ma,Rdma', and again 'Rdma Lakshman, Slta.' 
Doha 143. liJ Oj 

The Minister on seeing him cried ' All hail !' and bowed 
to the ground. At the sound of his voice the king started 
up hurriedly and exclaimed '0 Siimanta, where is Rdma ?' 
Ghaupdi. 

The king clasped Somant to his bosom, like a drowning 
man who has caught hold of some support. He seated him 
affectionately by his side, and with his eyes full of tears ask- 
ed: "Tell me, kind friend, of Rama's welfare : where are 
Raghun6th, Lakshman and Sita ? Have you brought 
them back, or have they sought the forest ? " At these 
words the Minister's eyes streamed with tears. Overpower- 
ed by anxiety, the king asked again : '* give me tidings of 
8ita, R6ma and Lakshman." Calling to mind Rdma's 
beauty and amiability, he sorrowed yet more : " I promised 
him the kingdom and then imposed exile; he obeyed with 
soul unmoved either by joy or sorrow. Breft of such a son 
I yet can live : who so guilty a monster as I ? 

Dohd]U. 1*)"^ 

Take me, my friend, to the place where Rima, Sita and 

Lakshman are. If not, I tell you the very truth, my soul 

will take flight at once." 

Chaupdi. 

Again and again he implored him : "Friend, tell me of 
my son. fleariven, comrade ; contrive some means for speed- 
ily showing me RAma, Lakshman and Sita." Summoning 
up courage the Minister gently replied : *' Sire, your majesty 
is a scholar and philosopher, a model of courage and end- 
urance, and a constranr, attendant of holy assemblies. Life 
and death ; pleasure, pain and all enjoyments; loss and gain ; 
the society of friends and their bereavement; all, sir, are gov- 
erned by time and fate as unalterably as the succession of 
night and day. Fools triumph in prosperity, and are downcast 
1 See ('haup&i of Kishkindhya after Dohk 26. 



AYODHYA. 313 

in adversity ; wise men account both alike. Consider the 
matter wisely and take courage ; the good of all depends 
upon you ; cease vain regrets. 

Dohd]4:5. ^S'' 

Their first halt was at the TamasA ; their second on the 
bank of the Ganges, where the two heroes and Sfta bathed 
and stayed to drink water. 

Chaupdi. 

The boatmen showed them great courtesy and they 
passed the night at Sringavera. At daybreak they called for 
milk of the fig-tree and fastened up the hair of their head 
into a crown-like top-knot. Then Rdma's friend called for 
the boat, and after putting his beloved on board, R^ma 
himself followed, and after him by his Lord's permission, 
Lakshman too claimed the boat equipt with bow and arrows. 
Seeing my distress, Raghu-bir restrained his emotion and 
addressed me thus kindly : * Father, give my salutation to 
my father, and again and again embrace his lotus feet. 
There at his feet entreat him with all humility, saying, 
Father, mourn not for me ; my banishment to the forest is 
pleasant and profitable to myself, and on your part is a 
grace, a favour, and a meritorious deed. 
Ghhand 5. 

By your favour, father, I go to the forest, there to enjoy 
complete happiness. After fulfiling your command, I shall 
return again in safety to behold your feet.' Next falling at 
the feet of each of the queen mothers, console and implore 
them to make every effort that Kosala's king may live happy. 
Sorathd 5. ; A' ">' 

Again and again clasping the lotus feet of my spiritual 
instructor, give him this my message : ' So exhort the king 
that he may cease to sorrow on my account.' 

Chaupdi. 

Bowing down before all the citizens and the people of 
the court make known to them, sir, this my petition : * He is 
my best friend who ensures the king's happiness.' Say to 

R-43 



314 AYQDHYA. 

Bharat, too, when he comes,' Now that you have obtained 
the royal dignity, forget not sound polity. Cherish your 
subjects in word, thought and deed, and be obedient to all 
the queen-mothers without partiality. Fulfil your duty, 
brother, as a brother, and in dutifulness to father, mother 
and kindred, and take such care of the king, sir, that he may 
never regret me. 'Lakshman gave vent to some angry words, 
but Rdma checked him, and begged of me again and again, 
adjuring me by himself, not to mention his childishness. 
Doha 146. / 5"^ 

Sita sent her reverence, and would have said more, but 
was unable ; her voice faltered, her eyes filled with tears, 
and her body quivered with emotion. 

Chaupdi. 

Then it was that at a sign from Rahugbar the boatman 
propelled the boat to the opposite side. In this manner the 
Glory of Raghu's line went his way, and I stood looking on 
with a heart as of adamant. How can I describe my own 
anguish, who have come back alive, bearing Rama's mess- 
age?' With these words the Minister stopped speaking, 
being overpowered by affection, remorse and distress. When 
he had heard Sumanta's speech, the king fell to the ground, 
heartbroken with grief, and in a wild phrenzy of soul 
writhed like a fish in the scour of a turbid stream. ^ All the 
queens wept and made lamentation ; how can I describe so 
great a calamity ? at the sound of their wailings. Sorrow it- 
self grew sorrowful and Endurance could no more endure. 

1 This simile, as noted at page 33 has puzzled many of the commentators, 
who are ordinarily grammarians rather than observers of nature. It is well 
illustrated and explained by a letter in the Pioneer of August 5th, 1878, 
from a correspondent at Mirzapur. He writes as follows : " We observed 
a curious phenomenon here which seems worth recording. Early on Friday 
morning huge quantitcs of fish of every description were seen coming to the 
surface all along both banks of the river gasping and dying. The people 

living near the sides flocked down and clubbed and secured very many 

Before many hours all the fish susceptible to whatever influence was at 
work seem to have perished and in the afternoon they rose to the surface 
and floated past in a stnte of decomposition. The river is in high but not 
full flood. The water, probably on account of the prolonged drought, is 
intensely and abnormally turbid. It is to this peculiarity I attribute the 
death of the fish. The particles of earth held in suspense have impregnated 
the gills and t<ipped breathing." 



AYODHYA. 315 

Dohd 147. I ^ '^ 

Avadh was in a tumult at the sound of the outcry in the 
king's palace : as whea a cruel thunderbolt has fallen at 
night in some dense forest full of birds. 
, Chaupdi. 

The breath of life flickered at the king's mouth, forlorn 
as a snake robbed of its jewel ; all his senses as heavy- 
smitten as the lotuses in a lake that has been drained of its 
water. When Kausalya saw the king's misery the Sun of 
the solar race setting as it were at noon Rdma's mother 
summoned up courage and spoke in words befitting the 
occasion : " Consider, my lord, and reflect that Rdma's 
exile is like the vast ocean, you are the helmsman of the 
good ship Avadh, and your friends are the merchants, its 
passengers ; if you have courage you will get across : if not 
the whole family will be drowned. Take to heart this en- 
treaty of mine, my spouse, and you will yet see again 
Rdma, Lakshman and Slta. ^.^ 

Dohd 148. / ^'^'^ 

Hearing these tender words from his beloved, the king 
opened his eyes and looked up, writhing like some hapless 
fish when sprinkled with cold water. 
Chaupdi. 

The king with an effort sat up : *' Tell me, Sumanta, 
where is my generous Rdma ? Where is Lakshman ? 
Where my loving Rdma ? Where my dear daughter-in- 
law, the princess of Videha ? " Thus miserably moaning, 
the night seemed an age long and as though it never would 
end. The blind hermit's curse^ came back to his mind, 

1 The incident to which such brief allusion is here made is told at full 
length in the Sanskrit Ramayana, where it occupies nearly 200 lines. One 
day, when Dasarath was still a youth, he was out shooting, and had taken 
up a position near the bank of the Sarju, where he hoped to get a shot at 
some tiger or buffalo as it came down in the evening to the river to drink. 
Hearing a splash in the water, he left fly an arrow. From the cry that 
followed, he learnt to his dismay that he had shot a young hermit, who had 
been filling his pitcher for the use of his blind and aged parents. His dying 
words were to implore the king that he would carry the warer to the hermit- 
age and inform the bereaved couple of their son's sad fate. He did so, and 
was told that as a punishment for his crime he. too, should hereafter die of 
grief for the loss of a son. The time should be far distant, because the blow 
was dealt unwittingly, and his confession had further lightened his guilt : 
had he concealed the deed, he and the whole of his line had perished for evef* 



316 AYODHTA. 

and he told the whole story to Kausaly^. As he related the 
circumstances his agitation increased : " Bereft as I am of 
RAma, I have done with life and hope ; why should I cherish 
a body that has failed to fulfil my love's engagement? Ah 
Raghunandan, dearer to me than life, already I have lived 
too long without you. Ah, Jdnaki and Lakshman ! Ah, 
Raghubar the raincloud of a fond father's ehatak-Vike heart." 
DohdUd. lb'%P 

Crying * R^ma, R^ma ! ' and again ' Rdma ! ' and yet 
once more * R^ma, Rdma, RAma !,' the king's soul, bereft 
of Raghubar, quitted his body and entered heaven. 

Ghawpai. 

Thus Dasarath reaped his reward both in life and death, 
and his spotless fame has spread through countless cycles 
of creation. In life he saw Rama's moon-like face, and 
dying for his loss had a glorious death. All the queens 
bewept him in an agony of grief, and spoke of his beauty, 
his amiability, his power and majesty. They made manifold 
lamentation, throwing themselves upon the ground again 
and again. Men-servants and maid-servants sadly bemoaned 
him ; and there was weeping in every house throughout 
the city : '* To-day has set the sun of the solar race, the 
perfection of justice, the treasury of all good qualities." All 
reviled Kaikeyi, who had robbed the world of its very eyes. 
In this manner the night was spent in lamentations till 
all the great and learned sages arrived. 

BdhdlbO, /6"| 

Then the holy Vasishtha recited many legends befitting 
the time, and checked their grief by the wisdom that he 
displayed. 

Ghauydi. 

After filling a boat with oil and putting the king's body 
in it, he summoned messengers and thus addressed them : 
" Hasten with all speed to Bharat, and say nothing to any- 
body about the king ; only tell Bharat when you arrive. ' The 
guru has sent for you two brothers.' " On receiving the 



AYODHYA. 



317 



saint's orders, they ran off at once with speed that would 

shame the fleetest of horses. Directly these troubles had 

begun at Avadh, Bharat was visited with evil omens ; he saw 

fearful visions in his sleep by night, and on awaking formed 

all sorts of ill conjectures. He daily feasted Brdhmans and 

gave alms, and with elaborate ritual poured water over the 

emblem of MahAdev, and with heartfelt prayers implored the 

god for the prosperity of his parents, his family and his 

brethren. ,^ 

Doha 151, ^^ 

In this state of anxiety was Bharat found by the heralds 
on their arrival. As soon as he had heard his guru's com- 
mands he offered up a prayer to Ganes and started. 
Chaupdi' 

They went with the speed of the wind, urging on their 
horses over rivers, rocks and trackless forests. So great was 
his distress of mind that nothing pleased him ; he thought 
to himself, ' that I had wings to fly !' A moment seemed 
like a year. In this manner Bharat drew near to the city. 
On entering he was met by evil omens. Gruesome noises 
sounded in uncanny places, asses and jackals uttered pres- 
ages of ill, which pierced him to the heart as he listened. 
Even the lakes and rivers, groves and gardens, seemed 
forlorn ; while the city struck him as more melancholy still. 
Birds, deer, horses and elephants were painful to look at, as 
though the loss of R^ma were some dreadful disease that 
had destroyed them. The citizens were as downcast as if 
they had all lost everything they had in the world. 
Dohd 152. I ^ 

The people who met him did not speak, but bowed and 
passed on. For the fear and dismay in his mind Bharat 
could not ask * Is all well ? ' 

Ghaupdi. 
The market-places and streets were as dreary as though 
the city had been the prey of a general conflagration. When 
Kaikeyi heard of her son's approach, the moon of the lotus- 



318 AYODHYA. 

like solar race rejoiced. She sprang up gladly and ran with 
lamp in hand and met him at the door and brought him in. 
Bharat saw all the household as woe-begone as a bed of 
lotuses when smitten by the frost, his mother as jubilant as 
a wild hill-woman who has set the forest in a blaze. Seeing 
her son sad and distressed, she asked ' Is all well in my 
mother's house? ' Bharat assured her that all was well, and 
then asked after the welfare of his own family : " Say, where 
is my father and where the other queen-mothers ? where is 
Sita and my dear brothers, RAma and Lakshman ? " 
Doha 153. 

On hearing her son's loving speech, the guilty woman*8 
eyes filled with false tears, and she replied in words that 
pierced Bharat's ears and soul : 

Cha7ipdi. 

" My son, I had arranged everything with the help of 
poor^ Manthar^, but God somehow spoilt my plan half-way. 
The king has gone to heaven." On hearing this Bharat was 
overcome with distress, like an elephant at the roar of a lion. 
Crying "My father, my father, alas, my father I " he fell 
upon the ground in grievous affliction. " I could not see you 
ere you left, nor did you my father, commend me to R^ma." 
Again, with an effort, he collected himself and got up : 
"Tell me, mother, the cause of my father's death." On hear- 
ing her son's words Kaikeyi replied, as one who drops poison 
into a wound, and with a glad heart, vile wretch that she 
was, recounted all that she had done from the very beginning. 
Dohd 154. 

Bharat forgot his father's death when he heard of Rama's 
banishment, and knowing himself to be the cause he was 
staggered and remained speechless. 
Ghaupdi. 

Seeing her son's distress she comforted him, in such a 
manner as when one applies salt to a burn : " The king, my 

1 nichari is here for the Persian word hechara. The Hindu com- 
mentator explains it by chara rahita ? 



AYODHYA. 319 

boy, is no fit subject for lamentation ; he won glory and 
renown and lived happily. In his life he reaped all life's 
rewards, and in the end has entered the court of heaven. 
Regard the matter in this light and banish grief ; in state 
assume the sovereignty of the realm." The prince shrunk 
exceedingly at her words, as though cautery had been 
applied to a festered wound ; then collecting himself he 
gave a deep sigh : Wretched woman, the ruin of us all ! if 
this was your vile desire, why did you not kill me at my 
birth? After cutting down a tree you water the branches 
and drain a pond to keep the fish alive. 
Doha 155. 

Born of the solar race, with Dasarath for my father and 
Rdma and Lakshman for my brothers, I have had you, 
mother, for a mother : what can be done against Fate ? 
Chaupdi. 

Wretch ! when you formed such an evil design in your 
mind, how was it your heart did not break in pieces '* When 
you asked the boon, your soul felt no pain, your tongue did 
not burn, nor your mouth fester? How could the king trust 
you ? his hour of death had come, and God had robbed him 
of his senses Not even God knows the ways of a woman's 
heart ; such a mine is it of all deceit, crime and sin. The 
king was so simple, good and pious, what did he know of 
woman's nature ? Is there any living creature in the world 
who loves not Raghuniith like himself ? Yet he was your 
special enemy. Tell me the truth, what are you ? What- 
ever you may be, you have blackened your own face ; up, 

hence out of my sight, 

Dohd 156. 
God has created me out of a womb hostile to R^ma; 
who so guilty a wretch as I ? but it is useless for me to say 
anything to you." 

Chaupdi. 

When Satrughna heard of his mother's wickedness he 
burned all over, his anger was beyond control. At that very 
moment Humpback came up, dressed out in fine attire and 



320 AY0DHY4. 

many jewels. On seeing her, Lakshman's young brother 
was filled with passion, like fire upon which butter has been 
poured. He sprung forward and struck her such a blow 
on her hump that she fell flat on her face and screamed 
aloud. Her hump was smashed, her head split, her teeth 
broken, and her mouth streamed with blood. " Ah ! my God ! 
what harm have I done ? this is an ill reward for all my 
services ! " Then Satrughna, seeing her so all vile from 
head to foot, seized her by the hair of the head and began 
dragging her about, till the merciful Bharat rescued her. 
Both brothers then went to KausalyA. 

Dohd 157. 
In sordid attire, pale, agitated, with wasted frame and 
soul opprest with woe, she seemed some lovely creeper or 
golden lotus smitten by the frost. 

Ghaupdi 
When the queen saw Bharat she sprang up in haste, but 
fell swooning to the ground overtaken with giddiness. At 
this sight Bharat was grievously distrest, and threw himself 
at her feet, forgetting his own condition : ** Mother, let me 
see my father ; where is Sita, and where Rdma and Laksh- 
man, my two brothers ? Why was Kaikeyi born into the 
world ? or if born, why was she not barren instead of bear- 
ing me to disgrace the family, a very sink of infamy, the 
curse of my home ? Who in the three spheres is so 
wretched as I am, on whose account, mother, you have been 
brought to this plight ? My father dead, R6ma banished, 
and I alone the cause of all this calamity ! Woe is me, a 
very fire amongst the reeds, fraught with intolerable tor- 
ment, anguish and offence." 

Dohd 158. 
Hearing Bharat speak so tenderly, his mother again 
took courage and arose and lifted him up and clasped him 
to her bosom, while she wiped the tears from his eyes. 

Chaupdi, 
Simple and kind, she took him to her heart as lovingly 



I 



AYODHYA. 321 

as though R^ma himself had conie back. Then Laksh man's 
young brother was also embraced, while her soul overflowed 
with sorrow and affection. All who witnessed her kindness 
said : " She is Rama's mother, it is natural to her." Seat- 
ing Bharat in her lap she wiped away her tears and said 
soothingly; Now, my child, I adjure you to compose your- 
self ; reflect that the times are evil and cease to lament. 
Think no more of your loss and vexation ; remember that 
the course of time and fate is unalterable. Do not attach 
blame to any one my son : it is God who has set himself 
against me. He has made me live through such distress : 
who knows what may be his pleasure with me now ? 

Doha 159. 
At his father's command Raghubi'r put aside his orna- 
ments and ordinary attire and assumed the bark dress 
without either dismay or exultation. 
Chaupdi. 
With a cheerful countenance and a soul unmoved by 
anger or attachment, he did all in his power to comfort us. 
Sita hearing he was off to the forest, went too ; in her devo- 
tion to Rdma's feet she could not stay. Lakshman also, 
when he heard the news, rose up to accompany him, and 
for all Rama's persuasions would not remain behind. Then 
Raghupati bowed his head to all in turn and set out ac- 
companied by Slta and his younger brother. RAma, Laksh- 
man and Sita went thus into exile. I neither joined them 
nor sent my spirit after them. All this took place before 
my eyes, and yet wretch that I am - life did not leave my 
body. I felt no shame, for all my love, with such a sou, as 
B4ma and myself his mother. The king knew well the 
time to live and the time to die , but my heart is a hundred- 
fold harder than adamant." . 

Doha 160. \V\ 

Hearing Kausaly^'s words, Bharat and all the seraglio 

made woeful lamentation ; the palace seemed the very home 

of affliction. 

R-44 



322 AYODHVA. 

Ghaupdi. 

Bharat, nay, both brothers, wept piteously. Kausalya 
clasped them to her bosom, and comforted Bharat in every 
way with words of excellent wisdom. With appropriate 
maxims from the Purdnas and Vedasall the queens reason- 
ed with Bharat. And he, pure, guileless and sincere, made 
fitting answer thus with clasped hands : " The crime of slay- 
ing father, mother or guru ; of burning cows in their stalls 
or a city of BrAhmans ; the crime of murdering wife or 
child ; of poisoning a friend or a king ; every mortal or 
venial sin, of thought, word and deed, as enumerated by 
the seers ; may all these sins be mine, God, if this, 
mother, was a plot of mine. 

Doha i^L lU 

May God award me the fate of those who forsake the 
feet of Hari and Hara and worship abominable demons, if, 
mother, this was any plot of mine. 

Ghaupdi, 

Those who sell the Veda and trade on piety ; backbiters, 
who talk of others' faults ; the treacherous, the perverse, the 
litigious, the violent ; the revilers of the Veda, the enemies 
of all creation ; the covetous, the lecherous, the fickle, the 
boastful,^ who covet their neighbour's wealth or their 
neighbour's wife ; may I come to a like ill end with them if, 
mother, this plot had my consent. The wretches who have 
no regard for the example of the good, who reject the way 
of salvation, who worship not the incarnation of Hari and 
take no delight in the glory of Hari and Hara, who abandon 
the path of Scripture and follow a contrary road, who by 
knavish disguise impose upon the world ; may Sankara 
allot me a fate like theirs if, mother, I knew of this plot. 

Ghhand 6. 

Hearken, mother ; in all my thoughts, word and deeds I 
am the slave of the All-merciful. The omniscient Rdma 
dwells in my heart and discerns perfectly between true 

1 For the two words iyW, ZawdM, it would seem preferable to read, 
lol%pawara^ if there were any manascript to support it. 



AYODHYA. 323 

affection and feigned." As he thus spoke, his eyes streamed 
with tears, his body quivered, and his toes drew lines upon 
the ground. Again his mother took and clasped him to her 
bosom, knowing him to be indeed a votary of Rdma's 
Doha 162. '>'^; 

Hearing Bharat's true and honest and generous words, 
his mother exclaimed : *' Son, you have ever in thought, 
word and deed been Rama's friend. 

Chaupdi. 

Rama is the very life of your life, and you are dearer 
than life to him. The moon may drop poison, ice distil fire, 
fish avoid water, a sage persist in folly ; but you could 
never become Rama's enemy. If any one in the world says 
this was of your contriving, he shall never even in his 
sleep have any peace or happiness." With these words his 
mother took Bharat to her arms while her breasts dropped 
milk and her eyes filled with tears. As they sat and made 
such long lamentation, the whole night was spent. Saints 
Vamadeva and Vasishtha came and summoned all the 
Ministers and nobles and did everything to console Bharat 
by appropriate discourse on religious topics. 

Doha IQ3. \^^ 

" Son, take heart and perform the duties of the day." 
Bharat arose at the guru's command and ordered every- 
thing to be done. 

Ghaupdi. 

As directed in the Veda, he had the body of the king 
washed and a sumptuous funeral car prepared. Then clasp- 
ing the feet of each of the queens he bid them stay.i They 
stayed in the hope of seeing Rama. Many loads of sandal- 
wood and aloes were brought and immense quantities of 
sweetscented spices. The pile was raised on the bank of the 
Sarju like a fair ladder reaching to heaven. So all the rites 
of cremation were accomplished ; the prescribed bathing, 

1 That is to say, he would not allow them to ascend the funeral pile with 
the body of the king and perish with him as Saitig. 



324 lYODHYA. 

the oblation of sesanuun seeds, tlie ceremony of the ten balls 
of rice,* which Bharat performed after due study of the Ve- 
das, the Puranas and the Code or Ritual. Whatever order 
was given at any time by the great sage was thereupon 
executed accordingly a thousand times over. For his puri- 
fication he gave abundant gifts ; cows, horses, elephants, all 
kinds of carriages, 

Dohd 164. I'^J 
thrones, jewels, robes, grain, lands, money, and houses did 
Bharat take and present to the Brdhmans : their every wish 

was gratified. 

Ghaupdi. 

All the ceremonies that Bharat performed on his father's 
account were more than a million tongues could tell. Then 
came the great sages, after determining an auspicious day, 
and summoned all the nobles and ministers, who went and 
sat down in the royal council chamber, where they sent and 
summoned Bharat and his brother. Vasishtha seated Bahart 
by his side and addressed him in words full of wisdom and 
piety. First the holy man repeated the whole history of 
Kaikeyi's monstrous doing and extolled the king for his 
piety and faithfulness to his promise, who by his death had 
manifested his love. As he spoke of Rima's good qualities 
and amiable disposition the saint's eyes filled with tears 
and his body quivered with emotion. As he went on to 
tell of the affection shown by Lakshman and Sita, the 
ascetic sage was drowned in love and grief. 
Dohd 165 

'* Hearken, Bharat" thus sadly spoke the prince of 
sages'* Fate is overstrong ; loss and gain, life and death, 
honour and dishonour are in God's hands. 

Ghaupdi. 

Having so considered, why blame any one, or why be 
angry with any without cause ? Ponder this in your heart, 

1 One ball is offered on the first day, two on the second, and so on till 
the tenth, when the ceremony is complete. 



I 



ATODHYA. 325 

my son ; king Dasarath is not to be pitied. Pitiable the 
Brahman who is ignorant of the Veda and has abandoned 
his faith and become absorbed in the delights of sense ; 
pitiable the king who knows not the principles of govern- 
ment and to whom his subjects are noi as dear as his own 
life ; pitiable the merchant, miserly and rich, who regards 
not the duties of hospitality nor the service of Mahddev ; 
pitiable the Siidra who insults a Brahman, who is boastful, 
ambitious and proud of his knowledge ; pitiable again the 
wife who deceives her own husband, and who is perverse, 
quarrelsome and self-willed ; pitiable the religious student 
who breaks his vows and obeys not the commands of his 

gurut 

Dohd 166. 
pitiable the householder who, overcome by delusion, for- 
sakes the path of religion ; pitiable the ascetic who is 
enamoured of the world and has lost his judgment and self- 
governance , 

Chaupdi. 

pitiable the anchorite who has given up penance and takes 
delight in pleasure ; pitiable the backbiter ajid the angry 
without a cause, the enemies of their own parents, their 
spiritual guide and their kinsmen; pitiable in every way 
is the malevolent who cherishes self and is utterly merci- 
less ; pitiable in every way is he who does not eschew guile 
and become a follower of Hari ; but the king of Kosala is 
not to be pitied ; his glory is spread abroad through the 
fourteen spheres. Their neither has been, nor is now, nor 
shall be hereafter, a king like your father, Bharat. Brdhma, 
Vishnu, Siva, Indra and all the Regents of the air sing the 

virtues of Dasarath. 

Dohd 167. 
Tell me, my son, in what way can any one magnify him, 
who has such noble sons as Rdma, Lakshman, you and 
Satrughna ? 

Chaupdi. 

The king is altogether fortunate ; it is vain to lament on 



326 AYODHYA. 

his accouQt. Thus hearing and considering, cease from 
grief ; obediently submit to the royal commands. The king 
has given you the throne, and you must needs fulfil your 
father's word. The monarch who for the sale of his word 
abandoned R4ma, though in the anguish of separation from 
Rdma he lost his life, and thus held his word dearer than 
life, is a father, my son, whose word must be obeyed. Bow 
your head to the royal command ; it will be in every way for 
your good. ParasurAra, to obey his father's order, slew his 
own mother, as all the world bears witness ; and Yaj^Ati, 
son gave him up his youth ;i in a father's order there can 
be no sin nor disgrace. 

Dohd 168. 

They who cherish their father's words, without discuss- 
ing right or wrong, they are vessels of honour and glory and 
dwell in the palace of the king of heaven. 
Chaupdi. 

You must certainly make good the king's word ; cherish 
your subjects and cease to grieve. He will receive comfort 
in heaven ; for you it will be a merit and an honour, and no 
fault. It is laid down in the Veda, and approved by all men, 
that he takes the crown to whom the father gives it. Reign 
then, nor further distress yourself, but accept my advice as 
the best for you. RAma and Sita will rejoice when they hear 
of it and no wise man will call it wrong. Kausalyfl and all the 
queens will be happy in the happiness of the people. RCma 
knows your secret thoughts and will take it quite in good 

1 The legend of YayAti is thus given in the Vishnu Purdna, IV., 10 : 
He was the second son of king Nahusha, and succeeded to his father's 
throne. He had two wives, DevayAni, the daughter of Usanas (also called 
Sukrachdrya, the preceptor of the Daityas), and Sarmishtha, the daughter 
of Vrishaparvan, king of the Oanavas. Having been cursed by Usanas, 
whose daughter had complained to him of her husband's infidelity, he became 
old and infirm before his time, but was allDwed to transfer his di-crepitude 
to any one who would consent to take it. Four of liis sons, to whom he suc- 
cessively applied for relief, refused to grant it, and received in consequence 
their father's curse, that none of their posterity should possess dominion. 
But when he made the same request of his fifth and youngest son, Puru, be 
at once consented to give up his youth and receive in exchange his father's 
infirmities. After some years of enjoyment Yaydti himself withdrew to a 
hermitage in the woods and resigned the throne to Puru, whom he appointed 
supreme monarch of the world, making his elder brothers his viceroys under 
him. 



AYODHYA. 327 

part ; on his return you can deliver up the throne and serve 
him with cheerful affection." / 

Dohd 169. ( 1 ^ 
The ministers with clasped hands exclaimed : " You 
must needs obey your guru's command : when Raghupati 
returns, you can then do as shall seem good." 

Chaupdi 
Kausalyd took courage and cried : " My son, you have 
your father's aad your guru's commands, which you must 
respect and affectionately carry out. Cease to lament, know- 
ing it to be the will of Fate that R^ma is in banishment, 
the king in heaven, and you in such perplexity. You, my 
son," continued his mother, " are the sole refuge of your 
family, your people and the ministers of state. Seeing God 
against us and the fates untoward, summon up resolution. 
I, your mother, adjure you, obediently comply with your 
guru's command ; cherish your people, relieve the affliction 
of your family " The guru's speech and the ministers' 
approval had been as grateful to Bharat's hearing as sandal 
perfumes, but when he heard his mother's tender appeal 
fraught with the pathos of sincere affection 

Chhand 7. 
when he heard his mother's pathetic appeal, Bharat was 
overcome ; his lotus eyes rained with tears that bedewed the 
fresh shoots of desolation in his soul. All who then beheld his 
condition entirely forgot about themselves ah, Tulsi! and 
reverently extolled him as the very perfection of true love. 
SorathdQ. y\^^ 

Clasping his lotus hands, Bharat, the champion of 
honour, stoutly made answer to them all in noble words 
that seemed as if dipped in nectar. 
Chaupdi. 
" The guru has given me good advice, which has been 
approved by ministers, people, and all. My mother, too, has 
given me proper commands, and I must needs bow and obey. 
The injunctions of a guru, a father or mother, or master, or 



328 ATODHTA. 

friend, should be cheerfully performed as soon as heard, 
and as all for the best ; to deliberate whether they are right 
or wrong is a failure of duty and involves grievous sin. You 
have now given me honest advice, which it will be good for 
me to follow ; yet, though I understand this clearly, my 
soul is still discontent. Hearken then to my prayer, and 
according to my circumstances so instruct me, forgiving 
my presumption in answering you : when a man is in dis 
tress good people do not reckon up his merits and demerits. 
Doha no. II S 

My father is in heaven, and Sita and R^ma in exile, and 
you tell me to be king ; is it my gain or your own advantage 
that you expect to result from this ? 

Ghaupdi. 

My gain is to serve Sita's lord, and of this I have been 
robbed by my mother's wickedness. After reflecting and 
searching my thoughts 1 find no other way of happiness than 
this. Of what account is a throne with all its cares, if I can- 
not see the feet of Lakshman, Rama and Sita? Without 
clothes a mass of jewels is of no use ; of no use is asceticism 
without divine meditation ; of no use is any enjoyment to a 
diseased body; prayer and penance go for nought without 
faith in Hari ; without life, beauty of body is nought ; and 
all is nought to me without Rdtna. Permit me to join RAma ; 
this is one word is my only happiness. If 'gain in making 
me king it is your own advantage* that you desire, you 
speak under the influence of foolish affection. 
Dohd 171. 

In your infatuation you hope for happiness ivoiu th 
reign of such a wretch as I, Kaikeyi's son, of wicked nature, 
RAma's enemy, and lost to shame. 

Ghaupdi 

I speak the truth; hearken all and believe ; in a king 
is required a righteous disposition. If you persist in giving 
the crown to me, earth will sink into hell. What guilty 
wretch is equal to me, for whom Sita and RAma liave been 



AYODHYA, 329 

exiled ? The king banished Rdma, but died in losing him. 
I, the miserable cause of all this wrongdoing, sit and listen 
to it all unmoved. I see the palace with no Rama there, 
yet live to endure the world's jeers. Holy R^ma eschews 
all pleasures of sense, and I, a greedy king, am hungering 
after enjoyment. In what words can I tell the hardness of 
my heart, which surpasses even adamant ? 
Doha 172. 

That every result is harder than its cause is no fault of 
mine ; the thunderbolt is harder than bone,i and iron more 
stiff and unbending than the rock from which it is quarried. 
Chaupdi. 

If my worthless life can cling to a body born of Kaikeyi 
it will have a surfeit of misery : if, bereaved of my beloved, 
life is still dear to me, I shall have much hereafter to see and 
hear, Kaikeyi has banished Lakshman, R^ma and Sita, and 
for her own advantage has caused the death of the king ; 
she has taken upon herself widowhood and disgrace and has 
caused the people sorrow and affliction, has allotted me 
glory and honour and dominion and has settled everybody's 
business. What good is this now to me ? and yet you too 
cry out to make me a king. I have been born into the 
world from Kaikeyi's womb, and all this is only my due ; 
God has fashioned all my destiny ; but why should my 
people combine to give a helping hand ? 
Dohd 173. 

Stricken as I am by fate, overcome by organic disease,^ 
and then stung by a scorpion, you give me wine to drink ; 
tell me, tell me what kind of treatment is this ? 

1 The thunderbolt is said to be made from the bones of the Rishi Dadhl- 
chi, who devoted himself to death iu order that the gods might be supplied 
with arms against the Kalakeya Asuras, by whom they were oppressed. When 
his bones had been fashioned ioto thuaderbolts by Tvashtri (the Vedic 
Vulcan) Indra hurled them against his enemies and slew their leader, the 
cloud demon Vritra. 

2 According to Hindu physicians all organic disorders of the human 
frame arise from derangements of the blood or one of the three humors of the 
body, kapha, phlegm, vciyu, wind, ov pitta, bile. The vitiated humor which 
is specified in the text is wind, hat. 

R-45 



330 AYODHTl. 

Chaupdi. 

The wise Creator has ordained for me everything that 
befits a son of Kuikeyi. That I am also Dasarath's son and 
Rama's younger brother is an honor which God has bestow- 
ed upon me to no purpose. You all tell me to allow my- 
self to be crowned, for kingly power is desired by all men. 
How and whom shall I answer ? You talk at random as 
the fancy takes you. Apart from myself and my unhappy 
mother, tell me who will say that I have acted rightly ? 
excepting myself, who else is there in the whole animate or 
inanimate creation that does not love Sita and RAma as their 
own life ? That a universal calamity should be my great 
gain, thisis my illfortune and no blame to any one. You 
are moved by anxiety, kindness and affection, and anything 
you say is all for the best. y 

Dohd 17^. \^^ 

Rama's mother is so utterly guileless and bears me 
such great love that she speaks from natural amiability, on 
seeing my remorse. 

Chaupdi. 

The guru, as all the world knows, is an ocean of wisdom, 
and the universe is like a plum in the palm of his hand. He 
too is making ready for my coronation : when God is against 
me, every one is against me. Except RAma and Sita there 
is not any one in the whole world who will not say this was 
a scheme of mine, and I must listen and bear it patiently : 
wherever there is water, thereat last will be mud. I am not 
afraid of the world calling me vile ; I have no thought for 
heaven : the one great intolerable anguish of soul is this, 
that through me Sita and R^ma have been rendered un- 
happy. Well has Lakshman reaped his life's j-eward who 
left all and clave toR^ma ; while my birth has been the 
cause of Rdma's banishment. Wretch that I am, why thus 
lament in vain. 

Dohd 175. 

I declare before you ail my grievous distress ; unless I 
see Rima's feet, the fire in my soul cannot be quenched. 



I 



AYODHYA. 331 

Chaupdi. 

No other remedy can I discover : without Raghubar 
what care I for life ? This wish alone is stamped upon my 
soul ; at daybreak let me follow my lord. Although T am a 
guilty wretch, and all his trouble is on my account, still 
when he sees my suppliant mien he will in his great mercy 
forgive me all. Raghurdo is so meek and utterly guileless of 
disposition, such a home of mercy and tenderness, that he 
would never injure even an enemy : while I, bad as I am, 
am his son and his servant. Be pleased, sirs, then to give 
me your blessing and permit me to depart, knowing it to 
be for my good ; so Rdma will come again to his kingdom, 
after hearing my prayers and considering my devotion. 

Dohd 17Q. : ; ) 

Though born of a wicked mother, and myself evil and 
ever doing wrong, still I am confident of Raghubir that he 
will know me for his own, and not abandon me." 

Chaupdi. 

Bharat's words pleased all, imbued as they were with 
the nectar of piety. The people suffering from the baneful 
poison of separation revived as if at the sound of a healing 
charm. The queen-mothers, the ministers, the guru and 
all the men and women in the city were agitated by the 
vehemence of their affection and kept on telling Bharat's 
praises : ' His body is the very personification of devotion 
to Rdma ; ah, my lord Bharat, how can we say otherwise, 
seeing that Rdma is as precious to you as your life ? If any 
churl in his folly ascribe to you your mother's sin, the 
wretch, with all who are his from generation to generation, 
shall have their abode in hell for hundreds of ages. The 
jewel is not infected with the guilt and villany of the 
serpent (in whose head it is found), but is an antidote to 
poison and subdues pain and poverty. 
Dohd 177. 

By all means let us follow Rdma to the woods ; Bharat 



332 AYODHYA. 

has given good advice ; sinking as we all were in an ocean 
of despair, you have held out help to us.' 

Chaupdi. 

There was as great joy in the hearts of all as when the 
chdtak and peacock hear the sound of thunder. To start 
to-morrow seemed an excellent resolution ; Bharat was to 
every one dear as his own life. After reverencing the sage 
and bowing the head to Bharat, they all took leave and 
went to their several homes, praising as they went his 
affectionate disposition, whose life was a blessing to the 
whole world. Exclaiming to one another, ' what a glorious 
idea I ' they all went to make their preparations. Whoever 
was left with orders to keep watch at home felt it like his 
death-stroke, and one would cry : " No one ought to be told 
to stay : who does not desire life's best reward ? 
Dohd J 78. 

Perish property, house, fortune, friends, parents, kins- 
men and all, that does not help to bring one to R^ma." 

Chaupdi. 

In every house carriages of all kinds were making ready, 
and the start to-morrow was a heart-felt joy. Bharat pon- 
dered on going home : ' The city, with its horses, elephants 
palaces and treasuries, and all its wealth, is Rtoa's. If I 
recklessly go and leave it, in the end it will not be good for 
me ; to injure^ one's own lord is a crowning sin. A good 
servant acts for his master's interests, however much others 
may abuse him." So thinking, he called such faithful 
servants as would never dream of failing in their duty, and 
after declaring to them his intention and instructing them 
in their work, he told them off for the posts for which they 
were severally fit. When he had thus diligently posted the 
guards he proceeded to visit Rdma's mother. 
Dohd 179. 

Understanding the ways of love, he sympathized with a 

1 Dohdi here would seem to be not for dnhai, lamentation,' but for 
droha, ' injury.' 



AYODHYA. 333 

mother's anxiety and ordered to be got ready convenient 

palanquins and seated carriages. 

Chaupdi. 

The men and women of the city like the ehahwa and 

chakwi were anxious at heart for the dawn, when they might 

start. The whole night had been spent in watching, when 

Bharat summoned his wise counsellors and said to them : 

*' Take all materials for the coronation, and there in the 

forest, sirs, invest Rdma with the sovereignty : start at 

once." At his word they bowed and speedily made ready 

horses, carriages and elephants. The king of sages (Vasish- 

tha) first mounted his chariot and led the way with his 

spouse Arundhati and all the materials for sacrifice. A 

host of Brahmans renowned for their asceticism, followed 

in vehicles of different kinds, and next the citizens on their 

own conveyances all set forth for Chitra-kiit. The elegance 

of the palanquins in which the different R^nis were seated 

is beyond description. ^^ 

Doha 180. I ^ 

After making over the city to his faithful servants and 
ceremoniously starting the procession, Bharat himself with 
his brother started too, his thoughts fixed on Rdma and 
Sita. 

Chaupdi. 

All the people were as eager for a sight of Rdma as 
when a herd of elephants makes a rush for a stream Re- 
flecting within themselves that Sita and Rjima were in 
exile, Bharat and his brother went on foot. The people 
were moved by their affection and themselves dismounted 
and left horses, elephants and carriages. But Rdma's 
mother stopped her palanquin by his side and softly said : 
" My son I entreat you to mount your chariot, or all your 
people will be sufferers ; if you walk, they will all walk, and 
they are so wasted with sorrow that they are not fit for the 
journey." Obedient to her commands he bowed his head 
to her feet, and with his brother mounted the chariot. They 



334 



AYODHYA. 



halted the first day at the Tamasd,^ and the second on the 
bank of theGomati.2 

Doha 181. 
Out of devotion to Rdma, some vowed to drink only 
water, some to eat nothing but fruit, others to make otily 
one meal and that at night, and they forswore ail luxuries 
of dress and food. 

Chaupdi. 
After resting at the Sai^ they started at dawn and drew 
near to the city of Sringavera.** When the Nishad heard 
the news he thought sadly to himself : " For what reason 
is Bharat going to the forest? he has some evil design at 
heart. If he had no wrong intention, why should he bring 
an army with him ? He thinks to kill Rdma and his bro- 
ther, and then to reign in ease and security. Bharat has 
not taken to heart the maxims of sound polity ; there was 
disgrace already, and now there will be loss of life. If all 
the gods and demons were to combine to fight, they would 
never conquer Rdma in battle. What wonder that Bharat 
should act thus ; fruits of ambrosia do not grow from a 
poison stock." 

Dohd 182. 
Having thus reflected, Guha cried to his kinsmen : " Be 
on the alert, up and sink the boat and close the ferry. 
Chaupdi. 
Make ready and blockade the pass, equip yourselves 
with every instrument of death. Take up arms ag(iinst 
Bharat, and never let him cross the Ganges alive. To die 
in the battle and on the Gauges bank ; in Rdma's cause to 
lay down this frail body ; and mean as I am to join battle 



1 The Tamasd, ' the dark-coloured ' (more commonly spelt Tons) is a 
branch of the Qhogra (the Sanskrit Gharghara, ' the roaring'), which leaves 
that river about 10 miles a* ove Ayodhya, and after passing the town of 
Azamgarh falls into the Sarjn [Sarayu]. 

2 The Gomati [the name meaning ' rich in cattle '] rises in a lake near 
Pilibhit, and after a course of 482 miles, in which it passes the cities of Lakh- 
nau, Sultdnpur and Jaunpur, falls into the Ganges. 

.3 The Sai is a river in Audh, which rises about midway between the 
Gomati and the Ganges, and after a course of some 2.']0 miles falls into the 
former, 10 miles below the city of Jaunpur. 

4 The site of the ancient Sringavera is marked by a village bearing the 
same name, under the modernized form Sangraur, 22 miles to the north-west 
of Allahabad, The river has changed its course, and only a small branch 
now flows through the old channel. 



AYODHYA. 335 

with a king like Bharat ; all this is a great gain for me, 
even if I meet my death. If I war and fight on my lord's 
behalf, I reap brilliant renown throughout the fourteen 
spheres. If I lose my life for Ragundth, I shall have both 
hands full of luscious sweets. Whoever is not numbered 
among the just, nor counted among Rama's votaries, is all 
the time that he lives only a burden to earth, and an axe at 
he foot of the tree of his mother's youth." 
Doha 183. 

The Nish^d king thus fearlessly excited the ardour of 
his followers, and mindful of Rjima called in haste for 
quiver and bow and coat of mail. 
Ghaupdi. 

" Hasten, brethren, to complete your equipment, and 
after hearing my command let no one hesitate." All cheer- 
fully responded, !' 'Tis well, my lord," and mutually en- 
couraged each other's zeal. Bowing again and again before 
the Nish^d all the gallant warriors, eager for the fray, 
invoking the sandals of Rama's lotus feet, girt themselves 
with quiver, slung on the bow, donned their coats of mail, 
put helmet on head, and furbished up axe and bludgeon and 
spear -some so expert in the use of shield and sword that 
they seemed when they sprung into the air as though they 
had left the earth for good. When each and all had com- 
pleted their full arrangements, they went and bowed before 
king Guha Seeing his gallant warriors so fit and ready, 
he addressed them each by name with courteous phrase. 
Dohd 184. 

" Do not play me false, my brethren ; this is a great 
day's work for me." At this they cried with vehemence, 
" Fear not, captain. 

Ghaupdi 

By RAma's favour and your might, my lord, we will 
leave the enemy without a single fighting-man or horse. 
While life lasts, we will never draw back our foot, and will 
make the earth one heap of corpses and skulls." When the 
Nisluid lord had inspected his gallant band he cried " Beat 



336 AYODHYA. 

the drum for the onset." When he had so said, some one 
sneezed on the left. The soothsayers exclaimed, '* A pros- 
perous issue to the battle !" One old man thought over the 
omen and said " Bharat must be met, but there will be no 
fighting. He is going to make entreaty to Rdma, the omen 
says thus ; there will be no battle" On hearing this, Guha 
said : " The elder has spoken well ; fools act in haste and 
repent. Unless we ascertain Bharat's temper and disposi- 
tion, we may do ourselves harm by fighting without know- 
ledge 

Dohd 185. 
Close up, my men, and stop the pass, and all join to dis- 
cover the mystery. When we know whether he is a friend, 
an enemy, or a neutral, we can then lay our plans accor- 
dingly. 

Chaupdi. 

We shall soon test his devotion and honest intent ; hat- 
red and love are not to be concealed." So saying, he began 
to make ready a present, and sent for bulbs, roots and fruits, 
birds and beasts, with the finest of fish, large pdthinSf^ 
which were brought by the fishermen in basketsful. When 
everything was arranged they went out to meet him, and 
had the most auspicious omens of good fortune. As soon 
as he saw the great sage afar off, he declared his nanie and 
prostrated himself before him. Vasishtha, knowing him 
to be a friend of Rama's, gave him his blessing, and told 
Bharat about him. He, on hearing that he was Rama's 
friend, left his chariot and advanced on foot to meet him 
with exuberant affection. Guha declared his home and 
race and name, and making obeisance laid his forehead to 
the ground. 

Dohd 186. 

But Bharat, seeing him about to prostrate himself, took 
him to his bosom with as much uncontrollable rapture as 
though it were Lakshman he had met. 

Chdupdi. 

Bharat received him with the very greatest affection, 

1 The pkthin is a kinct of she-li^h, the Silurut Pelorim or Bualis. 



AYODHYA. 337 

and the people extolled the manner of his love. There was 
a jubilant cry of ' Glory, Glory', as the gods applauded and 
rained down flowers upon him. " Though this man is in 
every way vile, both by custom of the world and by scrip- 
tural prescription, so that contact with his shadow requires 
ablution, yet Rama's brother has embraced him in his arms 
and thrilled all over with delight at meeting him. One who 
cries * Riima, R'ima,' even in a yawn, a multitude of sins 
will not rise up against him. Hero is one whom Rdma had 
clasped to his bosom and thereby purified him and all his 
family. If water of the Karmnrisa falls into the Ganges, tell 
me who will refuse to reverence it ? again, it is known 
throughout the world that Valmiki was made equal to 
Brahma simply for repeating RAma's name backwards. 
Doha 187. 

Even a Chandal,! a Savara, a Khasiya, a stupid foreigner, 
an outcast, a Kol, or a Kirat, by repeating the name of Rdma 
becomes most holy and renowned throughout the world. 
Ghaupdi. 

It is no wonder, it has been so for ages ; who is there 
whom Raghubir cannot exalt ? " As the gods told the great- 
ness of Rdma's name, the people of Avadh listened and 
were glad. Bharat affectionately greeted Rama's friend and 
asked him of his health and welfare. At the sight of Bha- 
rat's affectionate disposition, the Nishad was at once utterly 
overpowered ; so great was his confusion, his love and his 
delight, that he could only stand and stare at Bharat. Col- 
lecting, himself, he again embraced his feet and with clasp- 
ed hands made this loving speech : " When I beheld his 
blessed lotus feet I accounted myself blessed for ever. Now, 
my lord, by your high favour my prosperity is secured for 
thousands of generations. 

1 The word translated ' Chandal ' is in the original Swa-pach literally ' a 
dog-cooker,' i.e., either one who feeds on dog's flesh, or who cooks food for 
dogs ' a dog-keeper.' A Savara is a wild mountaineer. The Khasiya is a native 
of Khasa, a hill tract in Northern India. The word for ' foreigner ' is Jaman, 
i.e., Yavan, which originally denoted specially a Greek, an Ionian, and 
then came to mean any foreign barbarian. Accustomed as our ears are to 
the division of mankind into Greeks, and Barbarians, it is a little strange to 
find the Greek selected as the typical barbarian. 

R-46 



338 AYODHYA. 

Dohd IHS. 
Reflecting on my past deeds and ray descent and again 
considering the greatness of the Lord, any man in the world 
who adores not the feet of Raghubir must be under super- 
natural delusion. 

Chaupdi. 

False, cowardly, low-minded and low-born as I am, an 
utter outcast by the laws both of God and society ; since 
the time that R^ma took me for his own, I have become the 
glory of the world." After witnessing his devotion and 
hearing his graceful humility Lakshman's younger brother 
next embraced him. Then the Nishild introduced himself 
by name and respectfully saluted the royal dames, who 
received him even as they would Lakshman and gave him 
their blessing : " May you live happily for millions of 
years." The citizens too were as glad to see him as if he 
had been Lakshman and cried : " Here is one who has 
lived to some purpose ; whom Rama's our brother has taken 
to his arms and embraced." When the Nishad heard 
them thus magnify his good fortune, he was glad at heart 
as he showed them the way. 

Doha 189. 

At a signal all his attendants, having learnt their mas- 
ter's will, went on and made ready tents under the trees 
and rest-houses by the ponds, gardens and groves. 

Chaupdi. 

When Bharat beheld the city of Sri nga vera, he was 
overcome by emotion and was unnerved in very limb. As 
he leant upon the Nishiid, it was as goodly a sight as though 
embodied Humility and Love had met together. In this 
manner Bharat with all his army went to see the earth- 
purifying stream of the Ganges. As he made his obeisance 
to the ford where Rdma had crossed, he was as entranced 
as though he had met Rama himself. The citizens bowing 
low gazed upon the divine stream with rapture, and after 
bathing prayed with clasped hands ; " May our love to 
R^mchandra's feet never grow less." Bharat exclaimed : 



AYODHYA. 339 

" Thy sands, Gangd, are the bestowers of all happiness, 
the very cow of plenty to thy votaries : with folded hands I 
beg this boon, unalterable devotion to Sita and Rama." 
Doha 190. 

When Bharat had thus bathed and knew that all his 
mothers had bathed too, he received the guriCs permission 
and took them to their tents. 

Chaupdi. 

Wherever the people had pitched their tents, Bharat 
took every care of them all. A.fter paying homage to the 
guru and obtaining his permission, the two brothers went 
to Rama's mother. Then Bharat, after kissing their feet, 
with many tender phrases did reverence to all the queens, 
and having left them to the dutiful care of his brother, 
went away with the NishAd. Hand-in-hand they went, his 
body fainting with excess of love, as he begged his compa- 
nion to show him the sp^t that the fierce longing of his 
eyes and soul might be a little assuaged where Sita, Rdma 
and Lakshman had spent the night. As he spoke, his eyes 
overflowed with tears, and the Nishad in great distress at 
his speech led him at once to the place, 

Doha 191. 
where Raghubar had rested under the sacred sin.sipa tree. 
With great reverence and devotion Bharat postrated himself. 

Ghauydi. 

When he spied the delectable grassy couch, he again 
made obeisance and reverently paced round it. He put 
upon his eyes the dust of the foot-prints, with an enthu- 
siasm of devotion beyond all telling. And seeing two or 
three golden spangles, he placed them upon his head as 
relics of Sita. With streaming eyes and aching heart he 
thus in gentle tones addressed his companion : " They are 
dim and lustreless through Sita's absence, and all the 
people of Avadh are equally woe-begone. To whom can I 
compare her father, Janak, who was conversant at once 
with all life's pleasures and all philosophy ? Her father- in- 



340 AYODHYA. 

law, the sun-like monarch of the solar race, was the envy 

of even the lord of heaven. Her husband is the beloved 

Raghundth, by whose greatness alone it is that any one is 

great. 

Doha 192. Vt^ 

I gaze on the couch of Sita, that devoted wife, that jewel 
of good women, and my heart brealis not with agitation ; 
surely it is harder than a thunderbolt. 

Ghaupdi. 

Lakshman so young and comely and made to be fondled ; 
never was there such a brother, nor is there, nor will be : so 
beloved by the people, the darling of his father and mother, 
and dear as their own life to R^ma and Sita ; the picture of 
delicacy, the daintiest of striplings, whose body has never 
been exposed to the hot wind, how can he bear the hard- 
ships of the forest ? ray heart would shame for hardness 
a million thunderbolts ! Rdma at his birth was the light of 
the world, an ocean of beauty, of virtue, and all good quali- 
ties. Rama's amiability was the delight of his subjects, 
his household, his guru^ his father and mother, and all. 
Even enemies would praise R^ma : his courtesy of speech 
and manner stole every heart. Not a million Sarasvatis, 
not a hundred million Seshn^gs, could reckon up all my 
lord's virtues. 

Dohd 193. O^cf 

The image of bliss, the jewel of the family of Raghu, the 
storehouse of all auspicious delights, slept on the ground on 
this littered grass : how wonderful are the ways of Provi- 
dence ! 

Ghaupdi. 

Rimahad never heard mention of pain, the king cherish- 
ed him like the tree of life, and day and night all his mothers 
guarded him as the eyelids guard the eyes, and as a serpent 
guards the jewel in its head. And now he is roaming on foot 
through the woods, with nothing to eat but wild roots and 
fruits. A. curse on thee, Kaikeyi, root of all evil, thou hast 



AYODHYA. 341 

undone my best beloved : cursed be my wretched self, that 
ocean of iniquity, on whose account all these calamities 
have come to pass. God created me to disgrace my family, 
and my wicked mother has made me the ruin of my lord." 
Hearing these words the Nishad affectionately implored 
him ; " Why, my lord, make these vain laments ? Rdma is 
dear to you, and you are dear to Rdma ; even she is blame- 
less : the blame rests with adverse fate. 
Ghhand 8. 

The ways of adverse fate are cruel ; it has made your 
mother mad. That ^very night R4ma again and again broke 
out into respectful praise of you. There is no one so dearly 
beloved by R^raa as you. I declare this on oath : be assured 
that all will be well in the end, and ta'e comfort to your soul. 
Sorathd 1- yijV 

Rdma is omniscient, full of meekness, tenderness and 
compassion ; of this make firm assurance in your heart ; and 

come, take rest." 

Chaupdl. 
Hearing his companion's speech he took comfort and 
with his thoughts directed to Raghubir went to his tent. 
When the citizens were informed, heavy with woe they too 
came to see. Having reverently paced around, they made 
obeisance and cursed Kaikeyi to their hearts' content. Their 
eyes streamed with tears as they reproached the cruelty of 
fate. One would praise Bharat for his devotion, another 
would say the king had sown the greatest love ; they re- 
proached themselves and praised the Nishad : who can des- 
cribe their agitation and distress ? In this manner they all 
kept watch throughout the night and at daybreak began 
the passage. First the guru was put on a fine handsome 
boat, and then all the queens on another boat newly built. 
In an hour and a half all had crossed over ; as they came 
to land Bharat took count of them all. 

Doha 194. V^ 
After performing his morning rites and reverencing his 



342 AYODHYA. 

mother's feet and bowing the head to the guru, he sent the 
Nishdds on ahead and started the host. 

Chaupdi. 
He made the Nishdd king lead the van and started all 
the queens in their palanquins. He charged his younger 
brother with their escort, and made the guru go with the 
Brdhmans. He himself bowed reverently to the Ganges, and 
invoking Rama, Sita and Lakshman, set forth on foot, while 
his horse was led by the bridle. Again and again his 
faithful servants cried: " Be pleased, my lord, to mount 
your horse." " RAma," he answered, " has gone on foot, and 
are chariots, elephants and horses made for me ? It would 
be right for me to walk on my head ; a servant's work should 
always be the hardest." When they saw his behaviour and 
heard his tender speech, all his servants melted away for 

pity. 

Dohd 195. 

At the third watch of the day Bharat entered Praydg, 
crying ' Rdma, Sfta ; Rdma, Sita ! ' with irrepressible 
affection. 

Chaupdi. 

The blisters on his feet glistened like drops of dew on a 
lotus bud. The whole company were distressed, when they 
heard that Bharat had made the day's march on foot. After 
ascertaining that all the people had bathed, he went and 
did homage to the threefold stream. All who had dipped in 
the parti-coloured flood gave alms and did honour to the 
Brdhmans. As Bharat gazed on the commingling of the 
dark and white waves, his body throbbed with emotion and 
he clasped his hands in prayer : " queen of the holy 
places, bounteous of every blessing, whose power is declared 
in the Vedas and renowned throughout the world, I aban- 
don my proper calling and make myself a beggar : is there 
anything so vile that a man in distress will not do it ? As I 
know you to be all-wise and beneficent, accomplish the 
'>. prayer of thy suppliant. 



AYODHYA. 343 

Doha 196. 

I crave not wealth nor religious merit, nor voluptuous 
delights, nor deliverance from transmigration ; but only 
that in every new birth I may persevere in love to R^ma ; 
this is the boon I beg, and nought else. 

Ghmipdi. 

Rdma knows my wickedness ; the people call me the 
ruin of my lord and master ; through your favour may my 
devotion to the feet of Sita and Rama increase more and 
more every day. Though the cloud neglects her all her 
life, and while she begs for rain, casts down upon her 
thunder and hail, yet were the chatalc to cease her impor- 
tunity, she would be despised ; she perseveres in her 
affection, and is much honoured. Again, as the quality of 
gold is refined by the fire, so may my vow to the feet of my 
beloved endure through all tribulation." In answer to 
Bharat's speech there came a soft and auspicious voice from 
the midst of the Tribeni : " Son Bharat, you are altogether 
upright ; your love to Rdma's feet is unfathomable ; you 
distress yourself without cause ; there is no one so dear to 

R^ma as you are." 

Dohd 197. ^b 

As he heard the river's gracious speech, Bharat's body 

quivered with heartfelt gladness; the heaven resounded 

with shouts of applause, and the gods rained down flowers. 

Chaupdi, 

The inhabitants of Pray^g, aged anchorites and boy 
students, householders and celibates, were all enraptured 
and said to one another as they met in groups : " Bharat's 
affection and amiability are thoroughly genuine." Still 
hearing of Rama's many charming qualities, Bharat ap- 
proached the great saint Bharadv^j. When the saint saw 
him prostrate himself upon the ground, he looked upon 
him as his own good angel incarnate, and ran and raised 
him up and took him to his arms and gave him the blessing 
he desired, and made him sit down. He bowed his head 



344 AYODHYA. 

and sat, shrinking into the inmost recesses of shame- 
facedness ; greatly distrest lest the saint should ask any 
question. Seeing his confusion the saint said : " Hearken, 
Bharat ; I have heard everything ; God's doings are beyond 
our power. 

Doha 198. ^^7 

Be not distrest at heart by the thought of what your 
mother has done. Son, it is no fault of Kaikeyi's ; it was 
Sarasvati who stole away her senses. 

Ghaupdi 

If you say thus, ' No one will excuse me ; * I reply, 
Scripture and the practice of the world are both accepted 
as authorities by the wise ; and your glory, my son, 
will be sung unsullied, while the Veda and custom will 
both be honoured, for every one admits that this is accord- 
ingiboth to custom and the Veda that he takes the throne 
to whom his father gives it. The truthful king summoned 
you to confer upon you the honour of sovereignty and its 
higher duties. Rdma's banishment is a monstrous wrong, 
which the whole world is grieved to hear of : but the queen 
was demented by the power of Fate, and in the end she has 
repented of the evil she has done. You are not the least 
in fault ; whoever says you are is a vile and ignorant 
wretch. Had you reigned, it would have been no sin, and 
Rtoa would have been pleased to hear of it. 

Doha 199. 

But now, Bharat, you have done still better ; your pre- 
sent purpose is excellent ; devotion to the feet of Raghubar 
is the root of every blessing in the world. 
^ Ghaupdi. 

This is your wealth and the very breath of your life ; is 
there any one with good fortune equal to yours ? Nor, my son, 
is it strange that you should act thus ; you are a son of Das- 
arath's and Rama's own brother. Hearken, Bharat ; in Ra- 
ghupati's heart there is no one upon whom so much love is 
lavished as upon you. Lakshman, RAma and Slta are all most 



AYODHYA. 345 

fond of you ; they spent the whole night in your praises. 
I learnt their secret when they came here to Pray^g to bathe ; 
they were overwhelmed with love for you. Raguhbar has 
as great affection for you as a fool has for a life of pleasure. 
And this is no great credit to Raghurdi, who cherishes all 
his suppliants and their kin ; while you, Bharat, as it seems 
to me, are the very incarnation of love to him. 

Dohd 200. 
That which seems a reproach i to you, Bharat, is a lesson 
to all of us ; it is an event which inaugurates a new flood of 
passionate devotion. 

Chaupdi. 

Your glory, my son, is a newly created and spotless 
moon ; its lotuses and partridges are Rdma's servants ; it is 
ever rising and never sets, nor wanes in the world its heaven, 
but increases day by day ; the three spheres, like the ehak- 
was are exceedingly enamoured of it, and the sun of Rdma's 
majesty never robs it of splendour, but by day as well as 
night it is ever bountiful to all, and Kai key's evil deeds 
cannot eclipse it. Full of the nectar of devotion to Rama, 
and unsullied by any stain for wrong done to the guru,'^ you 
are saturated with the nectar of faith, and have brought 
this nectar within the reach of the whokt world. |Cing 

1 Your disobedience to thevvishesof your mother and the commands 
of your guru in refusing to accept the throne. 

2 There is a popular legend that Vrihaspati, the guru of the gods, on 
one occasion when he returned from his bath in the Ganges, found his 
wife in the embraces of the Moon-god. He was not able to seize the 
adulterer, but threw his dripping bathing robe at him and hit him in the 
face, thus causing the spots that are still to be seen there. Throughout this 
stanza Bharat's glory is compared to a newly-created moon, which is in 
every respect superior to the ordinary moon which we see in the heavens. 
The one sets and wanes, the other is always on the increase ; the one mainly 
delights only lotuses and partridges, the other is the joy of Rama's faithful 
servants; the one shines only by night, the other by day as well ; the one 
yields nectar, it is true, but none can get at it ; the other is impregnated 
with the nectar of faith, which is brought within the reach of all , the one is 
branded with the marks of Vrihaspati's indignation, the other is spotless ; 
though Bharat too offended his /7M?'% by refusing to reign at his command, 
the one is stamped only with the figure of a hare [the man in the moon of 
European nurseries], the other is inscribed with love to Rama. 

R-47 



346 AYODHYA. 

Bhagiratha brought down the Ganges,! whose invocation is 

a mine of all prosperity; but Dasarath's virtues are past all 

telling ; why say more ? He has no equal in the world. 

Dohd 201. 

Through his devotion and humility RAma was made 

manifest, whom the eyes of Siva's heart are never wearied 

of beholding. 

Chaupdi. 

You have created an incomparable moon of glory, in 

which for the figure of the hare is stamped love to Rima. 

Cease, ray son, from lamentation ; you have found the 

philosopher's stone and yet fear poverty ! Hearken, Bharat ; 

I tell no falsehood ; a hermit and ascetic dwelling in the 

forest, I obtained a glorious reward for all my good deeds 

when I beheld R^ma, Sita and Lakshman ; the fruit of that 

fruit is the sight of you : Praydg and I are both highly 

favoured. Bharat, I congratulate you ; you have achieved 

universal renown." So saying the saint was overwhelmed 

with emotion. As they hearkened to his words, the whole 

assembly rejoiced ; the gods applauded his goodness and 

rained down flowers. Shouts of ' Glory, Glory,' resounded 

in heaven and in Prayflg ; Bharat was lost in rapture at the 

sound. 

Dohd 202. V' 

With quivering body, with his heart full of Rdma and 
Sita, and his lotus eyes flowing with tears, he bowed to the 
saintly assembly and thus spoke in faltering accents : 

Ghaupdi. 

** In a conclave of saints and in this so holy a place, 
truth must needs be spoken ; any oath is superfluous and 
vain if in such a spot I were to say anything false, no 
sin or vileness would equal mine. You are all-wise, and 

I BhHgiratba, the son of king Dilipa, after a thousand years spent in 
austerities, brought down the Ganges from heaven to earth, and with its 
vivifying flood watered and restored to life the ashes of the sixty thousand 
8f)ns of his great-grandfather, Sagara, who had been destroyed by the Hishi 
Kapila. This was a great achievement, but Dasarath's was a greater, by 
whom Kama was begotten into the world. 



AYODHYA. 347 

therefore I speak honestly ; R^ma, too, knows the secrets 
of the heart. I am not grieved for what my mother has 
done, nor pained at heart lest the world deem me caitiff. 
I have no dread of the loss of heaven, no sorrow for my 
father's death, whose good deeds and renown are glorious 
all the world over, who had such sons as Lakshman and 
R^ma, and who, as soon as he lost Rdma dropt his fragile 
body ; why make long mourning for the king ? But R^ma, 
Lakshman and Sita, without shoes to their feet, in heimit's 
dress, are wandering from wood to wood ; 

Doha 203. 
clad in deer-skins, feeding on wild fruits, sleeping on the 
ground on a litter of grass and leaves, under trees, ever ex- 
posed to the inclemency of cold and heat and rain and wind. 

Ghawpdi. 
This is the burning pain that is ever consuming my 
breast, so that I cannot eat by day nor sleep by night. For 
this sore disease there is no remedy ; I have searched in 
mind the whole world over. My mother's evil counsel, the 
root of all calamity, like a carpenter fashioned an axe out of 
my advantage, made a handle of the ill-wood of Resentment, 
and fixed the term of banishment as it were a horrible spell. 
To me she applied this infamous contrivance and has hurled 
me down in wide-spreading ruin. These disasters will cease 
when Rdma returns to live in Avadh ; there is no other 
remedy." When the saints heard Bharat's speech, they were 
glad and all gave him high praise : *' Son, grieve not so sore- 
ly : at the sight of Rama's feet all sorrow will pass away." 

Doha 204. 
The great saints comforted him and said : " Be our wel- 
come guest : accept such herbs and roots and fruits as we 
can offer, and be content. " 

Chawpdi. 
On hearing the saints' words Bharat was troubled at 
heart : the time was not one for feasting, and yet he was 



348 At6DHYA. 

very loth to decline. At last, reflecting that a guru's com- 
mand is imperative, he kissed his feet and replied with 
clasped hands : ** I must needs bow to your behest, for this, 
my lord, is my highest duty." The great saint was pleased at 
Bharat's words and called up all his trusty servants : " An 
entertainment must be provided for Bharat : go and gather 
herbs, roots and fruits " They bowed the head and said 
'Certainly, my lord,' and gladly set about each his own work. 
But the saint thought to himself : " I have invited a distin- 
guished guest, who should be treated like a god." At his 
command Anim^ and the other good Fairies came : " What 
are your orders, master, and we obey." 

Dohd 205. 

** Bharat and his brother and all their host are distrest 
by the loss of Rdma ; show them hospitality and ease them 
of their toil ;" thus cheerily spoke the great saint. 

Chaupdi. 

The Fairies bowed to his commands and thought them- 
selves most highly favoured, saying one to another : Rama's 
brother is indeed a guest beyond compare." Then kissing 
the saint's feet, " To-day we will do such things that the 
whole of the king's party shall be pleased." So saying, a 
number of such charming pavilions were erected, that the 
equipages of the gods were put out of countenance at the 
sigh of them. They were furnished with so much luxury 
and magnificence that the immortals beheld them longingly. 
Men-servants and maid-servants with every appliance were 
in attendance and gave their whole mind to their work. 
In an instant of time the Fairies completed all the arrange- 
ments though no dream of heaven was ever so beautiful. 
First the people were assigned their quarters, all bright 
and pleasant and in accordance with their taste. 
Dohd 206. 

Then, as the saint had ordered, Bharat and his family 
had theirs assigned them, which astonished even the Creator 



AYODHYA. 349 

by their magnificence ; so great the power of the holy 

ascetic's penance. 

Ohaupdi. 

When Bharat beheld the saint's power, the realms of all 
the rulers of the spheres seem to him as trifles. The luxu- 
ries that had been prepared cannot be described ; any 
philosopher would forget his self-restraint on seeing them. 
Thrones, couches, drapery and canopies ; groves and 
gardens ; birds and beasts ; sweet-scented flowers, fruits 
like nectar, and many a lake of limpid water; with luscious 
food and drinks of innumerable kinds, so that the people 
were quite put out of countenance by what they saw, as 
though they had been ascetics. Each one had as it were 
his own cow of plenty and tree of paradise. Indra and 
Sachi grew covetous at the sight. The season, spring ; the 
air soft, cool, and fragrant ; all the great objects of life 
ready at hand : garlands, perfumes, dancing-girls and 
delights of every kind to charm and astonish the spectator. 
Doha 207. 
Affluence, like the chakwi,^ and Bharat as her mate, by 
compulsion of the saint's order were prisoned together that 
night, as by a fowler, in the cage of the hermitage, till 
dawn broke. 

Chaupdi. 
Then he bathed at the holy place and with his host 
botved the head to the sage. Having submissively received 
his commands and blessing, he prostrated himself and 
made much supplication. Then taking guides well 
acquainted with the road, he set out resolutely for Chitra- 
kiU ; supported on the arm of Rdma's friend, he seemed, as 

1 According to Hindu belief the chakioa and his female mate, the chakwi, 
re doomed for ever to nocturnal separation. Even though they may be 
caught and imprisoned together in one cage they cannot enjoy each other's 
society till the break of day. In the same way Bharat, though detained for 
the night by the saint's order at the hermitage in the midst of luxury, could 
not enjoy it by reason of his vow. Valmiki represents him as less abste- 
mious, and, in describing the banquet, maltes mention of wine and flesh 
meat of various kinds venison, wild boar, peafowl and partriilges - all of 
which Tulsi D4s has omitted in concession to modern prejudices. 



350 AYODHYA. 

he went, the very incarnation of Love. With no shoes and 
no shelter for his head, in the fulfilment of his loving vow 
and his unfeigned intagrity, he asked his companion for a 
history of the wanderings of Rdma, Sita and Lakshman. In 
soothing accents he told it. When he saw the tree where 
R^ma had rested, his heart could not contain its emotion. 
At the sight of his condition, the gods rained down flowers, 
and the path that he trod grew smooth and pleasant. 
Dohd 208. 
'* The clouds afford him shade and the air breathes soft 
and refreshingly : Rama's road was not thus, as it is now 

for Bharat. 

Chaupdi. 

All created things, whether living or lifeless, that saw 
the Lord, or were seen by him, were rendered fit for salva- 
tion, and the sight of Bharat has now healed them of the 
curse of transmigration ! This is no great thing for Bharat, 
whom Rdma is mindful to remember. A single mention 
of the name of Rima on earth makes a man safe and a 
saviour of others But Bharat is Rama's beloved and own 
brother ; why should he not bring a blessing on the road he 
treads ? As saints, sages and hermits thus reasoned and 
gazed upon Bharat, they rejoiced at heart. Indra was 
troubled by the sight of his power : " In the world things 
turn out well for the good and badly for the bad." Then 
turning to his guru (Vrihaspati), "Something must be done, 
sir, to prevent the meeting between R^ma and Bharat. 
Dohd 209. 

Rdma is so modest and sympathetic, and Bharat such 
an ocean of affection ; our scheme threatens to be spoilt ; we 
must bestir ourselves and devise some new stratagem." 
Chaupdi. 

Hearing the speech, the teacher of the gods smiled, to find 
the thousand-eyed so blind, and said : *' Leave tricks alone; 
it will be all trouble in vain ; any deception here would be 
absurd. king of heaven, any delusion practised on a servant 



AYODHYA. 351 

of the lord of delusion must recoil on the contriver. I inter- 
fered once, knowing it was Rama's wish, but any under- 
hand work now would only do harm. Listen, king : it 
is Rama's nature never to be angry at any sin against him- 
self, but whoever sins against one of his servants is con- 
sumed in the fire of his wrath. Popular tradition and the 
Vedas abound in such legends ; Durvdsas^ knows well 
this great trait in his character. And is there any one so 
faithful to Rd.ma as Bharat, who is ever repeating Rdma's 
name and R^ma his ? 

Dohd 210. T-^ ^ 

Think not, lord of the immortals, to injure any servant 
of Raghubar's, unless you would suffer the pain of disgrace 
in this world, sorrow in the next, and a daily increasing 
burden of regret. 

Ghauydi. 

Hearken to my advice, king of the gods : Rama has the 
greatest love for his servants ; he is pleased at any service 
done to a servant, while enmity to a servant is the height of 
enmity to himself. Although he is ever the same, without 
either passion or anger, and contracts neither sin nor merit, 
virtue nor defect; and though he has made fate the sove- 
reign of the universe, and every one has to taste the fruit 
of his own actions, still he plays at variations according 
as hearts are faithful or unfaithful. Though without attri- 
butes or form, illimitable and impossible, Rama has yielded 
to the love of his followers and taken a material form. He 
has always regarded the wishes of his servants, as the Vedas 
and Pur^nas and gods and saints bear witness. Knowing 
this, refrain from naughtiness and show fitting devotion. 
Dohd 2il. 

Any worshipper of R^ma is zealous for the good of 
others, sorrows with the sorrowful, and is full of compassion ; 

1 King Ambarisha was a devout worshipper of Vishnu [with whom Rama 
is here identified] and thereby excited the jealousy of the irascible sage 
Durvasas, the most intolerant of all the adherents of Siva. On some trivial 
pretext he cursed the king, who at, once fell s^-nseless to the ground, but 
Vishnu was ready at hand to succour his faithful follower and sent his fiery 
(iiscus upon Uurvas:is, which chased him all over the world and up into hea- 
ven, where the gods said nothing could be done for him till he went back 
and humbly begged pardon of Ambarisha. 



352 AYPDHYA. 

then fear not Bharat, king, who is the crown of worship- 
pers. 

Ghaupdi. 

The lord is an ocean of truth and a well-wisher of the 
gods, and Bharat obeys his orders. You are troubled by 
your own selfishness ; there is no fault in Bharat : it is a 
delusion on your part.' " When the great god heard the 
words of the heavenly preceptor he got understanding and 
his anxiety passed away. In his joy he rained down flowers 
and began to extol Bharat's good qualities. In this manner 
Bharat went on his way, while saints and sages looked and 
praised. Whenever he sighed Rdma's name, it seemed like 
the bubbling over of love. Thunderbolts and stones melted 
at his words ; as for the people, their emotion is beyond 
description. Encamping half-way, he came to the Jamuna, 
and as he gazed on its water his eyes filled with tears. 
Dohd 212. 

A.S he and his retinue gazed on the lovely stream, the 
colour of Raima's body, he was plunged into a sea of desola- 
tion, till he climbed the boat of discretion. 
Chaupdi. 

That day he halted on the bank of the JamunA, giving 
every one time for what they had to do. In the night boats 
came from all the gh^ts in greater number than could be 
counted. At daybreak all crossed in a single trip. The 
good service of Rdma's companion pleased him greatly. 
After bathing and bowing to the river, he again set forth 
with the Nishdd king and Satrughna. First of all in his 
glorious car went the great saint, followed by all the royal 
host ; after them the two brothers on foot; their dress, 
apparel and ornaments all of the very simplest. With 
them tlieir servants and friend and the Minister's son, 
invoking Lakshman, Sita and Rfima. Any spot wherever 
R^nia had encamped or rested they lovingly saluted. 



1 In the Sanskrit poem there is nothing that corresponds to this colic 
quy between Indra and Vrihaspati. It is introduced by Tulsi DAs a peg ot 
which to hang a theological exposition. 



AYQDHYA. 353 

Doha 213. 

At the news, the dwellers by the roadside left their 
household work and ran after them ; seeing his form, they 
were overcome with love and joy and had their life's reward. 

Chaupdi. 

Lovingly one said to another : " Friend, are they Rama 

and Lakshman, or not ? In age, figure, complexion and 

beauty they are the same, dear girl, and resemble them in 

an equally affectionate disposition. But their dress is not 

the same, friend, nor is Sita with them, and before them 

marches a vast host of horse and foot, elephants and 

chariots. Nor are they glad of countenance, but have some 

sorrow at heart ; from this difference, friend, a doubt arises." 

The women were persuaded by her arguments and cried : 

" There is no one so clever as you." After praising her and 

admiring the truth of her remarks, another woman spoke 

in winning tones, and lovingly related the whole history, 

how R^ma had lost the delights of empire; and again set 

to praising Bharat for his affectionate disposition and happy 

nature. 

Doha 214. 

*' He travels on foot, feeding only on wild fruits, and 

abandoning the crown given him by his father, is going to 

Rdma to persuade him to return ; is there any one at the 

present day like Bharat ? 

Chaupdi. 

To tell and hear of Bharat's brotherly devotion and his 
course of action dispels all sin and sorrow. Anything that 
lean say, friend, is all too little; he is Rama's brother; 
how could he be different from what he is ? All of us 
who have seen him and Satrughna have truly become 
blessed among women." Hearing his virtues and seeing 
his forlorn state they lamented : " He is not a fit son 
for such a mother as Kaikeyi." One said : " It is no 
blame to the queen that God has been so kind to us. What 
are we, outcasts from the world and the Veda, women 
of low birth and mean livelihood, whose home is a wretched 

R-48 



354 AYODHTA. 

hovel in some poor village of this miserable country, that 

we should have such a vision, a sufficient reward for the 

highest religious merit ? " There was the same delight 

and wonder in every town, as though the tree of paradise 

had sprung up in the desert. 

Dohd 215. 

At the sight of Bharat, the good fortune of the people 

by the wayside manifested itself in like manner, as though 

by the will of providence Pray^g had been made accessible 

to the people of LankA. 

Chaupdi. 

Hearing these praises of his own and Rama's many vir- 
tues, he went on his way, ever mindful of Raghunith. 
Whenever he spied any holy place, or hermitage, or temple, 
he bathed and reverently saluted it, praying in his heart 
of hearts for this one boon, perseverance in devotion to the 
feet of Sita and Rima. If there met him a Kirit, or Kol, 
or other dweller in the woods, anchorite or student, hermit 
or ascetic, whoever he might be, he saluted him and asked 
in what part of the forest were Lakshman, RAma and the 
Videhan princess. They told him all the news of the lord, 
and at the sight of Bharat reaped their life's reward. If 
any person said * We have seen them well,' they were 
counted as dear as R^ma and Lakshman themselves. In 
this manner asking courteously of every one, he heard the 
whole story of RAma's forest life. 
Dohd 216. 

Halting that day, Bharat started again at dawn, invoking 
Raghun^th : all who were with him being equally desirous 
with himself for a sight of R^ma. 
Chaupdi. 

Every one had auspicious omens ; lucky throbbings in 
the eyes and arm ; Bharat and the host rejoiced, " R^ma will 
be found and our sore distress will be at an end." Each in- 
dulged his own fancy, and as they marched all seemed intoxi- 
cated with the wiue of love, their limbs relaxed, their feet 



AYODHYA. 355 

unsteady on the ground, and the accents of their voice in- 
articulate from excess of emotion. Then was the time that 
Rama's guide pointed out the monarch of mountains in 
all its beauty, near which on the river's bank the two he- 
roes and Sita were dwelling. All at the sight fell to the 
ground with cries of ' Glory to Rama, the life of J^naki ! ' 
The royal host was as overwhelmed with emotion as though 
Rdma had come back to Avadh. 

Doha 217. 
Bharat's love at that time was such that not Seshndg 
could describe it : it is as far beyond the poet as the bliss of 
heaven is beyond a man stained by selfishness and sensuality. 

Chaupdi. 

Being all unmanned by their love for Raghubar, they 
had gone but two kos by the close of day, then scanning land 
and water they halted. When the night was past, the be- 
loved of Raghuu^th sallied forth again. On the other hand 
R^ma while it was yet dark, awoke, and Sita told him what 
she had seen in a dream : " Methought Bharat had come 
with an army, being tortured in body by the fever of separ- 
ation from his lord ; all were sad, wretched and downcast, 
and the queens consort were greatly altered." On hearing 
Sita's dream, the healer of sorrows grew sorrowful and his 
eyes filled with tears : " This dream, Lakshman, bodes no 
good : we shall hear of something that we by no means 
wished." So saying, he and his brother bathed, worshipped 
Purdiri and propitiated the saints. 

Chhand 9. 'V^j 

After propitiating the gods and reverencing the saints, 
the lord went and sat down with his gaze to the north. The 
dust in the air and the many birds and deer taking to flight 
disquieted him and he returned to the hermitage. He stood 
up and looked, anxious in mind as to the cause. Then came 
Kir^ts and Kols and told him all the news. 
Sorathd 7. 

When he heard the glad tidings his heart was full of joy 
and his body quivered all over : white his eyes, like the 
autumnal lotus, were filled with the moisture of affection, 



356 AYODHYA. 

Chaupdi. 

Again Sita's lord became anxious : * What can be the 
cause of Bharat's coming ? ' Then came one and said : * There 
is with him no small army in full equipment.' Hearing this, 
R^ma was greatly disturbed ; on the one hand was his 
father's injunction, on the other his regard for his brother. 
Thinking to himself over Bharat's disposition, the lord's 
mind found no sure standing-point ; but at last he calmed 
himself with the reflection : ' Bharat is said to be good and 
sensible.' Lakshman saw that his lord was troubled at heart, 
and spoke out as he thought the occasion demanded : '* I 
speak, sire, before I am asked ; but sometimes impertinence 
in a servant is not impertinent. You, master, are the crown 
of the wise ; I a mere retainer, but I say what I think. 
Dohd 218. T.'X.^, 

You, my lord, are kind and easy, a storehouse of ami- 
ability ; you love and trust every one, and think them all 
like yourself. 

Chaupdi. 

A worldly man, who has got power, becomes mad and 
infatuated and so betrays himself. Bharat was well-taught, 
good and clever, and, as every one knew, was devoted to his 
lord's feet ; but now that he has become king, he breaks 
down in his course all the bounds of duty. A wicked and 
ill-disposed brother having spied out his time, and knowing 
that R^ma is alone in the forest, he has taken evil counsel 
and equipt an army, and has come to make his sovereignty 
secure. After plotting all sorts of wicked schemes, the two 
brothers have assembled their army and come. If he had 
no treacherous malpractice at heart, why should he affect 
chariots and horses and elephants ? But why reproach 
Bharat ? all the world goes mad on getting dominion. 
Dohd 219. 

The Moon-god debauched his guru's wife : Nahusha 

mounted a palanquin borne by Br^hmans ; and who fell so 
low as Vena, the enemy of established usage and the Veda ? 



I 



AYODHYA. 357 

Chaupdi. 
Sahasra-bdhu, Indra, Trisanku ; all were brought to 
disgrace by the intoxication of kingly power. ^ Bharat has 
planned this clever scheme, so as not to leave himself a 
single enemy in the field ; but in one point he has made a 
mistake, in despising Rdma as if he had no friends ; he 
will discover this to-day with a vengeance, when he sees 
Rdma's indignant face in the battle." So saying, he forgot 
all prudence, and his whole body, so to speak, bristled with 
pugnacity. Falling at his lord's feet and putting the dust 
of them upon his head, he cried in tones of natural and 
honest vehemence : "My lord, think it not wrong of me ; 
Bharat has tried me not a little; how long shall I endure 
to remain quiet, my lord being with me and my bow in my 
hand? 

1 The pride of kings and its ruinous results are here Illustrated by re- 
ference to six famous mythological personages. The first is the great Moon- 
god, who in the wantonness of power robbed his own spiritual instructor, 
Vrihaspati, of his bride Tara, and had by her a son named Budha, the regent 
of the planet Mercury. Of this legend mention has already been made in a 
note after dohd 201. For punishment, he bears for ever in his face the 
marks of the brand set upon him by the injured husband. 

Nahusha was the grandson of Hurii-ravas, the founder of the lunar 
race of kinss, who reigned at Pratishthana on the Ganges opposite Frayag. 
When Indra had temporarily abdicated his throne in heaven Nahusha was 
selected to fill it. But not satisfied with this dignity, he demanded also 
Indra's queen. She agreed to receive him, if he came to her in a palki borne 
by Brahmans. At his request the seven great Rishis agreed to do him this 
service. But he was so inflamed with arrogance and lust that they could 
not walk fast enough for him, and at last, disgusted with his violence and 
abuse, they threw down the p^lki and cursed him and he was turned into 
a serpent. 

Vena, the son of Anga, as soon as he had been proclaimed monarch of 
the whole worlfl, forbade any gifts to be given to Brahmans or sacrifice 
offered to the gods, for that he was sole lord of all and none else was entitled 
to worship. The holy sages implored him to desist trom such impiety, but 
he would not listen to them. They then struck him with the light blades 
of grass that had been consecrated by their prayers, and he immediately fell 
dead. 

Kartavibya was a mighty conqueror, who, among other boons granted 
him by the sage Dattatreya, obtained also this one, that he should have a 
thousand arms ; whence he is here called Sahasra-bahu. One day, when out 
hunting in the woods, he was hospitably entertained by Jamadagni in his her- 
mitage. But instead of making any proper return for this kindness, he car- 
ried off his host's sacrificial cow. Jamadagni's son, Parasuram, was away 
at the time, but when he returned and heani of what had been done, he 
followed after kartavirya and cut off his thousand arms and slew him. The 
king's sons, to avenge their father's death, attacked Jamadagni in his her- 
mitage ; and in consequence of this, Parasurdm made his famous vow to 
extirpate the whole Kshatriya race. 

Indra, the king of heaven, became enamoured of Ahalya, the wife of 



358 



AYODHYA. 



Dohd 220. 

Am I not of warrior descent, a scion of the house of 
Raghu, and known throughout the world as RAma's brother? 
What is so low as the dust ? Yet if stirred by a kick it 
rises and falls upon your head." i 

Ghaupdi, 

As he stood with clasped hands and sought permission, 
he seemed like Heroism itself aroused from slumber, bind- 
ing up his hair in a knot, girding on his quiver by his side, 
trimming his bow, and taking arrows in hand. "To-day 
I shall distinguish myself as Rama's servant and will give 
Bharat a lesson in fighting. Reaping the fruit of their 
contempt for R^ma, both brothers shall sleep on the couch 
of battle. It is well that the whole host has come ; to-day 
I shall manifest my wrath and have done with it. As a 
lion tears in pieces a herd of elephants, or as a hawk 
clutches and carries off a quail, so will I lightly overthrow 
upon the field Bharat and his brother and all their host. 
If Siva himself should come to their aid, in Rama's name I 
would worst him in battle." 

Dohd 22 i. 

Lakshman spoke so furiously that the regents of the 

the sage Gautama, an^l visited her disguised as her husband. The sage saw 
him as he left her room and cursed him with perpetual loss of vlrilitj. 
Ahalyi was changed into a stone till Rima should come and deliver her, 
see Book I. pp. 21, 145. 

Teisanku was a king of Ayodhvi, who in his pride aspired to celebrato 
a great sacrifice and by its merit ascend to heaven in person. He first re- 
quested Vasishtha to conduct the ceremony ; but the saint saw through his 
motives anl refused him. He then applied to Vasishtha's sons, but they, 
thinking that he only wished to bring about a (juarrel between them and 
their father, cursed him, so that he became a ChandiU. While in this low 
estate he killed Vasishtha's cow ; and for these three sins, pride, mischief- 
making, and cow-killing, three great horns grew out of his forehead. Ho 
then put himself under the protection of Visvamitra, who engaged to perform 
the sacrifice and invited all the gods to it They, however, declined to come; 
whereupon Visvamitra created new gods, completed the sacrifice, nnd trans- 
lated Trisanku to the skies. But no sooner had he arrived there than the 
gods hurled him down again : and falling headlong he was suspended 
midway, where he is still to be seen, as the constellation in the southern 
hemisphere called Trisanku. T.he saliva that dropped from his mouth forms 
the river Karmnas^, which flows between Banaras and Hihhr and which it is 
considered a pollution to touch. 

1 The general meaning of the passage would seem to be : Bharat has 
given such provocation that the meanest creature in the world would resent 
it ; much more should I, who am a warrior by birth. 



AYODHYA. 359 

spheres, beholding and hearing his solemn oath, looked on 
in terror and longed to flee away. 
Chaupdi. 
The world was entranced ; a voice was heard in the air, 
declaring the mighty power of Lakshman's arm : " Son, who 
can tell, or who can understand your might and majesty? but 
any business, whether right or wrong, should be done deli- 
berately ; so every one agrees. They who act rashly and af- 
terwards repent, the Vedas say are anything but wise." On 
hearing this voice from heaven Lakshman was abashed, and 
both Rdma and Sita addressed him courteously : " What 
you have said, brother, is sound wisdom : the intoxication of 
power is the worst of all ; the merest taste of it maddens any 
king who has not been trained in the school of philosophy. 
But hearken, Lakshman ; in the whole of God's creation I 
have never seen nor heard of any one so good as Bharat. 
Doha 222. 
He would never be intoxicated with power, even though 
he sat upon the throne of Brahman, Vishnu and Siva. 
What ! can a few drops of kdnji curdle the milky ocean ? 
Chaupdi. 
The sun may grow dim at midday ; yea, sooner may the 
pure ether be absorbed in cloud ; sooner may Agastya^ be 
drowned in the puddle of a cow's footprint, or earth forget to 
be long-suffering ; sooner may the buzz of a mosquito puff 
away Mount Meru, than kingly pride, my brother, touch 
Bharat. Lakshman, I swear by you and by our father, 
there is none so true a brother as Bharat. The Creator has 
fashioned the world by mixing the milk of goodness with the 
water of evil ; Bharat is the swan in the lake of the Solar 
race, who from the day of his birth has known to distin- 
guish between the good and the evil ; choosing the milk of 
goodness and discarding the water of evil, he has illumined 
the whole world with his glory." As Raghurai thus recited 
Bharat's virtues and amiable disposition, he became 
drowned in a sea of love. 

1 Who swallowed up the ocean. 



360 AYODHYl. 

Dohd 223. 
The gods, hearing his speech and seeing his affection 
for Bharat, all applauded Rdma, saying : *' Who so com- 
passionate as the Lord ? 

Ghaupdi. 

If Bharat had not been born into the world, who was 
there on earth to be the champion of all right ? Bharat's 
good qualities are more than all the poets could describe ; 
who save you, Raghunath, could comprehend them ? " 
When Lakshman, Rdma and Sita heard these words of the 
gods they were more glad than can be told. Now Bharat 
and all his host bathed in the sacred Manddkini. Then 
leaving the people on the bank and having asked permis- 
sion from his mother, his guru and the Minister, he set out 
to visit Ska and Raghurai with the Nish^d king and his 
brother. As he thought upon his mother's deeds he was 
abashed, and formed a thousand ill-conjectuies in his mind : 
" What if R.^ma, Lakshman and Sita, on hearing my name, 
should leave the place and go elsewhere ? 
Doha 22^. -L^H 

Taking me to be my mother's accomplice, nothing that 
he might do would be too much. If, again, he overlooks my 
sin and folly, and receives me kindly as his well-wisher ; 

Ghaupdi. 
whether he spurns me as a black-hearted wretch, or wel- 
comes me as his servant, my only refuge is at llAma's feet ; 
he is the best of masters, the fault is all his servants. The 
chdtak and the fish are celebrated throughout the world for 
the thoroughness and constancy of their vows of love." With 
these thoughts in his mind he went on his way, his whole 
body rendered powerless by excessive love and trepidation ; 
his mother's sin, as it were, turning him back, while his 
strong faith, like some sturdy bull, dragged him forward. 
Whenever he thought of Rdma's good nature, his feet moved 
swiftly along the way ; his course was like that of a water- 
fly carried about by the stream. Seeing Bharat's anxiety 
and affection, the Nish^d was transported out of himself. 



AtODHYA. 361 

Doha 225. 

Auspicious omens began to occur, and the Nishnd after 

hearing them and making a calculation said : " Sorrow will 

pass away, joy will succeed ; but in the end there will be 

distress again." 

Chaupdi. 

Knowing his servant's words to be all true, he went on 
and drew near to the hermitage. When Bharat saw the vast 
woods and rocks, he was as glad as a hungry wretch on 
getting a good meal. Like people afflicted by every calami- 
ty, i worn out with troubles,^ ill-fortune and pestilence, 
who rejoice on escaping to a prosperous and well-governed 
country, so were Bharat's feelings. The forest where R^ma 
dwelt was as bright and happy as people are happy who 
have got a good king ; with Asceticism for King Wisdom's 
Minister of State ; with the beautiful and sacred groves for 
his realm ; with Continence and Faithfulness for champions, 
and the rocks for his capital ; with Peace and Goodwill for 
his virtuous and lovely queens ; a king perfect at all points ; 
a suppliant at Rama's feet, and therefore easy in mind, 

J^ohd 226. 
Royal Wisdom, having conquered King Delusion with all 
his host, held undisputed sway in his capital : all was joy, 
happiness, and prosperity. 

Chaupdi. 

The frequent hermits' cells about the woods were his 
cities, towns, villages and hamlets ; the many birds and 
beasts of all descriptions were his innumerable subjects. 
The hares, elephants, lions, tigers, boars, buffaloes and 
wolves, a wonder to behold, forgetting their .antipathies, 
grazed together, like a duly marshalled army complete in 
all its parts. The roar of the mountain torrents and the 
cries of mad elephants were like the din of kettle drums ; 

1 Public calamities, or visitations of God, rti, are reckoned as seven in 
number, viz., droughts, floods, locusts, rats, parrots, tyranny, and invasion. 

2 Trouble {tap) is of three kinds, specified in Book Vll. doha 21 as 
daihika, daicika, and bhautika, physical, casual and spiritual. 

R-49 



362 AYODHYA. 

the chakwas, chakora^ chataks, parrots and cuckoos made a 
delightful concert ; swans were in their glory ; the bees 
buzzed and the peacocks danced like the festive erdourage 
of some Raja, while the creepers, trees and grasses, with 
the flowers and fruits, formed his brilliant court. 

Doha 227. 

Beholding the beauty of Rdma's hill, Bharat's heart was 
overpowered with love, like as an ascetic is overjoyed when 
he completes his vow and reaps the fruit of his penance. 

Chawpdi, 

Then the pilot mounted a height and reaching out his 
hand cried to Bharat : " See, my lord, those huge trees 
pa/car, jdman, mango and tamdld,i in the midst of which is 
conspicuous a bar tree, so beautilul and grand that the soul 
is charmed at the sight, with dense dark shoots and red 
fruit, affording a pleasant shade in all seasons of the year, a 
mass of black and purple, as if God had brought together 
all that was lovely to make it. Under this tree, near tiie 
river, sir, where Rama has roofed in his sylvan hut, are 
many graceful shrubs of Tulsi, planted, some by Sita'^kiB^d 
and some by Lakshman, and in the shade of the bar tree 
Sita with her own lotus hands has reared a charming altar. 

Dohd 228. 

There the well-instructed Sfta and Rama are ever wont 
to sit in the midst of the hermits, listening while sacred 
legends are read and all the Vedas, Sh^stras and PurAnas,";. 

Ghaupdi. 

As he listened to his friend's speech and gazed upon tl 
tree, Bharat's eyes overflowed with tears. The two brothel 
advanced reverently ; Sirad>i would fail to do justice to thai 
love. When they saw the prints of Rama's feet they rejoi< 
ed like some beggar on finding the philosopher's stone, an( 
applied the dust to their head, heart and eyes, with as mucl 

1 The PflAr is the Ficus venosa ; the^rt//m, the Eugenia jambolaui 
the /ttwtaZrt, the Xanthochymus pictorius ; the bar, or banyan, the Fit 
Bengalensis. 



AYODHYA. 363 

delight as if they had found Rdma himself. Seeing Bharat's 
utterly indescribable condition, birds, beasts and all created 
things, whether animate, or inanimate, were absorbed in 
devotion. The guide in his excitement lost the way, but the 
gods showed it to him and rained down flowers. Saints and 
sages gazed in rapture and burst out into praises of his 
sincere affection : ' Who in all the world is like Bharat, who ( 
makes fools wise and the wise fools ? ' 
DoU 229. 

Raghu-bir, the ocean of compassion, after churning the 
depths of Bharat's soul with the Mount Meru of bereave- 
ment, brought out from it the nectar of love. 

Chawpdi. 

The two fair brothers and their guide were not visible 
to Lakshman, by reason of the dense shade of the forest; 
but Bharat could see his lord's sacred hermitage, the charm- 
ing home of everything delightful. As he entered it his 
burning grief was assuaged, as when an ascetic is rewarded 
with salvation. He saw before him Lakshman affectionately 
conversing with his lord, his hair fastened in a knot, a 
hermit's robe girt about his loins, his quiver slung, arrows 
in his hand, and his bow on his shoulder. By the altar an 
assembly of saints and sages, among whom Sita and R^ma 
were conspicuous in hermit's attire, with matted hair and 
body darkened by exposure ; like Rati and Kamadeva in 
saint's disguise. He, who with one smiling glance can 
dispel every angnish of soul, had bow and arrows ready in 

his lobl^ hands.i 

Bohd 230. 
In the midst of the circle of saints, Sita and Rama 
shone forth as fair as Faith and the Supreme Spirit incar- 
nate in the council chamber of wisdom. 
Ghawpdi. 
He, his brother and their guide were so absorbed that 

1 The idea would seem to be that Rdma, though the benefactor of the 
whole world, was obliged in the forest to go armed, to protect himself agair^st 
attack. 



r\ 



364 AYODHYA. 

joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain were all forgotten. Cry- 
ing ' Mercy, mercy, lord and master ! ' he fell flat on the 
ground, like a log. Lakshman recognized his loving cry 
and made obeisance, knowing that it must be Bharat. On 
the one hand he was moved by brotherly affection, but on 
the other was the stronger claim of obedience to his lord. 
Unable to embrace him and yet loth to refrain ; what poet 
could describe Lakshman's state of mind ? Though obedi- 
ence was the weightier, and therefore he stayed, he was 
like a child pulling against a kite high in the air. Bowing 
his head to the ground, he said affectionately : " It is Bharat, 
Raghun^th, who greets you." On hearing this, Rdma 
started up in loving agitation, his robe flying in one direc- 
tion and his quiver and bow and arrows in another. 

Dohd 231. 

Whether he would or no, the All-compassionate took 
and raised him up and clasped him to his bosom. Those 
who witnessed the meeting of Bharat and Rama lost all 
self-consciousness. 

Ghaupdi. 

How can such an affectionate meeting be described ? 
Their thoughts, words and actions were beyond any poet. 
Both brothers were filled with the utmost love ; self, reason, 
knowledge and understanding were all forgotten. Tell me 
who can pourtray such perfect love ? by what shadow can 
the poet's mind attain to it ? If the poet has a model, he 
can work out his meaning by the force of words, and players 
dance when they have an accompaniment ; but the love of 
Rima and Bharat is unapproachable, beyond the conception! 
even of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva; how then can I describe 
it ? If an instrument is only strung with grass,^ can it mak< 
sweet music? When the gods saw the meeting of Bharatj 
and Raghubar they were alarmed and trembled all over ; but] 

1 I know no other instance of the use of the word gddari in the sense 
"grass," which is the meaning that the best Hindn commentators give 
here. It ordinarily means ' a sheep.' 



AYODHYA. 365 

when Vrihaspati had spoken to them, they awoke from 
their folly and rained down flowers and applauded. 
Doha 232. 
After affectionately embracing Satrughna, Rdma greet- 
ed the pilot ; and then Lakshman too as a brotlier conrte- 

ously greeted Bharat. 

Chaupdi. 

When he had fondly embraced his younger brother, 
Lakshman next took the Nishdd to his bosom. Then the two 
brothers, Bharat and Satrughna, after reverencing all the 
saints and joyfully receiving from them the desired blessing 
in a rapture of love, placed on their head the dust of Sita's 
lotus feet. As they again and again prostrated themselves 
she raised them up, and with a touch of her lotus hands mo- 
tioned them to be seated ; in her heart invoking a blessing 
upon them, and so absorbed in affection as to lose all self- 
consciousness. When he saw Sita5o thoroughly propitious, 
he became free from anxiety and all fear passed away. No 
one made any remark nor asked any question ; the soul was 
so full of love that it ceased to act. Then the pilot took cour- 
age and bowing with clasped hands made humble petition : 

Doha 233. 

" Distressed by your absence, my lord, there have come 
with the great sage your mothers and all the people of the 
city, your servants, captains and ministers." 

Chaupdi. 

When the Ocean of amiability heard the guru had come, 
he left Satrughna with Sita and went off in haste that 
very minute ; he Rdma, the steadfast, the righteous, the all- 
merciful. On seeing the guru, he and his brother were 
delighted and fell oq their faces to the ground. The holy 
man ran and raised them up and embraced them, and 
greeted both brothers with the utmost affection. The pilot, 
quivering with emotion, gave his name and prostrated 
himself afar off ; but the Rishi must needs greet him as a 
friend of Rdma's, as though love had been spilt upon the 



366 AYODHYA. 

ground and he stopped to pick it up. Faith in Rdma is 
the root of all goods ; in heaven the gods applauding rained 
down flowers : '* There is no one so utterly vile as he, nor 
any one in the world equal to the great Vasishtha : 

Doha 234. 
yet the king of saints on seeing him was overjoyed and 
embraced him before Lakshman ; so glorious in their 
manifestation are the effects of faith in Sita's lord." 

Chaiipdi. 

Finding all the people sad, R'ima, the all-merciful and 
all-wise God, gave every one his wish in the way he most 
desired : in an instant he and his brothei embraced them all 
and at once removed the sore anguish of their pain. This 
was no such great thing for Rima to do ; similarly the sun 
is reflected at once in a thousand water-jars. All the 
citizens with rapturous affection embraced the pilot and 
praised his good fortune. Seeing his mothers as woe- 
begone as the sf)rays of some delicate creeper smitten by 
the frost, Rdma first of all saluted Keikeyi, softening her 
will by his gentleness and piety. Falling at her feet he 
soothed her with many words, attributing all the blame to 
Fate, Destiny and Providence. 

Dohd 235. . 

Raghubar embraced all his mothers and consoled them, 

saying : * Mother, the world is subject to God ; there is no 

one to blame.' 

CJiaupdi. 

The two brothers l<issed the feet of their gurus wife; as 
also of the BrAhman ladies who had accompanied her, pay- 
ing the same honour to them as to Ganga and Gauri ; and 
they with gentle voice gladly gave them their blessing. 
When he embraced SumitrA, after clasping her feet, he was 
like a beggar who has picked up a fortune. Then both 
brothers fell at the feet of queen Kausalyd and their whole 
body was convulsed with love ; the mother took them 
tenderly to her bosom and bathed them with tears of 
affection. Hovsr can any poet describe the mingled joy and 



AtODHYA. 367 

grief of such a time, any more than a dumb man can 
express the sweetness that he tastes? After embracing 
their mother, Rdma and his brother requested the guru to 
accompany them, and at his command the citizens crossed 
over, admiring the scenery as they went. 
Doha 236. 

Taking with them the Brahmans, the Minister, the 
quens, the guru^ and some others chosen out of the people, 
Bharat, Lakshman and Raghun^th proceeded to the holy 
hermitage. 

Chaupdi. 

Sita came and embraced the saint's feet and received 
the precious blessing that her soul desired. The affectionate 
manner in which she greeted the guru's wife and the Brah- 
man ladies is beyond description. Again and again she 
kissed all their feet and received their benediction rejoic- 
ing her heart. When the queen-mothers looked at Sita, 
they closed their eyes and shuddered to see her so delicate, 
like some cygnet fallen into the clutch of a fowler ; what a 
cruel thing God has done ! As they gazed at her, they 
became distrest beyond measure, that she should have to 
bear all that Fate had put upon her. Then Janak's daughter 
summoning up courage, while her dark lotus eyes were 
suffused with tears, went and embraced all her mothers-in- 
law ; and that moment Earth reeked with piteousness. 
Doha 237. 

Again and again kissing all their feet, Sita most tender- 
ly embraced them : and from their heart came the loving 
benediction * May you long live a happy wife ! ' 

Chaupdi. 

Sita and the queens being thus agitated by emotion, the 
learned guru bade them all be seated. First he expound- 
ed to them the instability of the world and spoke a little 
of the joys of heaven, and then announced the king's death. 
At the news Raghunjith was grievously distrest ; thinking 
he had died out of love for him, the firmest of the firm was 



368 AYODHYl. 

sore shaken. On hearing the sad tidings, which fell upon 
them like a thunderbolt, Lakshman, 8ita and all the queens 
broke out into lamentations, and the whole assembly was 
as much agitated as if the king had died only that very day. 
Then the great sage exhorted lUma and directed him and all 
the people to bathe in the sacred stream. All that day the 
lord fasted even from water; and though the saint allowed 
them, no one else would drink either. 
Dohd 238. 

At daybreak, according to the order given him by the 
saint, the lord Raghunandan reverently and devoutly per- 
formed his father's funeral obsequies. 

Ghaupdi 

Having celebrated every rite as prescribed in the Veda, 
he became pure, even he, the Sun to annihilate the night 
of sin, whose name, is a fire that consumes the cotton of 
wickedness, and which if merely invoked is the source of 
all prosperity. He became pure, in liKe manner as, theo- 
logians say, a bather in the Ganges who invokes other tiraths 
is purified. After his purification, when two days had 
passed, Rama said affectionately to the guru : " My lord, all 
the people are much inconvenienced by having nothing to 
take but water and the wild produce of the woods. When 
I look at Bharat and his brothers, the Minister and ail the 
queens, a minute seems to me like an age. Return, I pray, 
with all of them to the city : for you are here, the king is 
in heaven, and there is no one left at Ayodhya. I have said 
too much and have presumed greatly : but do, sir, as you 

think best." 

Doha 239. 
"0 Rdma, bulwark of righteousness, home of compas- 
sion, it is but natural for you to speak thus : the people are 
wearied, let them rest for two days and enjoy your presence." 



1 In till* Ganges are concentrated the virtues of all holy places : any one 
who bathes in it is purified, and it is therefore a work of 8U[)ereri)gation for 
him to invoke any other power. He cannot make himself downer than he 
had become already ; nor could Uama, the all-pure, become purer by any 
net of ceremonial purification. 



AYODHYA. 369 

Ghauydi. 

On hearing Rdma's words, the assembly was in dismay, 
like a ship tossed on the ocean ; but when they heard the 
saint's auspicious speech, it was as if the wind had turned 
in their favour. At the three set titnes they bathed in the 
sacred stream, the mere sight of which destroys any mul- 
titude of sins ; and ever feasting their eyes ')n the incarna- 
tion of blessedness, and again and again prostrating them- 
selves before him, they looked and rejoiced. Then they went 
to see Rdma'shill and wood where all was good and nought 
evil : the torrents flowing with streams of nectar ; the air 
so soft, cool and fragrant that it soothed every pain of mind 
or body ; the trees, creepers and grasses of infinite variety ; 
the many kinds of fruits, flowers and sprays ; the magnificent 
rocks and the pleasant shade under the trees, all made the 
forest beautiful beyond description. 
Dohd 240 

The ponds were gay with lotuses, the haunt of cooing 
waterfowl and buzzing bees, while forgetful of mutual anti- 
pathies, beasts roamed in the forest and birds of varied 

plumage. 

Ghauydi . 

The Kols, Kirats and Bhfls, the inhabitants of the 
woods, brought delicious honey sweet as nectar, and piled up 
leafy bowls with herbs, roots, fruits and flowers daintily 
arranged. With humble salutations they offered them to 
all telling the taste, character, quality and name of each. 
The people offered a liberal price, but they would not 
accept it, and begged them for Rama's sake to take it back, 
saying in gentle tones in the depth of their affection : 
" The good accept what they know to be of love. You are 
holy, and we low Nishdds; by Rama's favour we have been 
admitted into your presence,an honour as difficult of attain- 
ment for us as for the desert of M^ru to be watered by the 
Ganges. Rama is merciful and the Nish>ds' patron ; as is 
the king, so should be his family and subjects. 

R-50 



3?0 AYODHYA. 

Doha 241. 

Consider this in your mind, and without more demur recog- 
nize our affection and make friends with us ; accept these 
fruits and herbs and flowers and so render us happy. 
Chaupdi. 

You have come to the forest as our welcome guests, 
though we are all unworthy to do you service. And what is 
it, sirs, that we offer you ? Fuel and fodder are a Kir^t's 
tokens of friendship, and our greatest service is not to steal 
and run off with your clothes and dishes. We are a rude 
people, often taking life, of vile nature and vile pursuits, 
low-minded and low-born, who day and night commit sin, 
without either clothes for the body or food to satisfy the 
belly ; how could we possibly have ever dreamt of the know- 
ledge of virtue, but for the effectual apparition of Rama? 
Since we beheld our lord's lotus feet, our sore distress and 
sin have both been removed."' On hearing this speech, 
the citizens were much affected and broke out into praises 
of their good fortune. 

Ghhand 10. 

All began to praise their good fortune and addressed 
them in loving terms, being delighted to find in their speech 
and attitude such devotion to the feet of Sita and Rjima. 
Every one, man or woman, thought little of his own devo- 
tion, on hearing the language of the Kols and Bhils ; 
through the mercy of the jewel of Raghu's line (saysTulsi) 
a boat floats, even though laden with iron. 

Sorathi 9. ^ t^%^ 

Day after day all the people felt as great delight, as they 

roamed through every part of the forest, as the frogs andi 

peacocks when invigorated by a shower at the beginning oi 

the rains. 

Chaupdi. 

The citizens of Ayodhy/C were so absorbed in excess ofi 

love that a day was gone in a minute. Sita, assuming asi 

many forms as she had mothers-in-law, waited reverently] 



AYODHYA. 371 

upon tliern all witli equal attention. - No one but Rima 
noticed the miracle ; for Sita is the very power of delusion, 
and he Delusion's lord. Sita won over all the queens by 
her services, and they being pleased gave her both instruc- 
tioa and benediction. Looking at Si'ta and the two noble 
brothers, the wicked queen repented bitterly : and Kaikeyi 
now prays in her heart : " Is there no escape for me ? Does 1 
God refuse me even death ? as it is declared in the Vedas 
and by popular tradition, and as the poets also have sung, 
that if Rdma be against you, not even in hell can you find 
a restingplace." Now this was the question in ev^ery one's 
mind : " Good God, will Rama return to Avadh or not ? " 

Doha 24:2. ' 

Bharat was so anxious and sorely perplext that he could 
neither sleep by night nor eat by day, like as a fish sunk in 
the last of the mud is in trouble about water.^ 

Chaupdi. 
" It was Fate in my mother's f()rm that did me this 
injury, as when a ricefield ripening for the harvest is smit- 
ten by hail. In what manner can Rama's coronation be 
secured r There is nothing now left for me to do. He 
would certainly return in obedience to an order of the guru; 
but then the saint will only order what he knows Rflma to 
wish. At his mother's bidding, too, he would return, but 
Kausalyd, would never insist upon anything. Of what ac- 
count am I, who am only his vassal, and am fallen upon evil 
times, and have God against me. If 1 resist him, it would be 
a grievous sin ; for the duty of a servant to his master out- 
weighs KaiWs." Without being able to settle a single plan 
in his mind, Bharat spent the whole night in thought. At 
daybreak he bathed, bowed his head to his lord, and was 
sitting down when he was sent for by the Rishi. 

1 The fish thinks to himself, ' There is novv only a little mud lefr, in 
which I can just manage to live ; if that too dries up, what on earth am I 
to do for water ? ' In like manner Bharat was thinking ' The two days are 
now nearly over ; when they are gone and 1 am left without Rama, how shall 
I be able to survive ? 



372 AYODHYA. 

Doha 243. 

After saluting the guru's lotus feet and receiving his per- 
mission, he took his seat : while all ihe Brdhmans, nobles 
and ministers of state came and assembled in council. 

Chaupdi. 

The great sage addressed them in words appropriate to 
the occasion : '* Hearken, ye counsellor, and you, wise 
Bharat. The champion of righteousness, the sun of the 
Solar race, king Rima, the autocratic, the lord God, the 
ocean of truth, the protector, the bulwark of scripture, has 
taken birth for the benefit of the whole world. Obedient 
to the word of his guru and his father and mother ; destroy- 
ing the armies of the wicked and befriending the gods ; in 
policy and devotion, in all things that pertain to this life or 
ihe next, there is no one equal to RAma in the knowledge 
of what is right. Brdhma, Vishnu and Siva ; the sun, the 
moon, the guardians of the spheres , Delusion, life, Fate, and 
this Iron age ; the sovereigns of hell, the sovereigns of earth 
and all the powers tliat be ; magic and sorcery and every 
spell in the Vedas and the Tantras ponder it in your heart 
and consider well all are obedient to Rdma's commands. 

Dohd 244. 

If we observe RAma's pleasure and commands, it will 
be well for us all ; now, wise sirs, think it over, and all re- 
solve to do whatever may be decided. 

Chaupdi. 

Rtima's coronation will be agreeable to all, as a sure 
source of happiness and tlie one way to felicity. How is he 
to be brought back to Avadh ? Think before you speak, 
and upon that plan we will act.*' All listened respectfully 
to Vasishtha's speech, full as it was of justice, religion andj 
worldly wisdom ; but no answer was forthcoming: every one! 
was dumbfounded, till with bowed head and clasped handaj 
Bharat spoke : '* In the Solar race there have been manyj 
kings, each one greater than the other ; all owed their birti 
to their parents, but their good or ill fortune was the gift 



AYODHYA. 373 

of God. And, as all the world knows, it was through your 
blessing that they triumphed over sorrow and attained 
complete prosperity ; whatever the course of fate that you, 
sir, marked out for them, none could alter it ; it was fixed 
immoveably. 

Doha 245. 
And yet now you ask advice of me : such is my ill 
fate." When the guru heard this affectionate speech, love 
sprung up in his heart. 

Ghawpdi. 

" My son, this is a true saying, it is all Rd,ma's mercy ; 
without R^ma no one can ever dream of happiness. There 
is one way, my son, thougli I am ashamed to propose it ; 
but a wise man will sacrifice the half when he sees the 
whole going ; do you two brothers go into exile, then 
Lakshman, Sita and RAma will come back." On hearing 
this favourable speech, the two brothers rejoiced and their 
whole body thrilled with excitement ; they were as pleased 
at heart and as radiant all over as if king Dasarath had 
been restored to life and Rdma were already enthroried. 
The people gained much and sacrificed little ; but the 
queens all wept, for their pain was equal to their joy.i 
Said Bharat : " What the saint has proposed is already 
as good as done ; he has granted me the one thing above all 
others that I most desired. I will stay all my life in the 
forest ; there is nothing I should like better. 
Doha 246. 

Rama and Sita know my heart and you are full of 
knowledge and wisdom ; if, my lord, you mean what you 
say, make your word good." 

Chaupdi. 

Hearing Bharat's words and seeing his love, the saint 
and the whole assembly were transported out of themselves. 
Bharat's vast generosity was like a sheet of water and the 
saint's proposal like a woman standing on its brink, anxious 
to cross and trying different ways, but unable to find either 

I For, though they recovered two of their sons, they lost the other two. 



374 AYODHYA. 

ship, boat, or raft. Who can describe Bharai's magnani- 
mity ? Can the ocean be contained in a river-shell ? The 
saint was inwardly at heart charmed with Bharat, and 
accompanied by the assembly went to R^ma. The lord 
saluted him and led him to a seat of honour and on receiv- 
ing the saint's permission all sat down. Then spoke 
Vasishtha in well-considered words, according to the cir- 
cumstances of the place and time: "Hearken, R6ma ; 
you are omniscient and wise, a store-house of piety, 
prudence, virtue and intelligence ; 

DoU 247. 
you dwell in the hearts of all and know what they really 
wish or do not wish : now advise what will be best for your 
subjects, your mothers and Bharat. 

Chaupdi. 
A man in pain talks wildly, and a gambler watches only 
his own play."^ *' On hearing the saint's speech, Raghur^i 
replied : " My lord, the remedy is in your own hands. To 
attend to your wishes will be best for all. Only give the 
order, and cheerfully, I assure you, whatever you com- 
mands may be, I answer for myself in the first place, those 
instructions I will dutifully obey ; and after me, each, as 
he has his orders, will hasten to do his service." Said the 
saint : Rdma, you say truly ; but Bharat's affection has 
disturbed calculation ; therefore I say again and again my 
judgment is overcome by Bharat's piety ; in my opinion, 
Siva be my witness, whatever will please Bharat is the 
best thing to be done. 

Doha 248. 
Listen respectfully to Bharat's prayer ; reconsider the 
matter; and after weighing well the duties of a king and 
the texts of Scripture, take the advice given you both by 
philosophers and men of the world." 

Chaupdi. 
Seeing the guru's love for Bharat, Riraa's heart rejoiced 

1 Therefore we come for advice to you, being too much excited an 
having too great a personal interest in the matter to judge for oiirscilvus 
calmly and impartially, 



AYODHYA. 375 

exceedingly, for he knew Bharat to be a champion of 
righteousness, and in thought, word and deed his own 
faithful servant. In obedience to the guru's commands, he 
made this sweet, gentle and excellent reply : " I swear by 
you, my lord, and by my father's feet that in all the world 
there has been no brother like Bharat. All who love the 
lotus feet of their guru are highly blessed : so say both the 
world and the Veda. But who can tell Bharat's blessedness, 
to whom such love has been shown by you ? When I look 
at him, my younger brother, my senses are abashed, as I 
thus praise him to his face. Whatever Bharat says, that will 
be good for us to do." Having so said Rdma remained silent. 
Doha 249. 

Then the saint said to Bharat. " Put aside all diffidence, 
my son, and tell the Ocean of mercy, your own dear bro- 
ther, what you really have at heart." 
Ghaupdi, 

Hearing the saint's address, and having already receiv- 
ed Rdma's consent, he was satisfied of the good-will both of 
his guru and his master ; but seeing the weight of the whole 
business put upon his head, he could say nothing and re- 
mained lost in thought, as he stood in the assembly, 
quivering all over his body, and his lotus eyes filled with 
the moisture of affection : " The king of saints has already 
spoken for me : what more is there for me to say ? I know 
my lord's amiable disposition, that he never shows displea- 
sure even to the guilty ; and for me he has a special tender- 
ness and love ; even in play he never gave me an angry look. 
From a child 1 have never left him, and never at any 
time has he wounded my feelings. I have observed my 
lord's gracious ways ; when beating me in any game he 

would allow me to win. 

Doha 250. 

I am too much overcome by affection and modesty to 

say a word before him ; to this day my eyes, thirsting for 

his love, have not been satiated with the sight of him. 



376 AIODHYA. 

Chaupdi. 

God could not endure my fondness, and cruelly inter- 
posed an obstacle by means of my mother. In saying this 
now I do myself no honour. Who is made good by his own 
good estimation ? To get into my mind that my mother is 
a wretch and I myself good and upright is a thousand times 
worse. Can rice be produced from stalks of kodo,^ or the 
shells of a pond sweat pearls ? Not a shadow of blame or 
wrong-doing attaches to any one ; it is my ilHuck, like some 
fathomless ocean. Not perceiving that it is the fruit of my 
own sins, I revile my mother, to my own undoing. I search 
my heart, but am beaten all round. In one matter only am 
I really fortunate ; with Vasishtha for my guru and Sita and 
Rama for my masters, things must come right in the end. 

Dohd25i. 

In this honourable assemblage, in the presence of my 
lord and my guru and in this holy place, I speak my true 
sentiments ; the saint and Rdma know whether my affection 
is sincere or feigned, and my words true or false. 

Ghaupdi, 

The whole world is witness to the king's death, the 
result of his uncompromising love, and to my mother's 
wickedness ; the queens are so woe-begone that I cannot 
bear to look at them ; the citizens are consumed by intoler- 
able anguish ; and I am the cause of all their troubles ; and 
yet though I hear and feel all this, I can still endure the 
torment. When I heard that Raghunath had taken with 
him Lakshman and Sita, and in pilgrim's weeds had set out 
for the woods, without shoes and walking on foot, be Sun- 
kara my witness, how I survived the misery. Again, when I 
saw the Nishnd's devotion, my heart must have been harder 
than adamant not to break. A.nd now I have come and with 
my own eyes have seen everything ; surely in this life my 
wretched soul has borne all that can be borne. The serpents 

1 The kodo (Sanskrit ko/lrava is \hv Paspalum fnimcntareum or .u-rohi- 
CHla tuin, which bears a small grain of inferior quality, eaten only \>y the boor. 



AYODHYA. 377 

and scorpioDs on the road at the sight of them forget their 
virulent venom and savage viciousness ; 

Doha 252. 
but to her Rama, Lakshman and Sita appeared as enemies ; 
and how can God spare her son, or on whom would he 
rather inflict intolerable pain ? 

Chaupdi. 

On hearing these lamentable words of Bharat's, fraught 
with distress and love, humility and discretion, the whole 
assembl}^ was lost in sorrow and anxiety, as when the frost 
smites a bed of lotuses. The learned sage comforted Bharat 
by reference to various ancient legends, and Rama, the 
moon of the liles of the solar race, spoke thus in seemly 
wise ; " Brother, grieve not your heart in vain ; know that 
the ways of life are in God's hands, To my mind, brother, 
all the men of highest renown for virtue in all time, past, 
present or future, and in the three spheres of creation, fall 
short of you Whoever even imagines wickedness in you 
shall perish both in this life and in the next. It is only 
fools, who have never studied in the school of philosophy 
and religion, who ascribe blame to your mother. 
Doha 253. 

Sin, Delusion and the burden of every ill are destroyed 
by the invocation of your name, glory is own in this world 
and eternal happiness in the world to come. 
Chaupdi. 

Be Siva my witness ; I state the fact truly : the world, 
Bharat, exists by your support. Do not, brother, entertain 
evil surmises to no purpose ; love and hatred cannot be hid : 
birds and beasts come up close to a saints, but flee at the 
sight of a fowler, though he tries to stop them. If beasts 
and birds can distinguish between friends and enemies, 
how much more man, whose body is a vessel of virtue and 
intelligence. I know you thoroughly, brother ; how can I 
do anything that would be discordant with your spirit ? 
The king, to keep his word, abandoned me and, to keep his 

R-5I 



378 AYODHYA. 

VOW of love, discarded life ; if I now break his word, I shall 
be heartily grieved ; and yet my respect for you is greater ; 
the guru moreover has given me his commands ; in short, 
whatever you say, that I am ready to do. 
Dohd 254. 

Set your mind at ease ; cease this timidity and speak 
out; I will do it at once." When they heard Rama, the 
ocean of truth, speak thus, the assembly rejoiced. 
Ghaupdi. 

But the king of heaven and all the gods were alarmed 
and began to think ' Things will all go wrong.' Though they 
took counsel together, nothing came of it ; mentally^ all 
had recourse to Ritma for protection. After again consider- 
ing, they said to one another : R^ma is moved by the faith 
of the faithful " Remembering the story of Ambarisha and 
Durvdsas, Tndra and the gods were greatly dejected. * Long 
time the gods endured distress, till at last PrahlAd revealed 
Narsingha.'^ They beat their heads and whispered in the 
ear : *' Now our only chance lies with Bharat there is no 
other plan, sir, that I can see. R6ma accepts service done 
to one of his servants; do you all with loving heart do 
service to Bharat, and he will subdue Rdma to his own 

temper." 

Bohd 255. 
When the guru of t he gods heard this their plan, he said : 
Well done, you are in great good fortune ; devotion to Bha- 
rat's feet is the source of every good in the world. 
Ghaupdi. 
The service of the servant of Sita's lord is as good as a 
thousand Kdmadhenus. Now that you are resolved to put 
faith in Bharat, cease to have any anxiety ; God has provided 



1 If they had pone to him in person their whole scheme would have 
been frustraJed, for Rdvan woald have heard of it and thus have become 
aware of RAma's divinity. 

2 The legends of Ambarisha and Prahlad show how ready Vishnu (j.^., 
RAma) has always been to hear the prayers of his followers, and how fierce is 
his indignation against those who persecute them ; it was therefore useless for 
the gods to think of opposing Bharat ; their only plan was to win him ovt r 
to their side. 



AYODHYA. 



37D 



a way. See, Indra, the extent of Bharat's power ; he has 
subdued R^ma with the greatest ease. Make your mind easy, 
sir, never fear, knowing that Bharat is Rama's shadow." 
the Lord, who knows the heart, was disturbed when he 
heard the plans and fears of Vrihaspati and the other gods. 
Bharat, knowing that the whole responsibility rested upon 
him, was raising a thousand different arguments in his 
mind. After much deliberation, he came to the conclusion 
that his happiness consisted in obeying Rdma. "He is 
breaking his own vow in order to satisfy me, and in this is 
showing me no little love and affection. 

Doha 256. 

Sita's lord has in every way done me great and unboun- 
ded favour." Then l)owing low, and with his lotus hands 
clasped in supplication, Bharat thus spoke : 

Ghaupdi. 

" All-merciful and omniscient lord, what now can I say 
myself or have others to say for me ? My guru is pleased 
and my master kind : the imaginary torments of my trou- 
bled soul are all over. I feared disgrace, but my fear was 
unreasonable ; it is no fault of the sun's sir, if a man mis- 
take the points of the compass.^ My ill-luck, my mother's 
wickedness, God's adverse action, and the malignity of fate 
set themselves firm and combined to overthrow me ; but the 
protector of suppliants has maintained his character This is 
no strange procedure of his ; it is declared both by Scrip- 
ture and tradition, and is no secret. The world is evil ; 
the Lord only is good; tell me by whose goodness is he 
good save by his own ? Your attributes, sire, are those of 
the tree of paradise, which is never either for or against 

any one in particular. 

Doha 257. 

All who draw near and acknowledge that its shade 

1 Your mercy is as sure as the course of the sun ; but even with sun for 
his guide, a man may lose his way by mistaking the points of the compass : 
in like manner 1 was alarmed through my ignorance of the course that your 
mercy was taking. 



380 AYODHYA. 

^ relieves every sorrow, high or low, rich or poor, ask and 
obtain the fruit that they desire. 
Chaupdi. 
Now that I have seen the affection of my guru and iny 
master, my anxiety is gone : my mind is freed from doubt. 
Now, Mine of compassion, do whatever will be for the 
good of your servant^ without being a trouble to the soul of 
my lord. The servant who worries his master and seeks 
only his own advantage is a base-minded varlet. A servant's 
gain is to do his master's service, to get him every comfort, 
and not be greedy. If my lord returns to Ayodhya, every 
one will be a gainer ; but obedience to orders will be a 
thousand times greater gain ; it is the highest good in this 
world, and in the next it is the fruit of all well-doing and 
the ornament of beatitude. Listen, sire, to this my one 
request, and then do as you think proper. I have brought 
with me all the requisites for the coronation ; if you approve, 
my lord, have them brought into use. 
Doha 258. 
Send me and my brother into the woods, and give the 
people back their king ; or else let Lakshman and Satrugh- 
na return and let me accompany you : 

Chaupdi. 
or all three brothers go into the woods, and only you and 
Sita return. most merciful lord, do whatever is most 
pleasing to yourself. You have cast the whole burden upon 
me, sire, v^rho am unversed both in politics and theology; I 
make all my proposals on the ground of worldly interest : 
but when a man is in distress he cannot reason. A servant 
who hears his master's orders and answers him is one that 
Shame herself would be ashamed to look at : and yet though 
I do this and am a fathomless ocean of faultiness, still my 
master in his kindness praises me as good. Now, merci- 
ful one, that plan best pleases me which will cause my 
lord's soul the least vexation. By my lord's feet I swear 
that I speak the truth ; there is only one scheme for secur- 
ing the world's happiness. 



AYODHYA. 381 

Doha 259. 

If my lord cheerfully and without reserve will only give 

each one of us his orders, they will be reverently obeyed, 

and all this trouble and perplexity,^ will be at an end." 

Ghaupdi. 

On hearing Bharat's guileless speech the gods were glad 
of heart and extolled his generosity and rained down flowers; 
the people of Avadh were overwhelmed with uncertainty, 
and the hermits and all the dwellers in the woods were 
greatly rejoiced. Raghundth maintained an anxious silence. 
Seeing his state, the whole assembly became disturbed. 
At that very moment arrived messengers from Janak^ . 
Saint Vasishtha on hearing of it sent for them at once. 
They made obeisance and looked towards Rama. At the 
sight of his attire they were exceedingly grieved. The 
great saint asked the embassy the news : ' Tell me is all 
well with the king of Videha ?' At this question the noble 
heralds with a deprecating air bowed their heads to the 
ground and with clasped hands replied : " Your courteous 
enquiry, sire, makes all well ; 

Doha 260. 
otherwise, my lord, welfare died with the king of Kosala ; 
the whole world is in bereavement, but especially Mithila 
and Avadh. 

ChoMpdi. 

When Janak and his court heard of king Dasarath's 
death, every one was mad with excess of grief. All who at 
that time saw Videha thought that name a truly appropriate 
one^ . As he listened to the tale of the queen's wickedness, 
the monarch became as helpless as a serpent without its 
headjewel. Bharat king, and Rdraa in exile ! Janak's soul 

1 Avarera, which I translate ' perplexity,' is explained by the Hindu 
oonomentators as meaning the same as f/hdt or j)ench The word is not 
given in Dr. Fallon's or any other Hindustani-English Dictionary that I 
have seen. Aat is for ant. 

2 Janak's visit and the long discussions that follow it, which occupy 
almost all the remaindi r of this book, are the invention of Tulsi Dds, and 
find no counterpart in the Sanscrit poem. 

3 Videha, meaning literally ' out of the body,' and Janak being out of 
his mind, beside himself, as we should say, for grief, 



382 AYODHYA. 

was sore distrest. He enquired of all liis wist men and 
ministers, 'Consider and tell me what ought now to be 
done.' Reflecting on the state of Avadh and the double 
difficulty, if he went or if he stayed, no one gave any answer. 
After reasoning with himself, the king resolved to send 
four clever spies to Avadh, to discover whether Bharat 
meant well or ill, and return in haste without being seen. 
Dohd 2QI. 

The spies went to Avadh, ascertained Bharat's move- 
ments and saw what he was doing, that he had started for 
Chitra-kdt, and then went back to Tirhut. 

Chaupni. 

On their arrival, they announced in Janak's court to the 
best of their ability all Bharat's doings. The guru, the citi- 
zens, the ministers and the king were all agitated with grief 
and love at the report. Restraining his emotion and glori- 
fying Bharat, he summoned his warriors, and captains, i 
and having stationed guards for the palace, city, and realm 
and made ready horses, elephants, chariots and conveyances 
of every description, all in less than an hour, the king set 
out and halted nowhere on the road, but this morning at 
daybreak bathed at Prayelg. The host has begun to cross 
the Jamund and we, my lord, have been sent on ahead for 
news." So saying, they bowed the h^-ad to the ground. 
The saint at once gave them an escort of six or seven 
KirAts and allowed them to take leave. 
Dohd 262. 

The people of Avadh were all delighted to hear of Ja- 
nak's arrival ; but Raghunandan was greatly disquieted 
and Indra overwhelmed with alarm : 

Chaupdi. 
the wicked Kaikeyi was sinking with remorse, *to whom shall 
I be able to speak or whom can I blame ?* while the people 
were delighted with the thought that now they had got 

1 Sdfuini, which I translate ' captains,' is a word not given in any 
dictionarv. 



AYODHYA. 383 

another day or two to stay. In this manner the day was 
spent. On the morrow all bathed and after their ablutions 
worshipped Ganes, Gauri, Siva and the Sun; then rever- 
enced the feet of Lakshman's lord and offered up their pray- 
ers, the men^ raising their joined hands, the women hold- 
ing out the skirt of their dress : " With Rama our king and 
Jdnaki our queen, may Avadh, our capital, the centre of all 
delights, be gloriously re-peopled, court and all, and Rdma 
install Bharat as heir-apparent. Revive us all, lord, 
with this ambrosial bliss and grant the world its life's desire. 
Doha 263. 

May RAma sway the state, assisted by his guru, the coun- 
cil and his brothers ; and may we die with Rjima still 
Avadh's king." This was the universal prayer. 

Chaupdi. 

When they heard the citizens' loving words, the wisest 
saints thought little of their own penance and austerities. 
When the people had in this manner performed their daily 
devotions, with much joy they went and saluted Rama. 
High and low and of middle estate, men and women, all 
looked up to him as their own special patron, and he dis- 
creetly received them all with due honour. Every one 
extolled his inexhaustible generosity : *' From a child it 
was said of Raghubar that he cherishes all in whom he re- 
cognizes sincerity and affection ; with his bright face, bright 
eyes and guileless ways, he is a very ocean of amiability 
and gentleness." Thus affectionately telling Rdma's good 
qualities, all began to magnify their own good fortune. 
'* There are few people in the world who can have been 
so meritorious as we, whom R4ma has thus accepted for 
his own." 

Dohd 2QL tfi 

At the time when all were thus absorbed in love, they heard 

of the approach of the king of Mithila: the Sun of the lotuses 

of the Solar race rose in haste, he and the whole assembly. 

1 That is to say, in the attitude of beggars ; tlie women holding out the 
skirt of their dress to catch whatever may be thrown into it, the men holding 
out their hancis. 



384 ATObHYA. 

Chaupdi. 

Raghundth led the way, accompanied b}^ his brothers, 
the guru, the Minister and the people. As soon as king 
Janak saw the holy hill, he dismounted from his chariot and 
saluted it. lu their eagerness and excitement to see R6ma, 
no one felt the slightest fatigue from the toilsome journey, 
for their soul was with R^ma and Sita ; and who without a 
soul can be conscious of bodily pain or pleasure ? In this 
manner Janak and his host advanced, drunken with the 
drunkenness of love. When they came near and in sight, 
they lovingly and reverentially began mutul salutations. 
Janak kissed the feet of the hermits, and R^ma with his 
brothers, having first reverenced the king's spiritual advisers, 
embraced him, and led the way for him and his army. 
Dohd 265. 

Rdma conducted the host to the hermitage, as it were a 
river of pitifulness flowing into an ocean full of the pure 

water of tranquillity ; 

Chaupdi. 
flooding the banks of wisdom and asceticism : with sorrowful 
speeches for its tributary streams and torrents ; with sighs 
and lamentations for the wind and waves that break the 
stout trees of Resolution on its bank ; with grievous an- 
guish for its rapid current, and terror and delusion for its 
many eddies and whirlpools ; with sages for ferrymen and 
wisdom for tlie huge boat, which can no-how be got across ; 
while the poor Kols and Kir^ts of the woods are the forlorn 
travellers wearied with waiting When it reached the her- 
mitage, it was as though ocean had been agitated with a 
sudden rush of waters. The two royal-hosts were so over- 
come with grief that they had no sense, courage or shame 
left. Extolling king D isarath's majesty, virtue and ami- 
ability, they sorrowed like men drowned in a sea of sorrow. 
Chhand 11. 
Drowned in a sea sorrow, they sorrowed, men and women 
alike, in utter bewilderment, all angrily and reproachfully 



aYodhya. 385 

exclaiming. * What is this that cruel fate has done ?' Gods, 
saints, anchorites, ascetics and sages witnessed Janak's 
condition, but his love says Tulsi--was like a broad river 
that no one could get over. 

Sorathd 10. ^1'^. 
When all the people and the great sages had exhausted 
ever topic of consolation, Vasishtha thus addrest Videha : 
" King of men, be comforted. 

Ghaupdi. 
By the sun of your wisdom the darkness of the world is dis- 
pelled, and in the light of your speech saints expand like the 
lotus : how then can the power of delusion affect you ? 
This is the marvellous result of love for Sita and Rdma. 
There are three classes of beings, whom the Vedas term 
wise in their generation, the sensual, the sorcerer and the 
saint : amongst the pious the highest honour is for him 
whose soul is full of love for Rama : but without knowledge 
love for R^ma is imperfect, like a boat without a helmsman." 
When the saint had finished his exhortation to the king, all 
the people bathed at the Ramgh^t. Every one, men and 
women alike, were so agitated with grief that they spent 
the day without drinking water : even the cattle, birds 
and deer would eat nothing ; much less would his own 
kindred think of doing so. 

Dohd 266. 

At daybreak the royal sou of Nimi^ and the royal son of 
Ragu having bathed with all their retinue went and sat un- 
der the har tree, sad at heart and wasted in body. 

Chaupdi. 

The Brdhmans from AyodhyA, as also those from the 
capital of the king of MithiU : Vasishtha, the guru of the So- 
lar race, and Sat^nand, Janak's family priest, who while on 
earth had explored the path of heaven, began long exhorta- 
tions full of religion, morality, asceticism and philosophy. 
Then Visvamitra eloquently admonished the assembly with 



Ninil was a former king of Videha and one of Janak's ancestors. 

R-52 



386 AYUDHYA. 

many a reference to ancient legend ; till Raghunath sugges- 
ted to him : *' Sire, every one sirjce yesterday has gone with- 
out water." Said the saint : " R^nia has spoken in season ; 
two-and-a-half watches of the day are now spent." Under- 
standing the saint's pleasure the king of Tirhiit replied ; 
" It is not good for us to eat bread here."i The king's word 
pleased every one, and having obtained his permission they 
went to bathe. 

Doha 267. 

At that very moment arrived the people of the woods, 
bringing large baskets laden with fruits, flowers, leaves and 
roots of every description. 

Ghaupdi. 

By Rama's favour the mountain had become a granter 
of desires : merely to look at it removed sorrow. The ponds, 
streams and glades were bursting as it were with joy and 
love ; all the creepers and trees broke out into blossom and 
fruit : the birds and beasts made a most melodious concert. 
In short, the gladsomeness of the forest was surpassing ; the 
air, soft, cool and fragrant, was delightful to every one ; and 
the beauty of the scene was beyond description, as though 
Earth herself had prepared Janak's reception. When each 
and all of the people had finished bathing and had received 
permission from R^ma, Janak and the saint, they gazed 
with rapture on the magnificent trees and threw themselves 
down here and there; while leaves and fruits, flowers and 
roots of every kind, fresh and fair, and sweet as nectar, 

Dohd 268. 
were courteously sent to all, in baskets full, by RAma's 
guru ; on which they made their repast, after reverencing 
their ancestors, the gods, their guests and the guru. 
' - Chaupdi. 

In this manner four days were spent, in which the 
people saw R^ma and were happy. In both camps there was 

1 This refers to the custom which forbids a Hindu ever to take food in 
the house of his son-in-law. 



AYODHYA. 387 

this desire at heart : " It is not good for us to return without 
SIta and Rdma. Life in the woods in their society is a thou- 
sand times better than heaven. If any one, in his longing 
for home, would desert Lakshman, Rdma and Sita, his fate 
is an unlucky one : it is the height of good fortune for us 
all to dwell in the forest near Rdma, bathing three times a 
day in the Manddkini, seeing R^ma, which will be a constant 
delight, rambling about on the sacred hill and among the 
hermitages in the wood, and feeding on sweet herbs and 
roots and fruits, so contentedly that the fourteen years will 
pass like a minute, without our knowing how they go. y 

l)ohd2Q9. 

We are not worthy of so great happiness" they all ex- 
claimed. "What luck can be like it ?" Such was the 
spontaneous devotion to Rdma's feet in both camps. 

Ghaiipdi. 

In this manner as nil were expressing their hearts' desire 
in afPectionate words, which it ravished the soul to hear, 
SIta's mother sent a handmaid, who ascertained that it was 
a convenient time and returned. On learning that Sita's 
mothers-in-law were at leisure, Janak's queen and her 
attendants came to visit them. Kausalya received them 
with due honour and gave them such seats as circumstances 
allowed. On both sides there was such love and tender- 
ness, that the most rigid thunderbolt would have melted, 
could it have seen and heard. Their body quivering and 
unnerved, their eyes full of tears, and all lost in grief, 
they drew lines with their toes on the ground, each a 
separate incarnation of love to Sita and Rdma, or as it 
were tearful Sympathy repeated in many forms. Said Sita's 
mother : "God's judgment has gone astray, using the 
thunderbolt for a chisel to break up foam ! 
Doha 270. 

We hear of ambrosia but see only venom ; all his doings 
are hard ; crows, owls and cranes are everywhere, but 
swans only in the inaccessible Mdnas lake," 



38^ AYODHYA. 

Chaupni 
Upon this, queen Sumitrd said sadly : '* God's ways are 
contrary and unaccoutitable. He creates and cherishes, and 
then destroys : his purposes are as idle as child's play." 
Said Kausalyd : " It is no one's fault ; pain and pleasure, 
loss and gain are governed by actions: the effects of action 
are inscrutable; God only knows them, who awards its own 
fruit to every act, whether it be good or bad. The Lord's 
decree dominates over all, whether for rising, staying or 
falling, whether for poison or ambrosia. It is vain, madam, 
to give way to sorrow ; God's schemes are, as I have said, 
unchangeable and from everlasting. Consider the question 
of the king's life or death; look now, friend, and think 
whether it was a loss to him or gain." Sita's mother 
replied : " Noblest of noble women, consort of Avadh's 
kings, your eloquent words are true. 
Dohd 271. 
If Lakshman, R^ma and Sita stay in exile, all will be 
right in the end and no harm done." "But" (said Kausalyd 
with a troubled heart) " I am anxious about Bharat. 

Chaupdi. 
By God's favour and your blessing, my son and his 
wifei are both pure as Ganges water. Though I have 
never yet sworn by R^ma, I now invoke him to witness, 
friend, that I speak truly. The greatness of Bharat's genero- 
sity, goodness and humility, his brotherly affection, faith, 
hope and charity, even Sarasvati's eloquence would fail to 
declare ; can the ocean be ladled out with a shell ? I have 
always known that Bharat was the glory of his house, and 
the king repeatedly told me so. Gold is known by assay 
and precious stones by the test ; a man's temper is tried 
by fortune. It is not right forme now to have spoken 
thus; but sorrow and love have left me little reason." On 
hearing these words, as pure as Ganges stream, all the 
queens were overcome with emotion. 



1 For suta-badhii, ' a son's wife,' might be better to read su-bandhu, 
^ good brother.' 



AYODHYA. 



389 



Doha 272. 
Kausaly^ continued : " Hearken to me, queen of Mithi- 
la, and take courage. Who is able to advise you, the consort 

of the wisest, of men ? 

Chnupdi. 
Having found a fitting opportunity, speak, madam, to 
the king as if of yourself, and suggest that he should stop 
Lakshman and let Bharat go to the forest. If the king 
agrees to this proposal, I will then devise and carry out 
soine proper plan. I am greatly disturbed about Bharat, 
for his love is so profound that if he stays I surmise evil." 
When they saw her generosity and heard her frank appeal, 
they were all overpowered with sympathy. There was a 
shower of flowers from heaven with cries of Glory ' Glory ;' 
saints, ascetics and sages grew faint with love. The queens, 
despite their fatigue, still looked and waited ; till Suraitrl 
made bold to say : *' Madam nearly an hour of the night is 
gone." At this Kausaly^ rose and affectionately 

Doha 273. 
said, " Pray return at once to your tent ; of a truth now 
our help is in God and the king of MithiU." 

Chaupdi. 
Seeing her affection and hearing her modest speech, 
Jauak's queen clasped her holy feet : " Madam, this modes- 
ty on your part is only natural, since you are Dasarath's 
wife and Rama's mother. Monarchs give honour to the 
lowest of their servants; in the same way ns fire tops itself 
with smoke and a hill with grass. King Janak is your 
servant in thought word and deed, and Mah^dev and Bha- 
vflni are your constant auxiliaries. Who is there on earth 
who can act as your supplement ? Does the sun shine by 
the help of a torch ? After going into exile and assisting 
the gods, Rama will hold undisputed sway at Ayodhy^. 
Through the might of his arm gods, serpents and men will 
all dwell in peace, each in his own place. This has all been 
foretold by Yajnavalkya ; and the words of a saint, madam, 
can never be false," 



390 



AYODHYA. 



Dohd 274. 

So saying, she fell at her feet and affectionately made 
request for Sita ; permission was accorded and Sita set out 
with her mother. 

Chaupdi. 

Sita embraced all her old domestics in such manner as 
in eaoh case was most befitting. When they saw her in her- 
mit's dress, they were all distrest with exceeding sorrow 
Janak, on receiving the permission of Rdma and the guru^ 
came to the tent to see his daughier and clasped her to his 
bosom, the sanctifying guest of the soul of love. His bosom 
swelled with a flood of affection and his royal soul resemb- 
led Prayag ; with his love for Sita conspicuous as the spread- 
ing bar tree, on which devotion to Rdma appeared like the 
child, clutched for support by the king's bewildered senses 
as by the sage Chiranjlv when on the point of drowning.' 
Videha was so overwhelmed by his feelings that he had no 
sense left ; such is the power of love for Sita and Raghubar. 
Dohd 275. 

Sita could not bear to see her father and mother so over- 
come by affection, but calling to mind both the time and 
her own duty, Earth's daughter summoned up courage. 

Chaupdi. 

When Janak looked at her in her anchorite's dress, he 
was filled with love and consolation : " Daughter, you have 
sanctified both families ; everybody in the world proclaims 
your brilliant renown. The stream of your fame excels the 
Ganges and has spread over millions of universes. The Gan- 
ges has only three great sites^ on earth, but the congrega- 
tions of saints that have been made by you are innumerable." 
At her father's sincere and loving eloquence Sita was abashed 
and shrank into herself. Again her father and mother took 

1 The sage Markundoya had the presumption to ask NArAyan to show 
him a specimen of his delusive power The ffod in answer to his prayer 
drowned the whole world in a su'lden flood. Only tne Akhay-bar, or im- 
perishable fie-tree at PrayAg, raised its head above the waters, with a little 
child seated on one of its topmost boughs, thaf put out its hand and rescued 
the terrified saint as he was on the point of sinking. 

2 Thev are Hari-dw^r. Prayig, and SAgar. 



AYODHYA. 391 

her to their anus and gave her kiud instructions and in- 
voked rich blessings upon her. Sita could not speak out, 
but was anxious at heart : '* It is not well for me to spend 
the night here." The queen saw her wish and explained 
it to the king, inwardly praising the excellence of her dis- 
position. 

Dohd 276. 

After again and again embracing her, they graciously 
gave her leave to depart. Having now an excellent oppor- 
tunity, the discreet queen adroitly mentioned Bharat's going. 

Ghaupni. 

When the king heard of Bharat's conduct, brilliant as 
gold, refreshing as sweet perfumes, consolatory as ambrosia 
or the soft light of the moon, he closed his tearful eyes and 
his body thrilled with rapture, as he broke out into ecstatic 
praises of his glory. " Mark me well, fair- faced and bright- 
eyed dame, the legend of Bharat is effectual to loosen the 
bands of existence. According to my ability, I too have mas- 
tered somewhat of theology, statecraft and spiritual medita- 
tion; but whatever my ability, if I would tell Bharat's great- 
ness, I cannot make a pretence of reaching even its shadow. 
Briihma, Ganes, SeshnAg, Siva, Sarasvati, the inspired 
poets and the sages most renowned for wisdom, when they 
hear or meditate upon Bharat's doings, his glory, his vigour, 
his piety, his temper, his virtues aiid his spotless dignity, 
all are enraptured ; it has a flavour of purity like the 
Ganges, surpassing ambrosia, 

Dohd 277. 

His perfection is limitless ; he is the incomparable pro- 
toplasm ; I know none like Bharat but himself. Can 
Mount Meru be weighed in any balance ? The wit of the 
whole race of poets is at fault. 

Chaupdi. 

He is, fair dame, as impossible to describe as it is im- 
possible for a fish to walk on dry land. Hearken, lady; 
Rama knows, but even he cannot describe Bharat's illimit- 
able greatness. If Lakshman returns and Bharat goes to the 



392 AYODHVA. 

forest, every one will imagine it to be good for all : but, 
madam, Bharat's love and confidence in Rama are past all 
telling. Bharat is the perfection of love and devoted attach- 
ment, butRima is the lord of impartiality. Bharat's mind 
has never even dreamt, of all the felicities of this world and 
the next; only his love for RAma's feet has brought him suc- 
cess. This, as I consider, is Bharat's belief. 

Doha 278. 

He would never be beguiled into thwarting an order of 
Rdma's ; do not then in your affection give way to sorrow ; " 
said the king, and sighed as he spoke. 

Chaupdi. 

As the wedded pair thus affectionately discoursed of 
Bharat's excellences, the night passed like a minute. At 
daybreak both the royal camps awoke and bathed and wor- 
shipped the gods. After bathing, R'una approached his 
guru, embraced his feet, and on receiving permission spoke 
thus : " My lord, Bharat and the people and my mothers 
ai'e distresr and incnnveni<^nced by their sojourn in the 
woods. The king of MithiU too and his retinue have been 
enduring hardships for many days; be pleased to do, my 
lord, as seems to you good ; the happiness of all is in your 
hands." So saying, Rdma was greatly abashed. The saint 
thrilled with delight on seeing his disposition. '* Without 
you, RAma, the greatest bliss would seem to both camps 

like hell. 

Dohd 279. 

Rdma, you are the soul of their soul, the life of their 
life, the joy of their joy. Any one, my son, who would 
desert you for the sake of the pleasure of home has destiny 
against him. 

Chaupdi. 

Perish the happiness, life and religion, in which is no 
love for Rdma's lotus feet ! That piety be impiety, and 
wisdom unwisdom, in which love for Rdma is not supreme ! 
Through you men are made happy, and without you they 



AYODHYA. 6\)6 

are unhappy ; you know the heart of every one. Your com- 
mands rule all, and every motion is thoroughly manifest to 
your benignity. Return now to the hermitage." The king of 
saints was over-powered with love. When Rdma had bowed 
and retired, the guru composed himself and went to Janak, 
and repeated to him what Rdma had said, enlarging upon 
his amiability, affection and excellent disposition : "Now, 
sire, do what-ever will be for the advantage of all without 
prejudice to religion. 

Dohd 280. 

king of men, you are the wisest among the most 
wise, the champion of true piety ; who save you can at this 
time end these troubles ?" 

Ghaupai. 

Janak was so moved by the saint's address and by the 
sight of his agitation that all his philosophy and asceticism 
were forgotten. Faint with love, he reasoned to himself : 
" I have not done well in coming here. Dasarath ordered 
Rdma into exile, but himself gave the best proof of his 
affection ; I have now sent him from one wood to another 
and return in triumph forsooth with increased reputation 
for wisdom." Seeing the agitation of the anchorites, saints 
and Br^hmans, the king was still more overcome with 
emotion ; but considering the circumstances he made an 
eSort, and with his retinue set forth to visit Bharat. Bharat 
advanced to meet him and gave him the best seat the time 
allowed. "Son Bharat," said the king of Tirhiit, "you 
are well acquainted with Rima's character. 
Dohd 2S{. 

He is devoted to truth, a zealot in religion ; out of kind- 
ness, he endures inconvenience without murmuring; but if 
you have any orders to give, speak." 
Ghaupdi. 

At this Bharat's whole frame quivered and his eyes 
filled with tears; but putting a strong restraint upon him- 
self he replied : " My lord, I love and revere you as my 
father, and hold you as dear as my own family guru ; father 

R-53 



394 



AYODHYA. 



and mother I have none. Here are Visvamitra and the 
other sages, and all this assembly ; you too yourself, an 
ocean of wisdom ; I am your obedient son and servant : 
regard me in this light, my lord, and instruct me. In this 
assembly and at this holy place you enquire of me, and I 
am to answer, though besmirched of soul and demented. 
Can I speak great words out of my little mouth ? Pardon 
rae, father ; the fates are against me. It is declared in the 
Vedas, Tantras and PurAnas, and all the world knows, that 
loyal service is difficult. Duty to a master conQicts with 
self-interest; the deaf and blind cannot show their love. 

Doha 282. 

Have regard to Rdma's wishes, so pious as he is, and 
remember tliat I am but a servant ; do as all approve and 
as will be best for all, but forget not their love." 
Chaupdi. 

When the king heard Bharat's speech and witnessed 
his generosity, he and his court burst out into praises. 
Simple but profound ; soft and delicate but severe ; 
pregnant with meaning in a small compass ; his speech 
was as mysterious as the shadow of a face in a glass, which 
no hand can grasp. The king, Bharat, the saint, and all 
the venerable assembly went to RAma, by whom the gods 
were made as glad as the lilies by the moon. On hearing 
the news all the people were as diatrest as fish in un- 
accustomed waters. The gods, seeing first the emotion of 
the family guru, and then Janak's exceeding affection, and 
Bharat so full of devotion to RAma, were sorely anxious and 
began to despond in their relfishness. The sight of 
Rdma's kindness made the company of heaven unspeakably 
dismayed. 

Dohd 283. 

Indra cried sadly : '* Rama is overcome by love and 
modesty : we must combine to devise some scheme, or else 
we shall be undone." 

Chaupdi. 

The gods invoked SArad^ in flattering terms : " Protect, 



AYODHYA. 395 

goddess, the gods your suppliants. Exert your power of 
delusion and change Bharat's purpose; by some deceptive 
artifice rescue the host of heaven." When the wise goddess 
heard their prayer, she understood their stupid selfishness 
and said : " You tell me to change Bharat's purpose ; you 
have^ thousand eyes and yet cannot see Mount Meru. The 
delusive power of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva is exceedingly 
great, but it cannot see through Bharat's purpose, and yet 
you tell me to pervert it. What ! can the moonlight rob the 
moon ? Bharat's heart inhabited by Sita and Rdma ; can 
darkness invade the splendour of the sun ? " So saying, Si- 
rada withdrew to Brdhma's heaven, and the ^ods were as 
downcast as the chakwa at the approach of night. 
Dohd 284. 

The self-seeking gods were troubled at heart and devis- 
ed evil projects and schemes, creating by strong delusion 
artifices of fear, error, sorrow and vexation. 
Chaupdi. 

Indra practised this villainy, thinking " Success or de- 
feat is all in Bharat's hands." When Janak approached 
R^ma, the glory of Raghu's line received them all with 
honour. Then spoke Vasishta in terms appropriate to the 
time, the assembly and the principles of religion, mention- 
ing the conversation between Janak and Bharat and elo- 
quently repeating all that Bharat had urged. " Son Rdma, 
any order that you may give, all will obey ; this is my con- 
clusion " Upon this Raghundth, clasping his hands, made 
truthful and guileless reply in gentle tones : In the pre- 
sence of yourself, sir, and the king of Mithild, for me to 
speak is altogether out of place. Whatever command you 
may be pleased to give I swear by yourself I am ready to 
comply." 

Dohd 285. 

On hearing RAma's oath, the saint and Janak and the 
whole assembly were confounded : and fixed their eyes on 
Bharat's face helplessly and without power to answer. 



396 AYODIIYA. 

Chaupdi. 
Bharat saw the distress of the assembly, and bein Ra- 
ma's brother, put a strong restraint upon himself. Seeing 
the unfitness of the time, he subdued his emotion, in the 
same way as Agastya bowed down the Vindhya mountain.^ 
Grief like Hiranyaksha carried away his soul as it were the 
Earth ; but at once from his spotless perfection like the 
womb of the universe came forth the mighty Boar^ of dis- 
cretion and wrought immediate deliverance. Clasping his 
hands, he bowed reverentially to all, to R4ma, the king, the 
guru, and the saints : " Pardon me if to day I act most un- 
becomingly and with the tongue of a child speak stubborn 
words." As he mentally invoked the gracious Sdrada, from 
the depths of his soul there came to his lotus mouth a 
swan-like strain fraught with pure intelligence, piety and 

righteousness. 

Oohd 286. 

With the eyes of his mind, Bharat saw that the assembly 
was faint with love ; bowing low and invoking Sita and 
Rdma he thus spoke ; 

Chaupdi, 

** My lord is my father and mother, my friend, my guru 
and my master ; object of my adoration, my best bene- 
factor, reader of my heart ; the kindest of patrons, the per- 
fection of amibility, the protector of the humble ; the all- 
learned, the all-wise ; the powerful befriender of suppliants ; 
quick to appreciate merit and to ignore demerit and wici^ed- 
ness ; my sovereign, my god-like God ; while no servant 
can be so bad as I am. In my infatuation I have come here 
at the head of an army, in defiance of the commands of my 
lord and my father. In the world there are good and vile, 
high and low, ambrosia and heaven, poison and death ; but 

1 Agastya is said to have compelled the Vindhya mountains to prostrate jJ 
tlieraselvea before him ; and when once down, they were never able to rise M 
again. This he did to oblige he sun, who found the range so high that he 
could with difficulty climb it in his daily passage from east to west. 

2 The allusion is to the third Avatir, when Vishnu in the form of a 
Bnar rescued the earth, which had been seized by the demon Hiranyaksha 
and carried off into the depths of the ocean. 



AYODHYA. 397 

never have I seen or beard of any one who even in thought 
could cancel an order of Rdma's. Yet I have been thus 
contumacious, and my lord in his kindness has taken it as 
service. 

Doha 287. 

Out of his own mercy and goodness he has made me 
good ; my errors have become adornments and my fair 
fame has been spread all around. 
Chaupdi. 

Your mode of procedure, your gracious speech, and 
generosity are known throughout the world; they are sung 
in the Vedas and Tantras. The cruel, the perverse, the vile, 
the low-minded, the outcast, the base, the ill-conditioned, 
the godless, the reckless, so soon as you hear that they have 
come before you as suppliants and have made a single pros- 
tration, are all reckoned as friends. Though you see faults, 
you never take them to heart ; and if you but hear of virtues 
you proclaim them in the assembly of the saints. What 
other master is there so kind to his servants, so perfect in all 
points, who never dreams of reckoning up what he has done 
himself, and is heartily vexed at any embarrassment of his 
servants. He is my sovereign lord, and there is none other, 
with arms upraised, I declare on oath. A beast may dance 
and a parrot be a clever talker ; but all depends upon the 
music of the dancing-master and the method of the teacher, 

Dohd 288. 
who now has corrected his servant and treated him with 
honour, and made him the crown of the head of the just. 
Who is there, save the all-merciful, who, whether we will 
or no, maintains our fair fame ? 

Chaupdi. 

Whether it was from grief and affection or from mere 
childishness that I came here in despite of your commands, 
you in your compassion have looked upon me as a friend 
and in every way taken it in good part. Seeing your blessed 
feet and knowing my lord's natural benignity, I look upon 



398 



AYODHYA. 



this great assembly as a piece of good fortune, and my great 
sin as evidence of my lord's kindness ;' for by his gracious 
favour he has satisfied my whole being and his compassion 
has exceeded everything. Out of the goodness of his own 
disposition my good lord has made sure of my fidelity. I 
have now displayed great audacity in discarding respect 
for this august assembly and speaking boldly or humbly, 
just as the fancy movt^d me ; but pardon me, sire, for I am 
in grievous perplexity. 

Doha 289. 

It is a great mistake to say too much to a true friend or 
really wise man or good master. Be pleased, sire, to give 
your commands and set me all right. 
Ghaupdi. 

I swear by the dust of my lord's lotus feet, the glorious 
consummation of truth, virtue and happiness ; with an oath 
I protest that the desire of my soul, whether waking, sleep- 
ing or dreaming, is to serve my lord with spontaneous 
devotion, without any regard to self-interest, fraud, or my 
owr> ends in this life or the next. There is no duty so 
imperative as submission ; let your servant, sire, obtain 
this favour."^ So saying he was utterly overwhelmed with 
emotion; his body quivered, his eyes filled with tears, and 
in great agitation he clasped his lord's lotus feet. So 
pathetic a scene defies description. The Ocean of com- 
passion honoured him with gracious words and took him 
hy the hand and seated him by his side ; while himself 
and all the assembly were faint with love, after hearing] 
Bharat's prayer and seeing his noble nature. 
Ghhand 12. 

Raghurao himself, the august assembly, the saint, the 
king of MithiU, all were faint with love, and mentally 
applauded the exceeding greatness of Bharat's brotherly 

1 The meaninof would seem tn be : the greater my sin, the grenter hia ; 
kindness in forpiving it , and the greater tlie assembly, the greater my 
glory in having so many vvitnesses to his love. ' 

2 That is to say, favour him with some order, that he may show how 
good a servant he is, by his immediate submission to it. 



AYOEVBYA. 39^ 

affection and devotedness. The gods too commended Bharat 
and ranied down flowers, though with a heavy heart. Every 
one, says Tulsi, was as distrest by what he had heard, as 
the lotus that withers at the approach of night. 
Sorathd 11. ?c;l 

Seeing every man and woman in both assemblies so 
grieved and downcast, Indra,i vile wretch, still sought 
his own happiness, killing as it were the already dead. 
Chaupdi. 

Though king of the gods, there is no limit to his deceit- 
fulness and villainy ; he loves another's loss and his own 
gain ; Pjikaripu's^ ways are like those of a crow crafty, 
disreputable and with no faith in any one. Having in the 
first instance formed an evil design and accumulated 
deceits, he piled up trouble on the heads of all. Every 
one was infatuated by the god's delusive power; their love 
for R^ ma was so violent that they would not be separated 
from him. They were all distracted ; with nothing settled 
in their mind ; at oie moment longing for the woods, at 
another anxious to return home. The people in their 

1 Though Tulsi Das constantly appeals to the authority of the Vedas, 
it is clear that like 999 out of 1,000 of the most educated of liis counrryoQeii 
at the present day, lie had not the faintest idea of their contents ; othei- 
vvise he wouhl not have spoken thus disrespectfully of Indra, who is one of 
the principal Vedic divinites, while Siva, whom he places in a much higher 
sphere and regards ns one of the manifestations of the Supremo Spirit - 
while Indra and the other** are mere demi-go is is a power for whose cultus 
the Vedas, though searched from beginning to end, would fail to supply 
any authority. [faKrahman were now to set up a temple at Muthuraor 
Bandras to Indra, or Mitra, or Varuna, or any other Vedic divinity, he would 
be thought as eccen'ric as an Englishman who should rededicate a shrine 
to Diana in the precincts of St Paul's churchyard in the city of London. 
Perhaps more so ; for the characters of the old Greek and Roman Pantheon 
are still thoroughly familiar to modern Europeans and have considerable 
influence upon art and literature : while the Vedic mythology has utterly 
perishtnl, and scarcely a single name in it would be recognized by 
any native of India except a professed Pau-Ht. Nor is this very surpris- 
ing, inasmuch as the Vedas were not really composed by Hindus, nor have 
Hindus in any past time ever adopted them as a religious standard. To 
regard them in that light now is as the founders of the Biahma Samaj 
soon discovered an impracticable absurdity. Dating from a time when 
neither Englishman nor Hindu had yet come into existence, they are the 
common inheritance of all nations of Aryan descent. Their intrinsic value 
is nil ; the only interest tiiey possess is due to the fact that they are the 
earliest surviving record of the first semi-inarticulate utterances of nascent 
humanity 

2 Pdkaripu, '''aka's enemy.' is one of Indra's names, in consequence 
of his having destroyed a demon called f aka. 



400 AYODHYA. 

distress had the current of their ideas as divided as the 
water at the confluence of a river with the sea. Thus 
wavering in mind they got no comfort in any quarter ; 
no one told another his secret thoughts. Seeing this, 
the, Ocean of compassion smiled to himself and said : 
** Indra is like a dog in his ways." 

Dohd 290. V*- 
Excepting Bharat, Janak, the saints, the ministers and 
the more intelligent nobles, the heaven sent delusion took 
effect upon all, according to the circumstances of the in- 
dividual. 

Chaupdi 

The Ocean of compassion saw tlie people distrest by 
their love and by Indra's potent deception ; the assembly, 
the king, the guru, the Brdhmans and the ministers, all 
with their hearts under the spell of Bharat's devotion ; 
motionless as pictures, gazing upon R-^ma, nervously 
uttering words which they seemed to have learnt by rote. 
The eulogy of Bharat's affection and constant humility is 
delightful to hear, but difficult to pronounce. Seeing only 
the tiniest morsel of his devotion, the saints and the king 
of MithilA were absorbed in love; how then can I, Tulsi, 
tell its greatness ? It is only by the blessing of faith that 
the ambitious design of my heart has prospered. I am 
little ; I know the enormous greatness of my subject, and I 
shrink in confusion before a crowd of other poets ; unable 
to utter the vehemence of my passionate love for his per- 
fection, the motions of my fancy are like the stam- 
merings of a childJ 

Dohd 291. 

Bharat's bright fame is as the bri^^ht moon rising in 
the bright sky of a faithful heart, ever intently watched by 
my daring fancy as by an unfledged partridge. 

I Most rea<lersof the original will agree with the poet that his powprs of 
expressi'in have here been scarcely ariequate to the intensity of his feelings 
All this part of I he poem ahoun'is with obscure and in vol veH passages, the 
precise interpretation of which is often rery Hifticult to dotenninc, and I 
cannot flatter myself that I have invariably succeeded in liitting upon !. 



AYODHYA. 401 

Ghaupdi. 
Bharat's generosity is scarce fathomable by the Vedas ; 
pardon, ye poets, the frivolities of my poor wit. Who, that 
hears or tells of B Iiarat's perfect nature, does not become 
enamoured of the feet of Sita and Rdna ? Whoever invokes 
Bharat and still finds bve for Rdma a difficult matter is a 
monster without a parallel. Seeing the state that every one 
was in, the merciful and all-wise Riima, who knows their 
devotion to him, being the staunch champion of religion, a 
master of policy, an ocean of truth and love and amiability 
and everything good, having considered the place and cir- 
cumstances, the time and assembly, Raghurdj, the main- 
tainor of justice and affection, delivered a speech, the 
quintessence of eloquence, grateful as ambrosia at the time 
of hearing, and salutary also in the end : " Brother Bharat, 
you are the champion of righteousness, perfectly conversant 
with all the laws of the world and the Vedas ; 

Dohd 292. 3t? V 
for purity of thought, word and act, your only equal, bro- 
ther, is yourself. In this venerable assembly and in such 
distressing circumstances how can all the virtues of my 

younger brother be told ? 

Chaupdi. 
Brother, you know the custom of the Solar race and the 
renown and the affection of our father, that ocean of truth ; 
the circumstances of the time and of this assembly, the re- 
verence due to these venerable personages, and the secret 
thoughts of all men, whether they be indifferent, or friends, 
or unfriends, are understood by you, as also your own high- 
est gain and mine and the requirements of religion. I have 
entire confidence in you and yet I speak as the circumstan- 
ces suggest. My words, brother, in the absence of my 
father, have been kept straight only by the favour of our 
guru; otherwise all my subjects, together with the citizens, 
the people of the palace and myself, would have been 
undone. If the lord of day sets at the wrong time, tell me, 

R-54 



402 AVODUYA. 

will not the whole world be in confusion ? Such trouble, 
brother, fate had ordained ; but the saint and the king of 
i^lithiU have averted it. 

Doha 293. 

The State ; our honour and fair name ; Religion; our 
land, wealth and homes ; all have been defended by the 
power of the guru ; and everything will be well in the end. 
Ghaupdi. 

My followers and yours, the palace and the forest, are 
both protected by his favour. The order of a father or 
mother, a guru or a master, is like Seshnig, the supporter 
of a whole world of righteousness. Obey it yourself, bro- 
ther, and let me obey it, and thus become a protector of all 
the Solar race. Obedience is the one means for the attain- 
ment of every success, a triple flood of Glory, Salvation and 
Power. Having thus reflected, endure the grievous burden 
and make your people and family happy. I have distributed 
my afflictions amongst you all ; but upon you is the full 
weight of the greatest difiiculty. I know your tenderness, 
though I speak so harshly ; the times, brother, are out of 
joint ; the fault is not mine. In an emergency a brother is 
used for a shield, in the same way as the stroke of a sword 

is parried by the hand." 

Dohd 294. 

A servant is like a hand, or foot, or eye ; a master is 
like the head. Hearing this description of love, say Tulsi, 
the greatest poets are full of admiration. 
Ghaupdi. 

When they heard Raghubar's speech, imbued as it were 
with the nectar of an ocean of tenderness, the whole assem- 
bly became lost in an overpowering trance of love. Sdrad^ 
herself was 8trucl< dumb at the sight of them. Bharat was 
immensely consoled by the graciousness of his lord and his 
putting away of every trouble and wrong-doing. Cheerful 
of aspect and with the grief of his soul effaced, he seemed 
like a dumb man who has received the gift of speech. Affec- 



AYODHYA. 403 

tionately bowing again and again and folding his lotus 
hands, he thus spoke : " My lord, I am as happy as if I had 
gone with you ; I have reaped the reward of being born 
into the world. Now, merciful sire, whatever may be 
your order, that will 1 dutifully and reverently obey. But, 
sire, grant me some support, by the help of which I may 
struggle on to the end of the time. ^ 

Doha 295. ^* 
In compliance with the guru's command, sire, I have 
brought here water from all holy places for the purpose of 
your royal inauguration : what are your orders concerning 
it? 

Chaupdi. 
I have one great desire at heart, but for fear and shame 
I canijot tell it," " Tell me what it is, brother," Upon this 
his lord's command, he replied in affectionate and winning 
terms : " With your permission I would go and see Chitra- 
kiit with all its hermitages, shrines and woods, its birds and 
beasts, its ponds and streams, its waterfals and rocks, and 
the spoti so specially marked with the prints of my lord's 
feet." " Certainly, brother : only obtain Atri's permission, 
and then wander without fear through the woods. It is the 
saint's blessing, brother, that makes the forest so auspicious, 
holy and exquisitely beautiful. In whatever place the king 
of sages may direct, there deposit the holy water." On 
liearing his lord's words, Bharat was glad and joyfully 
bowed his head to the saint's lotus feet. 
Dohd 296. 
The selfish gods, when they heard this most delightful 
conversation between Bharat and Rama, praised the whole 
family and rapturously showered down flowers upon them. 
Chaupdi. 
*' Blessed be Bharat and glory to our lord Rdma." cried 



1 One of the temples of Chitra-kilt Dears the name of Charan-paduka, 
and has been erected over a rock which is said to bear the impression of 
Rama's foot. Supposing there were any truth in the legend, it would seem 
rather from the name that it ought to commemorate the place where Rama 
gave Bharat his sandals, 



404 AYODHYA. 

the gods in their irrepressible delight. The saint, the king 
of Mithild and every one in the assembly rejoiced on hear- 
ing Bharat's speech. King Videha broke out into ecstatic 
praises of the many virtues and the affection both of Bharat 
and Rama ; master and servant of equally charming dis- 
position, their fidelity and love the purest of the pure. The 
ministers too and all the spectators effectionately extolled 
them, as each best could. In both camps there was blended 
joy and sorrow, when they heard the conversation between 
Rdma, Bharat and the saint. Rama's mother, feeling plea- 
sure and pain equally balanced, exhorted the queens, 
reckoning up both good and evil. One would magnify 
Rdma, another would praise Bharat's amiability. 

Doha 297. 

Then said Atri to Bharat : *' There is a fine well near 
the hill ; there deposit the holy water, pure, unsullied, in- 
comparable." 

Chaupdi. 

On receiving Atri's command, Bharat despatched all 
the water vessels, and himself with Satrnghna, the saint 
and elders, went to the deep wellJ There he poured out the 
holy water on that sacred spot ; and Atri in a rapture of 
affection thus spoke : "Son, this has been a holy place 
from all eternity ; but time had obscured it, and it was 
known to no one, till my servants, seeing the spot to be a 
desirable one, made this great well for the sake of a good 
supply of water. By the decree of fate the whole universe 
has been benefited, and a merit most difficult to compass 
has been rendered easy. People will now call it Bharat's 
well, hallowed in a special degree by the combination in it 
of the water of all holy places. Every one who lovingly 
and religiously bathes in it, will be made pure in thought, 
word and act." 

1 VAlmiki makes no mention of this well. Under the name of 'the 
Bharat-ki'ip', it is now one of the seven principal stations visited by the 
pilgrims to Ohitra-kiit. 



AYODHYA. 405 

Doha 298. 

All then went to Raghunath, telling the virtue of the 

well; and Atri explained to him the blessed efficacy of holy 

places. 

Chawpdi. 

The night was pleasantly^pent in loving discourse on 
matters of religion and sacred legends until it was dawn. 
After performing their daily duties, Bharat and his brother, 
having received permission from Rama and Saint Atri, at- 
tended by all their retinue in simple attire, proceeded on 
foot to visit Rama's wood. Earth, in confusion of heart at 
being trodden by their delicate and unshod feet, smoothen- 
ed herself, and cleared away all tlie spiky grass and thorns 
and stones and ruts and everything rough and unpleasant. 
Earth made the way delightfully easy for them ; they were 
refreshed by soft, cool and fragrant breezes ; the gods rained 
down flowers ; the clouds afforded shade ; the trees gave 
blossom and fruit ; the grass made a soft carpet ; the deer 
with their timid glances, and the birds with their sweet 
song, all recognized Rama's friends and did them homage. 
Dohd 299. 

And what great matter is this for Bharat, Rama's dear- 
est friend ? when any ordinary person finds the highest suc- 
cess easy of attainment, if he merely repeats Raima's name 

when he yawns. 

Ghanpfii. 

In this manner Bharat roamed the woods, and the saints, 
who saw his faith and love, were abashed. Seeing all so 
divine, he asked about the sacred ponds and various locali- 
ties, the birds and deer, the trees and grasses, the hills, 
woods and orchards, beautiful and varied and pre-eminent- 
ly holy ; and in reply the great saint with gladness of 
heart gave him the history of each, with its name, virtues 
and spiritual efficacy. Bathing at one place, prostrating 
himself at another ; here admiring the beauty of the wood, 
here sitting down to rest as the saint directed, he medjta- 



406 AYODHYA. 

ted on Slta and the two brothers. Seeing the goodness of 
his disposition, his love and faithfulness in service, the 
gods of the wood were charmed and gave him their bles- 
sing. The third watch of the day was half spent when he 
returned to gaze upon the lotus feet of his lord. 
Dohd 300. 
In five days Bharat visited every shrine and holy place. 
The day was spent in discourse on the glory of Hari and 
Hara until the evening. 

Chauptii. 

On the morrow, after bathing, the whole assembly was 
gathered together Bharat, the Brdhmans and the king of 
Tirhdt. Rdma new at heart that the day was an auspicious 
one, but in his kindness hesitated to say so. He looked at 
the guru, the king, Bharat, and the assembly, and then in 
confusion turned his eyes to the ground. All the spectators 
admired his generosity, thinking. * Never was there a mas- 
ter so considerate as Reima is ! ' Bharat in his wisdom un- 
derstood Rama's wish. He stood up and, lovingly putting 
the greatest restraint upon himself, bowed low, and with 
clasped hands thus spoke : " My lord has granted my every 
desire. For me he has borne, every affliction and has 
himself experienced every kind of trouble. Now, sire, give 
me your royal permission to go and serve at Avadh till the 

appointed time. 

Dohd 301. 

But, merciful and compassionate king of Kosahi. 
teach me some way by which your servant may see your feet 
again when the time is over. 

Chaupdi. 

Your citizens, your kinsmen, and all your subjects, sire, 
are true and real, and bound to you by ties of affection. 
The sorrows of this miserable life, borne by your command 
are a delight ; without my lord, highest heaven is a worth- 
less gain. The all wise master knows th fancies, the 
desires, the habit of mind of all his servants ; the protector, 



AYODHiA. d07 

of suppliants will be our protector, and both in this world 
and the next will secure our deliverance. I have thus the 
most perfect confidence ; not a particle of anxiety disturbs 
my calculations. My own distress and my lord's forbearance 
have combined to make me thus presumptuous. Pardon, 
my lord, this my great offence, and shrink not from instruct- 
ing your servant what to do." All who heard Bharat's 
prayer applauded it ; like a swan it had separated the milk 
of truth from the water of error. 

Dohd 302. 

The all-wise Rama, the brother of the meek, on hearing 
his brother's meek and guilelss speech, replied in terms ap- 
l^ropriate to the place, the circumstances and the time : 

Chaupdi. 

" The guim and the king, brother, take thought for you, 
for me and our people, whether at home or in the forest. So 
long as Visvamitra, Vasishtha, and Janak direct us, neither 
you nor I can dream of trouble. For us two brothers, both 
for me and you, obedience to our father's command is the 
highest object we can have, our greatest gain, our glory, 
our duty and our salvation. A king's good is a good thing 
both in the Vedas and in the estimation of the world. 
Whoever observes the injunctions of guru or father and 
mother, or master treads an easy path and never stumbles. 
Remember this, and putting aside all regrets, go and reign 
at Avadh for the appointed time. The burden of the realm, 
the treasury, the people and the family will weigh no heavier 
than the dust of the guriCs feet. Observe the instructions 
of the saint your mother and the Minister, and protect your 
country, your subjects and your capital." 
Bohd 303. 

A chief should be like the mouth, which alone (says 
Tulsi) does all the eating and drinking, and yet supports 
and nourishes to a nicety each separate member of the body. 



408 AVODHVA. 

Chaupdi. 

A king's duty includes everything, in the same way as 
every latent desire exists potentially in the mind. In various 
ways he consoled his brother ; but without some memento 
his mind would not be satisfied nor at rest. The guru, the 
minister and the whole assembly were like-minded with 
Bharat ; and Rdma overpowered with modesty and affection, 
took compassion upon him and gave him his sandals, which 
Bharat reverently received and placed upon his head. Not 
these the mere foot-gear of the All-merciful, but rather twin 
guardians of his people's life ; a casket to contain the jewel 
of Bharat's love ; the two letters^ of the alphabet for which 
the soul struggles ; the folding-doors that guard the house ; 
the hands for holy work ; the pure eyes of service and 
righteousness Bharat was as glad to receive this memento 
as if Rdma and Sita had themselves stayed. 
Dohd 304. 

As he bowed and begged permission to depart, Rama 
took and clasped him to his bosom. Wicked Indra finding 
a sad opportunity made the people weary. 

Chaupdi. 

But his villainy was a good thing for all; the hope that 
the time of exile would soon be over was the life of their 
life. Otherwise the separation from Lakshman, Sita and 
R^ma would have been such a blow that all would have 
died of it. The mercy of Rd ma solved this diffi(3ulty, and 
the hostile gods became serviceable allies. R4ma closed his 
arms around Bharat with a burst of affection that cannot 
be described. Body, soul and speech overflowed with 
love ; the firmest of the firm lost all firmness, and his lotus 
eyes streamed with tears. The assembled gods were 
grieved to see his condition : the saints and gurus who were 
as firm as Janak, the gold of whose soul had been tested 
by the fire of wisdom, and whom the Creator had created 
as unimpressionable by the world as the leaves of the 
lotus by the water ; 



I The lw<j letters are the consonants in the name KAma : for a paueKyric 
on which see Doha 24, Book t, page 18. 



AtODHYA. 409 

Dohd 305. 
even they, seeing the unparalleled and boundless affection 
of R^ma and Bharat, were overwhelmed in body, soul and 
speech, lost all reason and restraint. 

Ghaupdi. 
If Janak and Vasishtha were dumbfounded, the emotion 
of ordinary persons is not worth speaking about. People 
would think any poet harsh when they heard him describe 
the parting of Rdima and Bharat ; Eloquence herself, re- 
membering the unspeakable pathos of the scene, would be 
struck dumb with confusion. Raghubar first embraced 
and consoled Bharat and then rejoiced to take Satrughna 
to his arms. Knowing Bharat's wishes, his servants and 
ministers began each to set about his own work. In both 
camps there was sore distress at the news, as they com- 
menced their preparations for the march. The two brothers, 
after reverencing their lord's lotus feet and submissively 
receiving his commands, set out on the way, bowing to the 
saints, the hermits and forest gods and again and again 
showing them respect. 

Dohd 306. 
Lakshman, too, they embraced, and making obeisance, 
placed on their head the dust of Sfta's feet, and received 
her affectionate blessing, the source of happiness. 

Ghaupdi. 
Rama and his brother bowed the head to the king with 
many expressions of modesty and praise : " In your kind- 
ness, sire, you have suffered great inconvenience, you and 
your retinue, by coming to the forest ; now grant me your 
blessing and return to the city." The monarch mastered 
his emotion and went. After reverencing the saints, Brdh- 
mans and nobles, and taking leave of them as though they 
were the equals of Hari and Hara, the two brothers ap- 
proached their mother-in-law, and came back after kissing 
her feet and obtaining her blessing. Then they took leave 

R-55 



410 AYODHYA. 

of Visvamitra, Vamadeva and J^bdli ;i the people of the 
court, the citizens, the good ministers and all ; with courte- 
ous speech and address, as was most befitting. The Ocean 
of compassion respectfully dismissed them all, men and 
women, high, middle-class and low. 
Dohd 307. 

With sincere affection the Lord kissed the feet of 
Bharat's mother and embraced her, and escorting her to the 
p^lki that he had in readiness, effaced all her alarm and 
distress. 

Ghaupdi. 

After saluting her father and mother and the court, Sita 
came back purified by the love of her beloved. Reverently 
she embraced all her mothers-in-law, with an affection 
which the poet's soul shrinks from describing. Hearkening 
to their instruction and receiving the blessing she desired 
of them, Sfta stood burdened with conflicting love. Having 
sent for elegant pdlkis, Rdma with words of consolation 
escorted each of his mothers to their carriage. Again and 
again both brothers embraced them and led each by the 
hand with equal affection. When the horses, elephants and 
different vehicles were ready, the king and Bharat started 
the host. Their hearts full of Rflma, Sita and Lakshman, all 
the people went disconsolate ; even the bullocks, horses, 
elephants and cattle were out of heart and went only by 
force and against their will. 

Dohd 308. 

The Lord with Sita and Lakshman kissed the feet of the 
guru and the guru's wife, and turned and came back to 
their leafy hut with mingled pleasure and amazement. 

Ghaupai. 

The Nishjid was dismissed with honour and departed ; 
sorely grieved at heart to leave. The Kols, KirAts and 

Tli^the Sanskrit Riimayana Jkbali is represented as being, or profcss- 
ing to be, an atheist. In this character he alone openly advised KAma tn 
return to Ayodhya as king ; for as there was no life after death, the wisest 
plan was to get as much enjoyment as possible out of the present lite whiu 
it lasted. 



AYODHYA. 411 

Bhfls, the people of the woods, turned again and again, 
after they had been dismissed, to make yet one more obei- 
sance. The lord with Sita and Lakshman sat under the 
shade of the fig-tree and sorrowed for the loss of their dear 
friends. R^ma, overpowered with affection, discoursed to 
his spouse and brother in eloquent terras on Bharat's love 
and generosity, and with his own blessed mouth declared 
that faith and devotion were in his every thought, word 
and deed. At that time the birds, deer and fish, every 
creature at Chitra-kiit, whether animate or inanimate, were 
all woe-begone. The gods, seeing Raghubar's state, rained 
down flowers and told him of what was doing in their 
several spheres. The lord bowed and reassured them ; they 
went away glad,. without a particle of anxiety in their mind. 
Dohd 309. 

With Sita and his brother the Lord shone forth in the 
leafy hut as resplendent as Faith, wisdom and Ascetism 
incarnate. 

Chaupdi. 

Vasishtha, the Br^hmans and Visvamitra, Bharat and 
the king were all in evil case at leaving R^ma and paced 
the road in silence, counting up in their mind all Rama's 
virtues. After crossing the Jamun^ they passed that 
whole day without food. The next day they crossed the 
Ganges, where Rama's friend made every arrangement for 
them. Then they crossed the Sai, bathed in the Gomati, 
and on the fourth day reached Ayodhy^. Janak stayed 
four days in the city, settled the entire administration of 
the state, committed the government to the Minister, the 
guru and Bharat, and then with all his retinue set out for 
Tirhiit. All the people, in compliance with the guru^s 
directions, settled down quietly in Rama's capital, 

Dohd 310. 
fasting and praying to see him once again, discarding all 
personal adornments, pleasure and enjoyment, and living 
only in the hope of his return. 



412 AYODHYA. 

Ghaupdi. 
Bharat exhorted his ministers and trusty servants, and 
they executed his orders, each in their appointed sphere. 
Then he spoke and gave instructions to his younger brother, 
and entrusted to him the care of the dowager queens. He 
also with folded hands spoke to the Br^hmans, bowing low 
and using humble supplication : " Give your orders and 
hesitate not, to high or to low, in great matters or in small." 
Next he summoned the people of the palace, of the city, and 
all his subjects, and set their minds at rest and appointed 
them places to live in. After this he, with his brother, 
went to the guru's house, and after prostrating himself and 
joining his hands in prayer said thus : " With your per- 
mission I will now live a life of penance." The saint 
thrilled with rapturous affection and replied : " Whatever 
you think, or say, or do, is always best." 
Doha 311, 

On receiving his command and his blessing, he sent for 
a great astrologer and fixed the day, and then devoutly 
placed upon the throne his lord's sandals. 

Ghaupfii. 

After bowing his head at the feet of Rdma's mother 
and the guru, and receiving the commands of his lord's 
sandals, the champion of righteousness made for himself 
a hut of leaves at NandigrAma, ^ and there abode, with his 
hair gathered up into a knot on his head, attired in hermit's 
dress, and his couch of grass spread in a cave in the earth, 
lovingly practising the austerities of religious life in food, 
^ dress, posture, fasting and prayer ; discarding in thought, 
word and deed, as of no more value than a broken blade of j 
grass, all clothes and adornments and every luxury and; 
enjoyment. The city of heaven envied the capital of] 
Avadh, and the god-of riches was confounded at the sight of 

1 Nandigr&ma, now contracted to Nandg^nw, is a few miles froi 
Ayodhy^. 



AYODHYA. 



413 



Dasarath's wealth ; yet in that city Bharat dwelt as in- 
different as a bee in a garden of champa trees. ^ A man 
so highly blest as to be enamoured of Rdma spurns like 
vomit all Lakshmi's delights. 

DohdS{2. 

This is no such great achievement for Bharat, the very 
shrine of the love of R^ma ; even the chdfak and the swan 
are models in their way, the one of marvellous constancy, 
the other of discrimination. 

Chaupdi. 

Day by day his body grew thinner, but his lustre and 
vigour were not diminished, and the beauty of his face " 
remained the same. Nourished by an ever-increasing devo- 
tion, his virtue waxed stronger and his soul was unclouded : 
as the waters decrease in the brightness of the autumn, but 
the reeds spring up and the lotuses blossom. His tran- 
quillity, self-control, piety, fasting and prayer were like stars 
in the pure heaven of Bharat's soul : his faith like the 
pole-star, the return from exile as the full moon, his con- 
stant remembrance of the Lord as the glistening milk-way, 
his devotion a fixed and unsullied moon shining ever clear 
amidst a galaxy of stars. All the greatest of poets would 
fail to describe Bharat's composure, wisdom and magnanim- 
ity, his faith, his impassibility, and the perfect splendour 
of his virtues ; not even Seshnag, Ganes and Sarasvati 
could attain to them. 

Dohd 313. 
Paying daily homage to his lord's sandals, his affection 
was greater than his heart could contain : he constantly 
referred to them in the disposal of all matters of state, 

Chaupdi. 
his body quivering with emotion, Sita and Rdma in his 
heart, their names upon his tongue, and with tears in his 
eyes. R^ma, Lakshman and Sita dwelt in the forest, but 

1 Though the champa bears a very sweet-scented flower, it is said that 
no bee ever sucks it. 



414 AYODHYA. 

Bharat dwelling in the palace endured the bodily penance. 
Every one after considering both sides said that Bharat was 
in every way praiseworthy. The religious were abashed 
who heard of his fasting and penance ; the king of saints, 
who saw his condition, was put to shame. Bharat's mode 
of life was utterly holy, sweet and charming, and the cause 
of every blessing ; it removes the grievous distress of this 
sinful age : is the sun to disperse the darkness of the great 
delusion ; the lion to quell the elephant host of sin : the 
pacifier of every kind of affliction ; the joy of the faithful : 
the liberator from the burden of existence the essence of 
the ambrosia of Rama's love. 

Ghhand 13. 
If Bharat had never been born, full of the ambrosia of 
devotion to Rdma and Sita who would have practised such 
self-restraint and penance, such composure, patience and 
rigorous fasting, transcending every imagination of the 
saints ? Who in legendary disguise would have removed 
our burning sorrows and poverty, our arrogance and sin ? 
What poor wretch like Tulsi now in this iron age would 
have ventured to set RAma before you ? -t ^ m 

Sorathd 12. ^ \ 

All, says Tulsi, who make a vow and listen with rever- 
ence to Bharat's acts shall assuredly acquire a great devotion 
to the feet of Sita and R^ma and a distaste for the pleasures 
of life. 



[Thus endeth the hook entitled Ayodhya, composed by 
Tulsi Dds for the bestowal of pure wisdom and continence 
being the second descent ' into the holy lake of Rama's deedsj' 
that cleanses from every defilement of the world.] 



BOOK III. 

THE FOKEST. 



THE FOREST. 417 

THE FOREST. 



Sanskrit Invocation. 

I REVERENCE the Brdhmanic race ; the very root of the 
tree of piety; the full moon of the sea of intelligence ; the 
joygiver ; the sun of the lotus of asceticism ; the destroyer 
of sin ; the dispeller of darkness ; the healer of distress ; 
the most auspicious conjunction in the high heaven of 
wisdom, which scatters the thick clouds of delusion ; the 
sin cleansing ; the beloved of king Rama. 

I worship him, whose body resembles a cloud teeming 
with abundant delights; the yellow-apparelled ; the beauti- 
ful; the hero with bow and arrows in hand and well-fitted 
quiver gleaming by his side; with the large lotus eyes ; 
the long tresses of whose hair are bound into a knot on his 
liead, all glorious to behold ; the way-farer accompanied by 
Sita and Lakshman, the charmer of charmers. 

ISorathd 1. 
Uma, the saints, who are learned in Rdma's mysteri- 
.. ous qualities, enjoy peace of mind ; but fools, wJk^ave Hari's 
enemies and have no love for religion, reap only delusion. 

Chaupai. 
I have sung to the best of my ability the incomparable 
and charming affection shown by the citizens and Bharat : 
hearken now to the all-holy acts of the Lord, that he 
wrought in the forest, to the delight of gods, men and 
saints. Once upon a time Rama picked some lovely flowers 
and with his own hands made a wreath, with which he 
reverently decked Sita. As she sat in her glory on the 
crystal rock, the son of the king of the gods^ took the form 
of a crow and wickedly thought to make trial of Raima's 
might, like an ant so imbecile of mind as to attempt to 
sound the depths of ocean. With its beak it bit Sita in 
the foot and flew away, the foolish crow, in its utter 
I Jayanta, the son of Indra. 

R-oG 



418 THE FOREST. 

Stupidity. The blood flowed ; Raghundyak saw it and 
made ready his bow and arrow, fashioned merely of reeds.^ 

Doha 1. -jl 

The All-merciful R^ma, ever full of compassion for the 
poor, even he it was upon whom the wicked wretch came 
and played this trick. 

Ghaupdi. 

The divine arrow, winged with a charm, sped forth ; 
the crow in terror took to flight and assuming his proper 
form went to his father, who would not shelter him, as he 
was Rdma's enemy. He was in despair, and as panicstricken 
in soul as was the Rishi DurvAsas by the terror of Vishnu's 
discus. Weary and worn with fear and remorse, he 
traversed the realm of Brdhma, the city of Siva and every 
other sphere; but no one even asked him to sit down ; who 
can befriend an enemy of Rama's ? Hearken Garur : his 
own mother becomes his death ; his father is changed as 
it were into the king of the infernal regions ;2 ambrosia 
turns to poison ; a friend does him all the harm of a 
hundred enemies ; the Ganges is converted into the Vaitar- 
ani,3 and all the world burns hotter than fire mark me, 
brother when a man opposes Rjima. When N^rad saw 
Jayanta's distress, being tender-hearted and good, he took j 
pity on him and sent him straight to RAma. There he 
cried 'Save me, thou that art the suppliant's friend !' 
In terror and confusion he went and clasped his feet, 
crying *' Quarter, quarter, merciful Raghurdi ! Thy might 
is immeasurable, and immeasurable thy majesty; ia 
ignorance of mind, I Knew thee not. I have reaped thi 
fruit of my own actions ; now my Lord, succour me, for 
thee I have come for refuge." When the Merciful hear< 

1 In the Sanskrit R^mavana this incident of the crow forms the sal 
ject of the 105th cnnto of the Ayodriya Kind, Gorresio's edition. 

2 SanninUy * the destMver,' here denotes Yaraa, the Indian Pluto. 

3 The Vaiiararu is the Hindu htyx, or river of hell, which the dea 
have to cross before entering the infernal regions. It is represented as i 
impetuous and filthy torrent, full of blood, hair and bones and every kit 
of impurity. 



THE FOREST. 419 

this most piteous appeal, he dismissed him, Bhavdni, with 

the loss of one eye. , 

Sorothd 2. ^ 

Although in his infatuation he had committed such an 
offence that death was his due, the Lord had compassion 
upon him and set him free ; who is so merciful as Baghubir? 

Ghaupdi 

R4raa stayed on at Chitra-kut and performed many acts 
that were like the scriptures or ambrosia for excellence. 
At last, he thought to himself " There will be a crowd 
here, now that every one knows of me." So the two, 
brothers with Sita took leave of all the saints and went on 
their way. When the Lord drew near to Atri's hermitage, 
the holy man was rejoiced at the news, and quivering in 
every limb he sprang up and ran to meet him. On seeing 
him, R4ma advanced hurriedly and was falling to the 
ground before him, but the saint took him to his bosom. 
Both wept tears of affection. At the sight of Rama's 
beauty, his eyes were gladdened and he reverently con- 
ducted him to his cell, where doing him every honour he 
addressed him in gracious terms and offered him roots and 
fruits such as his soul relished. ^^ 

Sorathd 3. i 

As the Lord took his seat, the great saint supremely 
wise, gazed with streaming eyes upon his beauty, and join- 
ing his hands in supplication he thus hymned his praise : 
Chhand 1. 

'* I reverence thee, the lover of the devout ; the merciful, 
the tender-hearted ; I worship thy lotus feet, which bestow 
upon the unsensual thine own abode in heaven. I adore 
thee, the wonderously dark and beautiful ; the mount 
Mandar to churn the ocean of existence ; with eyes like the 
full blown lotus ; the dispeller of pride and every other 
vice ; the long-armed hero of immeasurable power and 
glory ; the mighty Lord of the three spheres, equipped with 
quiver and bow and arrows ; the ornament of the Solar 



420 THE FOREST. 

race ; the breaker of Siva's bow ; the delight of the greatest 
sages and saints ; the destroyer of all the enemies of the 
gods ; the adored of K^madev's foe (i. e., of Siva) ; the 
reverenced of Brahma and the other divinities ; the home 
of enlightened intelligence ; the dispeller of all error : 
Lakshmi's lord ; the mine of felicity ; the salvation of the 
saints. I worship thee with thy spouse and thy brother, 
thyself the beloved younger brother of Sachi's lord.^ Men, 
who unselfishly worship thy holy feet, sink not in the ocean 
of existence, tost with the billows of controversy. They 
who in the hope of salvation, with subdued passions, ever 
delightedly^ worship thee, having discarded every object 
of sense, are advanced to thy own sphere in heaven. I 
worship thee, the one, the mysterious Lord, the unchange- 
able and omnipresent power, the eternal governor of the 
world, the one absolute and universal spirit ; the joy of all 
men day after day. I reverently adore thee, the king of 
incomparable beauty, the lord of the earth-born Sfta ; be 
gracious to me and grant me devotion to thy lotus feet" 
They who reverently repeat this hymn, full of faith in thee, 
will undoubtedly attain to thy heaven. 3 

Dohd 2. "p 

Again with bowed head and folded hands the saint 
made supplication and cried, ' Never, Lord, may my soul 

abandon thy lotus feet. 

Chaupdi. 

The amiable and modest Sita clasped Anasiiya* by the 

feet with frequent embraces The soul of the Rishi's wife 

was filled with joy ; she gave her her blessing and seated 

her by her side. Then arrayed her in heavenly robes and 

1 This epithet is peculiar one ; but it would seem to be intended simply 
as a periphrasis for Upendra, ' the lesser Indra,' a well-known title of Vish- 
nu, who, in the dwarf incarn ttion, was born as a son of Kasyapa ; Indra. 
here called ' Sachi's lord,' being ncconnted the eldest of Kasyapa's sons. 

2 Mudd is here the instrumental case of mud, * delight.' 

3 The whole of this Ohhand is in loose and occasionally ungrammatical 
Sanskrit, like the language of the GAthas in Buddhist literature. 

4 The interview with Atri and Anasi\vA is narrated at the end of the 
AyodbyA KAnd in one recension of the Sanskrit Rimayana. 



THE FOREST. >^ 421 

jewels which remained ever bright and beautiful. In simple 
and affectionate phrase the saintly dame spoke and instruct- 
ed her in matters of wifely duty. " Hearken, royal lady ; 
mother, father, brethren and friends are all good in a 
limited degree ; but a husband, Vaidehi, is an unlimited 
blessing ; and vile is the woman who worships him not. 
Courage, virtue, a friend and a woman are four things that 
are tried in time of adversity. Though her lord be old, 
diseased, impotent and poor, blind, deaf, passionate and 
utterly vile, yet even so the wife who treats him with 
disrespect shall suffer many torments in hell. Her one 
duty, her one fast and penance consist in a devotion of body, 
word and thought to her husband's feet. There are four " 
kinds of faithful wife in the world, as the Vedas, Pur^nas o 
and saints all say. The best is so firmly settled in 
mind that she could not even dream of there being any 
other man living : the next regards another's husband as 
her own brother or father, or son ; she who is restrained by 
thought of duty and consideration for her family is said in 
the scriptures to be a woman of low character ; but reckon 
her the very lowest of all, who is restrained only by fear and 
want of opportunity. She who deceives her husband and 
carries on an intrigue with another man shall be cast for a 
hundred ages into the hell called the terrible. Who such 
a wretch as she, who for a moment's pleasure considers not 
the torment that shall endure through a hundred million 
lives? Without any difficulty a woman attains to salvation, 
if only without guile she adhere to her duty as a faithful 
wife ; while she, who lives to despite her spouse, becomes 
a widow while still a girl. 

Sorathd 4. 
An utterly wicked woman who is faithful to her hus- ^ 
band has a happy fate when she dies ; so sing the four I 
Vedas and so too in these days sings Hari's poor friend, 
Tulsi. Hearken, Sita ; a woman will be kept faithful, if | 
she invoke your name ; for you love Rdma like your own ' 
life ; these words that I say are for the good of the world." 



422 THE FOREST. 

Chaupdi. 

On hearing this Jdnaki was overjoyed and reverently 
bowed her head at her feet Then the All-nierciful said to 
the saint, " With your permission I would go to some other 
wood. Continue to be ever gracious to me and knowing 
me to be your servant, cease not your kindness.' On hearing 
this speech of the Lord, the champion of righteousness, the 
wise saint affectionately replied : " Rdma, you are lie 
whose favour is desired by Bidhma, Siva, Sanat-kumara, 
and the other gods and by all the preachers of salvation ; 
the passionless, the kindly, the friend of the helpless, who 
thus modestly be speak me. N )W I understand the clever- 
ness of Lakshmi who lias left every other god and worships 
you alone. Of a truih there is none your equal ; how then 
could your goodness be other than it is ? H >w can I, my 
lord, tell you what wood to visit ? Say, master, for you read 
the heart." Having thus spoken, the saint strong-minded 
as he was, trembled in every limb and his eyes streamed 
with tears as he gazed upon the Lord. 

Chhand 2. 

Trembling exceedingly in every limb he fixed his loving 
eyes upon his lotus face : " It is the reward of prayer and 
penance that 1 have beheld the L )rd, who transcends the 
senses and every faculty of thought and reason." By prayer 
and meditation and religious observances, men attain to 
the crowning virtue of faith ; therefore day and night Tulsi 
Dds sings the holy acts of Raghubir. 

Dohd 3. // 

Rama's praises remove the pollution of this wicked 
age, subdue the soul, are the source of beatitude ; and 
RAma continues gracious to all who reverently hear them. 
Sorathd 5. f >- 

Grievous is the burden of the sin of the world ; nor 
religion, nor knowledge, nor meditation, nor penance 
avails against it ; they are wise who dLicard trust in all 
else and worship RAma only. 



THE FOREST. 423 

Ghaupdi. 

The Lord of gods and men and saints, after bowing his 
head at the lotus feet of the sage, proceeded to the wood. 
R^ma first and after him his brother, in the garb of hermits 
all full and complete. Between the two the incarnation of 
Lakshmi shone forth like Mdya between God and the soul. 
The rivers and thickets and precipitous and mountain- 
passes all recognized their lord and made the way smooth 
for him. Wherever the divine Raghur^i passed, the clouds 
made a canopy in the heaven. As they went along the 
road the demon Viradha met them. While he was yet 
coming Raghubir overthrew him, then at once he assumed 
beauteous lorm ; and Rama seeing him sorrowful dismissed 
him to his own sphere. 1 Then ttie AU-beautiful with his 
brother and J^naki visited the sage Sarabhauga. 

Doha 4. ; t 

At the sight of Rama's lotus face the bee-like eyes of the 
saint reverently drank thereof ; blessed indeed was Sara- 
bhanga to have been born 

Chaupdi. 

Said the saint : " Hearken, gracious Raghubir, the swan 
of Sanuara's lake. I had taken my departure to the halls of 
the Creator, 2 but 1 heard say that Rauia is coming into the 
forest. Day and night I have been watching the road ; now 
I have seen my lord and my heart is at rest. I am deficient 
my lord, in all that is good, but you have graciously ac- 
knowledged me as your humble servant. Now, sire, I have 
no request to make ; I have accomplished my vow, 
ravisher of the soul of the faiihful, to wait in expectation of 
the suppliant's friend till I saw you and then to discard my 
body. I have practised meditation, sacrifice, prayers, 
penance and fasting, and have received the gift of faith as 
a boon of the lord. In this manner with his funeral pile all 



1 The eiicountt^r with Vira iha, which is l-ere so very baldly told, oc- 
cupies more than a hundred liiit-s in Valmiki's poem. 

2 Valmiki represents Indra as having come with his chariot and horses 
to carry off tne hage to Branma's sphere at the very time of Rama's arrival. 



424 THE FOREST. 

ready prepared, saint Sarabhanga has sat and waited, with 
a heart freed from every attachment. 

Doha 5. \ "^ 

May the Lord, whose body is dark of hue as a sombre 
raincloud, incarnate in form as the divine RAma, dwell for 
ever in my soul together with Sita and his brother !" 

Chaupai. 

When he had thus said, the fire of his devotion consum- 
ed his body, and by RAma's favour he ascended to Vaikunth.^ 
The saint was not absorbed into the divinity for this reason, 
that he had already received the mysterious gift of faith.^ 
When the assembled Rishis saw the great saint's transla- 
tion, they were mightily rejoiced at heart and all broke 
forth into hymns of praise, ' Glory to the champion of the 
humble, the fountuin of mercy.' Then RnghunAth went on 
further into the forest, and a great company of holy men 
with him. Seeing a heap of bones, he asked the saints 
about them and was moved with much compassion. *' I 
know, but why ask. Master ? You are all-seeing and know 
even our thoughts. These are all saints whom the demon 
hosts have devoured." On hearing this, Raghubir's eyes 

filled with tears. 

Doha 6. J % 
He raised his arms and vowed to rid the earth of demons : 
then gladdened the saints by visiting them all in turn at 

their hermitages. 

Chaupai. 

Saint Agasiya had a learned disciple, by name Sutikshna 

devoted to God ; in thought, word and deed one of Rama's 

faithful servants, who had never even dreamt of any other 

hope or divinity. When he heard of the Lord's approach, 

he rushed out hurriedly, full of longing desire : " God, 



1 According to VAlmlkl it was not Vaikunth, but Brahma's sphere, to 
which he was translated III 9. 36. 

2 The reward of faith (hhakti)\a the admipsion to the actual presence 
of the divinity in the sphere where he specially reigns Absorption into the 
divinity implies the extinction of indivi' ual ixistence and individual con- 
sciousness, iin<l therefore, though the Kummuin bonuin of mnny Hindu sects, 
it is not so of tliose who cherisn a personal love for any particular incarna- 
tion a love which can only be satisAed by a consciousDess of the presence of 
tbe beloved. 



i 



THE FOREST. 425 

the compassionate Raguhrdri will be gracious to even a 
wretch like me. The holy Rdma and his brother will 
receive me as their own servant. I have no assured con- 
fidence of heart, no faith, nor command over self, nor 
wisdom of intellect ; no communion with saints, no prac- 
tice in meditation, prayer, or vigil, and no steadfast devotion 
to his lotus feet ; only the promise of the All-merciful : ' He ^ 
is my friend who goeth to none other.' To-day my eyes / 

will be blest with the sight of the lotus-faced, the deliverer 
from the bondage of existence." The saint, philosopher as 
he was, was so utterly overwhelmed with love that his 
state, Bhavani, was beyond all discription. He could not 
see his way either in this direction or in that, nor remember 
who he was, or where he was going ; at one time he would 
turn and go back, at another would dance and sing songs 
of praise. The saint's love and faith waxed yet more vehe- 
ment as the Lord watched him stealthily from behind a tree. 
Then Raghubir, who removes all the troubles of the world, 
after witnessing his exceeding devotion, manifested himself 
in liis soul. The saint was struck motionless in the 
middle of the road, and his body bristled like the jack-fruit 
with every hair on end. Then Raghundth drew near, re- 
joicing to witness the emotion of his servant, and tried many 
ways to rouse him ; but he neither awoke nor derived any 
happiness from the vision ; till R*ima doffed his kingly guise 
and mentally revealed himself as the four- armed god. The 
saint thereupon started up in alarm, like a poor snake that 
has been robbed of its jewel; but seeing before him the 
dark-hued Rdma with Sita and his younger brother, the 
abode of delight, he fell like a log at his feet, drowned in 
love and supremely happy. With his strong arms he took 
and lifted him and clasped him to his bosom with the 
utmost affection. As he embraced the saint, the All-merciful 
showed forth like a tamdla tree clasped by a tree of gold : 
and the saint as he gazed on Rama's face stood so still that 
you would take him for a figure painted in a picture. 

R-57 



426 THE FOREST. 

Doha 7. X<^ 

At last the saint growing bolder at heart, after again 
and again clasping his feet, conducted the Lord to his her- 
mitage and did everything in his honour. 
Ghaupdi. 

Said the saint : " Hearken, Lord, to ray supplication ; 
but how can I hymn thy praise ? Thy greatness is immea- 
surable and my wit is scant, as ineffectual as a fire-fly in the 
presence of the sun, I adore without ceasing the divine 
Raghubir, with body dark of hue as a string of lotuses, with 
his knotted hair for a crown and an anchorite's dress for 
his robe, with bow and arrows in hand and quiver by his side. 
A fire to consume the dense forest of delusion, a sun to ani- 
mate lotus growth of the saints, a lion against the elephant 
herd of demons, hawk to scatter the birds of metempsychosis, 
may he ever protect us with eyes bright as the lotus ; appa- 
relled with glory; the moon of Sita's partridge-like eyes; the 
swan in the lake of Siva's soul ; the broad-chested, strong- 
armed R^ma, him I adore. A Garur to devour the serpents 
of doubt ; the queller of violence, wrangling and pain ; the 
conqueror of death ; the delight of the company of heaven : 
the home of compassion, may he ever protect us. At once 
bodiless and embodied, like and unlike, endowed with form 
and formless ; transcending all thought, speech and percep- 
tion ; pure, all-pervading, faultless, illimitable, RAma, the 
loosener of earth's, burdens, him I adore. A forest of 
trees of Paradise for his faithful people ; the dispeller of 
passion, avarice, pride and lust ; the All-beautiful ; 
the bridge to cross the ocean of life, the champion of 
the Solar race, may he ever protect us. With unlimited 
might of arm, the home of strength ; the true disperser of 
the manifold impurities of this iron age ; the shield of 
righteousness ; the giver of delights, the assemblage of all 
good qualities; may he, my Rama, ever grant us prosperity. 
Though he be passionless, all-pervading, eternal, and ever 
dwelleth in the hearts of all ; yet in his character of thr 
wood-roaming conqueror of Khara, with his brother and 



THE FOREST. 427 

bride, mayhe abide in my thoughts. They who understand, 
know him to be the Lord, though embodied, the bodiless 
ruler of the soul, the lotus-eyed sovereign of Kosala ; then 
make thy abode in my heart, Rcima. Never be this 
sentiment forgotten ; I am his servant and Raghupati is 
my Lord." R^ma was pleased at heart on hearing the 
sain't speech, and in his delight pressed him again to his 
bosom : " Know, Saint, that I am highly gratified : ask 
any boon and I will grant it you." Said the saint : " I 
have never begged a boon, nor can I discern between true 
and false. Whatever seems good to you, Raghurdi, that 
bestow upon me, for you are your servant's benefactor." 
" I give you steadfast faith, self-control, and wisdom, and 
make you a storehouse of all virtue and knowledge." " I 
have received, my lord, the boon that you have given, now 
grant me my own wish. 

DohdS. %% 

my lord Rama, with your brother and Janaki, your- 
self equipt with bow and arrows, for ever abide like the 
moon in the heaven of my soul."^ 
Chaupdi. 

'So be it,' said Lakshmi's lord, as he joyously started on 
his visit to the Rishi Agastya. " It is a long time since 
I last saw my guru, and since I came to live in this hermit- 
age ; now, my lord, I will go and see him with you ; I am 
not putting you under any obligation." The Fountain of 



1 Tulai Das's theory as the principal tliat should regulate man's prayers 
to Heaven is enforced by the example of the famous sages and ascetics, 
whom he so frequently brings before his readers and whose aspirations refer 
exclusively to spiritual blessings. An exact parallel is afforded by the 
teaching of the great English moralist of the last century as incnk-ated in 
the following lines : 

" Yet when the scene of sacred presence fires, 
And strong devotion to the skies aspires, 
Pour forth thy fervour lor a healthful mind, 
Obedient passions an<l a will resigned, 
For love which scarce collective man can fill, 
For patience, sovereign o'er transmuted ill, 
For faith, that panting for a happier seat 
Counts death kind nature's signal of retreat," 
Detachment from the world, subjugation of the passions, love for thn 
divinity, patience under suffering, and, to crown all, an unhesitating faith 
are the hisjhest boons that man can secure ; the last being followed after 
death by the beatific vision of the godhead, a joy for all eternity, an ever- 
lasting harmony, in which God will know Himself, and all will know God, 



428 THE FOREST. 

mercy saw through the saint's craftiness, and both brothers 
smiled as they took him with them. Discoursing on the 
excellence of faith in himself, the king of the gods arrived 
f^ ^t the saint's hermitage. Sutfkshna at once went to the 
guru and after prostrating himself thus addressed him : 
*' My lord, the son of the sovereign of Kosala, the refuge of 
the world, has come to see you, even RAma, with his 
brother and Vaidehi, to whom, sir, you make your prayer 
night and day." As soon as he heard this, Agastya started 
up and ran, and at the sight of Hari, his eyes filled with 
tears. The two brothers fell at the saint's holy feet, but 
he took and clasped them to his bosom with the utmost 
affection. After courteously enquiring of their welfare, 
the holy sage conducted them to a seat and then again 
did all homage to his lord, saying : ' There is no other 
man so blessed as I am.' So long as the other hermits 
stayed, their delight was to gaze upon the root of joy. 

Do/ia 9. V^- 

As he sat in their midst with their eyes all fastened 
upon his person, they seemed like a bevy of partridges 
gazing on the autumnal moon. 

Qhawpdi. 

Then said Raghubir to the saint : " My lord, nothing 

is hid from you ; you know why I have come, and there- 
fore, sire, there is no need to inform you. Give me now 
some charm by which I may destroy the persecutors of the 
saints." The sage smiled when he heard the lord's 
speech : "You ask me, sire ; but what do I know ? By 
virtue of my devotion to you, destroyer of sin, I under- 
stand a little of your greatness. Your delusive power is a 
vast fig^ tree, its clustering fruit the countless multitude 
of worlds, while all things animate and inanimate are 
like the insects that dwell inside, and think their own 
particular fig the only one in existence. This fruit is 
devoured by harsh and inexorable fate, but even he 

1 The word in the text is d,unri which represents the Sanskrit udumhara^ 
tht ficus glomerata. It bears large clusters of fruit, and every single fig in 
every clqster is always fall of insects, 



THE FOREST. 429 

trembles in fear of you. You, sire, are the sovereign of all 
the spheres, and you ask of me, as though you were only a 
man. fountain of mercy, I beg this boon; dwell in my 
heart Lakshmi and your brother, and grant me steadfast 
faith, pity, fellowship with the saints, and unbroken love 
for your lotus feet. Though you are supreme spirit, indivis- 
ible and eternal, beyond the reach of perception, the 
adoration of the saints, yet I declare and recognize your 
incarnation, and aojain and again adore the embodiment of 
Brahm and Rati. You always exalt your own servants, and 
this, Raghur^i, is the reason why you consult me. There is, 
my lord, a very charming and holy spot called Panchavati. 
Sanctify the whole Dandaka forest, in which it is, and relieve 
it of the saint's grievous curse,i by taking up your abode 
there, Rh ma ; and thus show mercy to all the saints." 
On receiving his permission, R^ma set out and quickly 
arrived at Panchavati. 

Doha 10. %y 

After meeting the hing of the vultures 2 and warnrdy 
renewing old friendship, Rama stayed near the GodAvari, 
where he made himself a thatched cottage. 
Chaupdi. 

From the time that Rama took up his abode there, the 

saints lived happily and without fear. The mountains, woods, 
rivers and lakes were suffused with beauty and day by day 
grew yet more exceedingly lovely. The many birds and deer 
were full of joy and the bees added a charm by their sweet 
buzzing. Not even the serpent-king would be able to 
describe the forest, in which the glorious Rdma had 
manifested himself. One day, as the Lord was sitting at 
ease, Lakshman most humbly addressed him thus : " Sover- 
eign of ffods, men and saints, and of all animate and 

1 The curse had been pronounced by Bhdrgava, whose daughter Abja 
had been violated by Danda, son of Ikshaviu, who was then king of coun- 
try. His populous realm at once became a wild forest waste, inhabited only 
by wild beasts and demons. 

2 The interview with the vulture-king Jatayu, thus briefly despatched 
in two lines, occupies the whole of the 20th canto in the Sanskrit Aranya- 
kand. It was on this occasion that he made the promise to protect Sita 
which subsequently cot him bis life. 



430 THE FOREST. 

inanimate creation, I have a question to ask of you as of 
my own special master. Speak, sire, and answer it for me, 
for I have left all to serve the dust of your feet. Explain 
to me knowledge, self-governance, and the delusion of 
Maya ; tell me what is that faith to which you extend mercy. 

Dohdll. 
Instruct me, my lord, in all the difference between God 
and the soul, that I may be entirely devoted to your feet 
and free from grief, ignorance and error." 
Ghaupdi. 
** I will explain the whole matter in brief ; hearken, 

brother, with attention of mind and soul. It is from ego- 
ism and distinctions between mine and thine, that the 
illusion is produced which has subjugated all classes of 
existence. The senses and the objects of the senses, as 
far as the mind can reach, are all a delusion, brother ; 
understand that. Now learn its divisions : they are two, viz., 
knowledge and ignorance ; the one utterly bad and calami- 
tous, which forces the principle of life down into the pit 
of transmigration ; the other, the power by virtue of which 
the world is created, being sent by God, and having no 
strength of itself. Knowledge, in which there is no particle 
of self-consciousness, sees the supreme spirit equally in 
all things; and he, brother, is to be reckoned chief of stoics, 
who abandons fortune, and the three elements of whit'h the 
universe, is composed as if of no more account than a blade 

of grass. ^ ry 

Doha 12. ^ I 
That is to be called soul which, through the power of 

delusion, does not recognize itself as being really God ; ^ 
God the giver of bondage and of deliverance, the head of 
all things, the sender forth of delusion, the one goal. 
Chmifidi. 
After piety, asceticism ; and after ascetio meditation 
knowledge : and knowledge, as the Vedas declare, is the 



1 Or it may be thus translated : *That is to be called soul, which doubts 
regarding itself whether it be a delusive manifestation or really God.' 



THE FOREST. 

i33 

giver of salvatioa. But that at which Imelt more quickly, 

brother, is faith, which is the blessing of ray votaries ; it 
stands by itself without other support, and is above all 
knowledge whether spiritual or profane. Faith, brother, 
is an incomparable s)urceof happiness, and only to be 
acquired by the favour of a saint. But I will explain the 
means towards it, the easy path by which men may find 
me. In the first place, an exceeding devotion to Brjihmans 
and in every action a close adherence to scriptural pres- 
cription. Secondly, the fruit of this will be detachment 
from the world, and then will spring up a delight in my 
worship. The nine kinds of faith as exercised by the ears, 
&c , will strengthen ; there will be an exceeding love in the 
soul for my manifestations, a great affection for the lotus 
feet of the saints, a persistency in prayer in deed and in 
heart as well as in tongue and faithfulness in service 
done to one's guru, or father and mother, or family, or 
loads and masters, knowing it to be really done to me. 
While singing my praises the body quivers, the voice 
trembles, the eyes flow with tears ; and neither lust, pride, 
nor deceit, finds a place in the soul ; I am ever, brother, at 
the command of such a one as this. 

Dohd 13. it 
1 take up my abode for ever in the lotus heart of those 
who in thought, word and deed make their fervent prayer 
to ray incarnation. 

Chaupdi. 

On heai'ing the doctrine of faith and devotion,^ thus ex- 
pounded, Lakshman was greatly rejoiced and bowed his 
head at his lojd's feet. In this manner several days were 
spent in discourses on asceticism, wisdom, virtue and 



1 Toga, the word here rendered ' devotion,' is one of the system of 
Hindu philosophy. Its chief aim is to teach the means by which the hu- 
mau soul may attain complete union with the Supreme Being. It is defin- 
ed by Patanjali, the founder of the school, as ' the prevention' of the modi- 
iications of thought by the practice of self-mortification and by keeping 
the mind constantly unaflEected by all external influence.' The final beati- 
tude, which is held out as the reward of such devotion, consists in the cessa- 
tion of all idea of self and of any distinction between matter and spirit. 



432 THE FOKEST. 

morality. One day Rdvan's sister, Surpa-nakh^, foul- 
hearted and venomous as a serpent, came to Panchavati 
and was excited by the sight of the two princes. A woman, 
Gariir, must needs look after a handsome man, whether he 
be brother, father or son J In her excitement she could 
not contain herself, life the sun-stone that melts at the 

rf^^sight of the sun. Having assumed a beautiful form, she 
went to the Lord and with many smiles thus addressed 
him : " There is not another man like you, nor a woman 
like me ; here is a match that God has taken some pains to 
make. I have searched the three spheres, but have not 
found anywhere in the world a man with beauty to equal 
mine. And for this reason I have till now remained a 
virgin, but now that I have seen you I am fairly satisfied." 
The Lord looked at Sita and said in reply : " My younger 
brother is a bachelor." The demon's sister took the hint 
and went to Lakshman. He looked to his lord and said in 
gentle tones : " Hearken, fair lady, I am his servant ; it 
is not right that you should be in subjection to any one. 
My lord is the mighty king of Kosala, and whatever he 

'^'^vodoes is all done at his own pleasure. A servant who 
expects to take his ease, a beggar who expects honour, a 
spendthrift who hopes for wealth, a profligate who hopes 
for heaven, or an avaricious man who expects renown, 
these are four dreamers, men who would expect milk from 
milking the air " Again she turned and came to Rdma, but 
he sent her back once more to Lakshman. Said Lakshman, 
** The bridegroom for you must be a man lost to all sense 
of shame." Then in a fury she went to Rdma, revealing 
herself in a shape of terror. Raghurdi, seeing that Sita 
was frightened, made a sign to his brother ; 

Doha 14. l\ 
And Lakshman with the greatest ease struck off her 
nose2 and ears : her hands he sent to Ravan in defiance. 



1 That i.s to say apparently, whatever his age may be, whether he be of 
the same age or nlH enough to be a fHther, or young enough to be a son. 

2 The traditionary scene of this event is laid at NtVsik, which is sup- 
posed to derive its name from Nnsika, ' a nose.' The suburb on the Opposite 
bank of the river Ooduvari is still called Panchavati. 



THE TOREST. 433 

Chaupdi. 
Without nose and ears she was as hideous to look upon 
as a mountain flowing with torents of red ochre. She went 
moaning to Khara and Ddshan ; "A curse, a curse, I say, 
on your manhood and strength, brother," They questioned 
and she told them all. When they heard, the demons 
gathered an army, and m swarming multitude of fiends 
rushed forth like so many winged mountains of darkness, 
on diverse vehicles, of diverse shapes, armed with diverse 
weapons, terrible and beyond number. At the head went 
Siirpa-nakh^ in hideous guise, without ears and nose. Mani^3*^ 
fearful omens of ill occurred, but the host heeded them not, 
being all death-doomed. They shouted, they defied the 
enemy, they leaped in the air, their captains inspected the 
ranks and rejoiced exceedingly. Said one, * Capture the 
two brothers alive and then take and kill them and carry off 
the bride.' The vault of heaven was filled with the dust of 
them. Rdma called his brother and said: " Take Jdnaki 
away to some mountain-cave ; a terrible array of demons has 
come; remain on your guard." Obedient to his lord's 
command he took his bow and arrows in hand and led Sua 
away. When Rdma saw that the hostile force had drawn 
near, he smiled as he strung his massive bow. 

Ghhand 3. 
As he strung his massive bow and bound up his long 
hair in a knot on his head, he seemed as it were a sapphire 
rock encircled with flushes of lightning and with two 
snakes entwining its summit. As the Lord girded up his 
quiver by his side and clasped the bow in his mighty arm 
and fitted the arrow to the string, he glared with the glance 
of a lion on a herd of elephants. 

Sorathd 6. ^ ' 

The warriors came on with a rush, shouting ' seize him, 
seize him,' for they saw that he was alone: the demons 
closed round upon him, but he stood as the rising sun, 

Chaupdi. 
and at the sight of his majesty they could not discharge 

R-58 



434' THE FOREST. 

their arrows; the whole demon host became powerless. 
Khara and DAshan summoned their ministers and said: 
" This ornament of the human race must be some king's 
son. Ndgas, demons, gods, men and saints of all sorts I 
have seen, conquered and slain; but in the whole of my 
life mark me my brethren all I have never seen such 
beauty. Though he has disfigured my sister, so incompar- 
able a hero is not worthy of death. * At once put away and 
surrender your bride and return home alive, you and your 
v^ brother.' Declare to him this that I have said and quickly 

^ come back with his answer." The heralds went and told 

Rdma. He smiled to hear them and said : '' I am a warrior 
by caste and am hunting this wood ; wretches like you are 
the game that I am tracking. I am not dismayed at the 
sight of the enemy's strength, but am ready to do combat 
with death himself. Though a man, I am the exterminator 
of the race of demons ; and though a mere child I am the 
protector of the saints and the destroyer of the wicked. If 
there is no strength in you, turn and go home ; I will never 
turn my back upon the battle. If you have come up to 
fight, show now your cunning and dexterity ; mercy to an 
enemy is the height of weakness." The heralds immediate- 
ly went and repeated all this : Khara and Dushan's heart 
was on fire when they heard it. 

Chhand 4. 

Their heart was on fire and they cried : *' Rush upon 
him and seize him, ye mighty demon warriors, with your 
bows and arrows, clubs, pikes, spears, scymetars, maces 
and axes." The lord gave his bow one twang; in a mo- 
ment, at the awful and terrible sound the demons were 
deafened and dismayed, they had no* sense left in them. 

Doha 15. ^<' >^ 

When they had recovered themselves they made a rush, 
for they knew the strength of their foe ; and shafts and wea- 
pons of all kinds began to rain upon R^ma. But Raghubir 
cleft them in twain, making them of no more account than so 



THE FOREST. 435 

many sesaraum seeds, and then drawing rhe bowstring to 
his ear he let fly his own arrows. 

Chhand 5-6. "; 

Then the terrible arrows sped forth, hissing like many 
serpents. The holy Rama waxed wrath in battle ; his 
arrows flew of exceeding sharpness. When they saw his 
shafts so keen, the demon leaders turned to flight ; but the 
three brothers became furious : ' Whoever runs from the 
field I will slay with my own hand ; let him stay then and 
make up his mind to die.' Weapons of diverse kinds beat 
upon him from the front, and the Lord perceiving that the 
foe was exceedingly furious fitted an arrow to his bow. 
He let fly the huge bolts ; the hideous demons were cut 
to pieces ; bodies, heads, arms, hands and feet were scat- 
tered about all over the ground. The shrill arrows struck ; 
like mountains the bodies fall. The leaders had their 
frames cut into a hundred pieces, yet they stood up again 
by power of magic. Many arms and heads flew through 
the air and headless trunks ran to and fro. Kites, crows 
and Jackals made an awful and horrible wrangling. 
Chhand 7. 

Jackals wrangled ; ghosts, goblins and demons made 
cups of the skulls ; more warlike devils clashed skulls 
together for music, and witche'^ danced. Raghubir's 
mighty arrows smote off the leaders* bodies, arms and heads; 
they fell on every side, but stood up again to fight with 
terrible cries of 'strike, strike.' Vultures flew away with 
men's entrails in their claws, goblins scampered off with 
hands that they had seized ; one might fancy all the children 
of Battle-town were flying kites. The mighty champions ]ay 
dead and vanquished, witli mangled bodies. Seeing their 
army routed, Khara and Diishan, with Trisira and the 
other champions, stood at bay, and all at once demons innu- 
merable hurled furiously against Raghubir arrow and 
spear, clnb, axe, javelin and dagger. In the twinkling of 
an eye the Lord had warded off all his enemies' missiles 



436 THE FOREST. 

and sent forth his own arrows, slaying all the demon leaders 
with ten shafts planted in the breast of each of them. 
Though they fell to the ground, they rose again in their 
valour and joined in the fray, and would not die, but made 
the strangest sight. The gods feared, when they saw the 
demons fourteen thousand in number, and the king of Avadh 
alone ; till the Lord perceiving alarm of goods and saints, 
and having power over all illusion, wrought a prodigy, and 
while they were yet looking at one another he finished the 
battle, and the army of the enemy all perished fighting, 

Dohdm. ^"^ 
crying ' R^ma, Rama,* as their soul left their body ; 
they thus attained beatitude. In a moment the Fountain 
of mercy slew all his enemies by magic. The gods in their 
joy rained down flowers, instruments of music sounded in 
the 6ir, and with cries of * Glory, glory,' they all departed, 
each in his own splendid carriage. 

Chaupdi. 
When Raghuiiith had vanquished his foes in the battle, 
gods, men and saints were all relieved from fear. Lakshman 
then brought back Sita. As she fell at her lord's feet, he 
took and rapturously clasped her to his bosDm, and she 
fixed her gaze upon his dark and delicate form, but so 
vehement was her love that her eyes could never be satis- 
fied. Thus the blessed R6ma stayed at Panchavati, delight- 
ing gods and saints by the deeds that he did. But S6rpa- 
nakhd, when she saw the death of Khara and Diishan, 
went and called RAvan. In tones full of fury she cried : 
" You have lost all thought <^f realm and treasure ; yon 
drink and sleep day and night and do not consider 
that the enemy is at your gate. A kingdom without 
policy, wealth without religion, good works without con- 
secration to Hari, knowledge without discretion, these 
all bring no fruit save trouble to the student, the doer, 
or the possessor. An ascetic is quickly undone by attach- 
ment, a king by ill-counsel, wisdom by conceit, modesty by 



THE FOREST. 437 

drinking, friendship by want of consideration, and good 
sense by pride ; so goes the saying. 

Sorathd 7. ^*^ 

An enemy, sickness, fire, sin, a master and a serpent 
are never to be accounted trifles." So saying and with 
much lamentation beside she set to weeping. 

Doha 17. xA o 

In her distress she threw herself down in the midst of the 
assembly with many tears and cries, "0 Rdvan, to think 
that you should live and see me thus treated ! " 
Chawpdi. 

When they heard this, the assembly rose in confusion 
and took her by the hand and lifted her up and consoled 
her. Said the king of Lankd : " Why do you not tell me 
what has happened ? who has cut off your nose and ears ? " 
" The sons of Dasarath, the lord of Avadh, very lions of 
men, have come to hunt the forest. I understood what 
they were about ; they would rid the earth of demons. 
Relying on the might of their arm, Ravan, the saints 
roam the woods without any fear. They are children to 
look at, but in fact resistless as Death himself, the most 
intrepid of archers, with many strings to their bow.^ Both 
brothers are glorious with incomparable might, and have 
devoted themselves to the extermination of the wicked and 
the relief of gods and saints. Rama for such is his name 
is the very perfection of beauty, and with him is a 
young girl, whom the Creator has made the loveliest of 
the sex : a hundred million Ratis would be no match for 
her. It is his younger brother who cut off my ears and 
nose and made a mock of me, when he heard I was your 
sister. When Khara and Dtishan were told of this, they 
gave him challenge ; but in an instant he slew the whole 
of their army." When he heard of the defeat of Khara, 
Diishan and Trisira, the Ten-headed was on fire ail over. 

In thfi word guna-naiia^ gnna is intended to he understood in its two 
senses of, 1st, a virtue, 2ndly a bowstring. 



438 THE FOREST. 

Dohd 1. 

After consoling SArpa-nakhA and forcing himself to say 
much to her, he went to his palace in a great state of 
anxiety and had no sleep all night. 

Ghaupdi. 

" Among gods, men and demons, serpents and birds, 
there is none who can withstand my servants ; and Khara 
and Diishan were my own equals in strength ; who can 
have killed them, unless it be God himself ? If God has 
become incarnate, in order to rejoice the saints and relieve 
earth of its burden, then if I go and fight against him and 
lose my life by an arrow of the Lord's, I shall escape further 
transmigration ; prayer will not do for one like me of 
demon form ; this is the plan upon which I am absolutely 
determined. If he is only some earthly king's son, I shall 
conquer them both in battle and carry ofE the bride." He 
mounted his chariot and went off alone to the spot where 
M^richa was living by the sea-shore. Hearken now, Um4, 
to the delectable account of the device that Rdma invented. 
Dohd 19. 14% 

When Lakshman had gone into the wood to gather 
roots, fruits and herbs, the gentle and joyous god said with 
a smile to Janak's daughter : 

Chaupdi, 

" Hearken, most lovely and amiable of faithful wives, I 
am going to act a fantastic human part. Be you absorbed 
into fire until I have completed the destruction of the 
demons." As soon as Rdma had finished speaking she 
pressed her lord's feet to her heart and entered into the 
fire, leaving only an image of herself, of exactly the same 
appearance and the same amiable and gentle disposition. 
Lakshman did not know this mystery or that the god had 
taken any action. The Ten-headed approached Mdricha 
and bowed his head, the selfish and contemptible wretch. 
When a mean creature bends, it is only to give more pain, 
like an elephant-goad, a bow. a snake, or a cat; the friendly 
speech of a churl is as portentous, Bhav^ni, as flowers that 
blossom out of season, 



THE FOREST. 439 

Doha 20. 

After doing him homage, Mdricha respectfully enquired 
of him his business : " What is the cause, my son, that you 
have come so disturbed in mind and all alone ? " 
Chaupdi. 

Ravan put the whole matter before him and added 
presumptuously- the wretch" Do you for the purpose of 
deception assume the form of a deer, and by this means, I 
shall be able to carry off the princess" He replied : 
*' Hearken, Rivan ; though in form as a man, this is the 
lord of all animate and inanimate creation ; there is no 
fighting against him, my son ; if he kills, you die ; and if 
you live, it is he who gives you life. He is the prince 
Raghupati, who when he went to protect the saint's sacri- 
fice, smote me with a pointless arrow, and in an instant 
I was driven a distance of a hundred leagues :1 it is not 
well to quarrel with him. Wherever I look, I see these 
two brothers, and my senses are utterly bewildered like 
a fly fascinated by a spider. Even if he be only a man my 
son, he is a tremendous hero, and opposition to him will 
do no good. 

Doha 21. 

But can he possibly be a man, who was strong enough 
to vanquish Tdraka and Sub^hu, who broke Siva's bow and 
slew Khara, Dushan and Trisira ? 

Ghaupdi. ' 

Consider the welfareof your family and go home." When 
he heard this, he was furious and abused him soundly: 
"You fool, you take upon yourself to teach me, as if you 
,were my master ! Tell me where is there in the world any 
warrior my equal ? " Maricha then thought to himself: 
"There are nine whom it is not good to make enemies; an 
armed man, an accomplice, a king, a man without princi- 
ple, a rich man, a physician, a panegyrist, poet or any 
person of special ability." Either way he saw he must die; 
but he reflected that R I ma would be his sanctuary. So 
he answered : " You will be the death of me, poor wretch ; 

I See Book I, chaupai 211. 



440 THE FOREST. 

for how can I escape when smitten by Raghupati's shaft ?" 
With these thoughts at heart, he accompanied Rivan, 
staunch in his devotion to R4ma's feet and with an exceed- 
ing gladness of heart that he would not show ; " To-day 
I shall behold my best beloved. 

Chhand 8. 

My eyes will be rewarded with the sight of my best be- 
loved, and I shall be happy. I shall imprint upon my 
soul the feet of the All-merciful with Sita too and his 
brother. Hari, the ocean of beatitude, whose very wrath 
confers salvation, who gives himself up entirely to the 
will of his worshippers, will with his own hands fit an 
arrow to the string and slay me. 

Dohd 22. ^^ 

As he runs after me to seize me with his bow and 
arrows, I shall ever and again turn and get a sight of my 
lord : there is none else so blessed as I am." 

Chaupdi. 

When the Ten-headed drew near to the wood, Mdrfcha 
took the form of a deer, so beautifully spotted as to defy 
description, with a body of gold, all bespangled with jewels. 
When Sita saw the wonderously beautiful creature clothed 
with loveliness in its every limb, she cried : *' Raghubir, 
hearken, kind sir, this deer has a most charming skin; 
I pray you, shoot it, most amiable lord, and bring me 
the hide." Thereupon RAma, who understood the meaning 
of it all, arose with joy to execute the purpose of the gods, 
Having marked the deer, he girded up his waistbelt, took 
his bow in his hand and trimmed his shapely arrows. Then 
the lord cautioned Lakshman : " Many demons, brother, 
roam the forest; take care of Sita with all thought and 
consideration and with force too, if occasion require it." 
The deer seeing the Lord, took to flight : RAma pursued 
with ready bow : even he, to whom the Veda cannot attain, 
nor Siva is able to contemplate, hastened in pursuit of a 
mimic deer. Now close at hand, now fleeing at a distance, 



THE FOK^fclibT. 441 

atone time in sight, at another hid, alternately showing.and 
concealing itself and practising every kind of wile, in this 
manner it took the Lord far away. At last Rdma aimed 
and let fly the fatal shaft ; the deer fell to the ground with a 
terrible cry, first calling aloud to Lakshman, but afterwards 
mentally invoking Rdma. As life ebbed, he resumed his 
natural form and devoutly repeated the name of Rdma, who 
in his wisdom recognizing his inward love, gave him such a 
place in heaven as saints can scarcely attain to. 

Dolid22>. U"^ 

The gods rained down abundant flowers and hymned the 
Lord's high virtue : " Raghundth, the suppliant's friend, 
raises to his own sphere even a demon ! " 

Chaupdi. 
As soon as he had slain the monster, Raghubir returned; 
the bow gleaming in his hand and the quiver by his side. 
When Sita heard the agonizing cry, she called to Laksh- 
man in the greatest alarm : " Go in haste, your brother is 
in some sad strait/' Lakshman answered with a smile. 
" Hearken, mother ; he, by the play of whose eyebrows the 
world is annihilated, cannot be imagined as having fallen 
into any difficulty." But when Sita urged him with taunt- 
ing words, Lakshman's resolution -f'rsuch was Hari's will 
was shaken ; he made over cliarge of everything to the 
forest and its gods, and went after the R-^hu of the moon^ (p^ 
like Rdvan. When the Ten-headed saw the ground vacant 
he drew near in the guise of an anchorite. He, for fear of 
whom gods and demons trembled and could neither sleep 
by night nor eat food by day, even that Ravan came looking 
this side and that, as furtively as a cur bent on thieving.; 
After he had turned his steps, GarAr, to this vile course, not 
a particle of his majesty, or intellect, or strength of bodj__, ^n 
was left in him. After repeating a variety of legends and 
moral sentiments, he had recourse to threats and blandish- 
ments. Said Sita, " Hearken, reverend F.iiher ; what you 
say is hateful to me." Then Rdv in showed himself in his 

R-59 



% 



142 THE rOREST. 

proper form ; and she was terror-strickea when he declared 
his name. But plucking up all her courage she said : 
"Wretch, stay as you are; my lord is at hand. Like 
as a hare that would wed a lioness, so have you wooed 
your own destruction, demon king." On hearing this 
speech the Ten-headed was furious, though in his heart 
he delighted to adore her feet. 

Dohci 24. 

RAvan angrily seized her and seated her in his chariot. 
As he took his way through the air, he was so agitated with 
fear that he could scarcely drive. 

Chaupdi 

" Ah ! gallant Raghur^i, sovereign of the universe, for 
what fault of mine have you forgotten mercy? Ah ! reliever 
of distress, health-giving sanctuary, sun of the lotuses of 
the Raghu race. Ah I Lakshman ! this is no fault of yours ; 
I have reaped the fruit of the temper I showed." Manifold 
were the lamentations that she uttered. ** My affectionate 
and loving lord is far away; who will tell him of my calami- 
ty ; that an ass is devouring the oblation intended for the 
() \ gods!" At the sound of Slta's woeful lament every created 
being, whether animate or inanimate, was made sad. The 
vulture-king, too, heard her piteous cry and recognized the 
wife of the glory of Raghu's line, whom the vile demon was 
carrying away, as it were the famous dun cow that had fal- 
len into the hands of some savage. '* Fear not, Sita my 
daughter, I will annihilate this monster." The bird darted 
forth in its fury, like a thunderbolt launched against a 
mountain. *' Stop you villain, how dare you go on thus and 
take no heed of me." Seeing him bearing down upon him 
like the angel of death, R^van paused and considered : " Is 
it mount Maindka' or the king of the birds ! anyhow they 
both know my might, as also do their lords. "2 When he 

1 Mainaka is tlic only peak which is said to have retained its wings 
when In<lra clipped those of the other mountains. 

2 Mainika's lord is the Ocean, which R4 van and the other demons had 
chiirne I ; and Garur, ' tlic king of the birds,' has Vishnu for his lord, with 
whom Uavan had always been at war. 



THE FORFST. 443 

perceived that it was poor old Jatayu, he cried, " he j-l 
shall leave his body at the shrine of my hands. "^ At this, 
the vulture rushed on in a fury, crying : " Hearken, 
Rdvan, to my advice ; surrender Janaki and go home 
in peace ; if not, despite your many arms, it will turn 
out thus ; Rama's wrath is like a fierce flame, and your 
whole house will be consumed in it like a moth." The 
warrior demon gave no answer. Then the vulture rushed 
wildly on and clutched him by the hair and dragged 
him from his chariot so that he fell to the ground. Again, 
having sheltered Sita, the vulture turned and with his beak '. 
tore and rent his body. For nearly half an hour the demon 
was in a swoon, then gnashed his teeth with rage and drew 
his monstrous sword and cut off Jatityu's wings. The bird 
fell to the ground, calling upon Rima, and doing marvellous 
feats of courage. Then R^van again seated Sita in the 
chariot and drove off in haste in no little alarm. Sfta was 
borne through the air lamenting, like a frightened fawn in 
the power of a huntsman. Seeing the monkeys sitting on 
the rocks, she cried out Hari's name and dropt her scarf. 
In this manner he went off with Sita and put her down in 
the Asoka forest. 

Doha 25. S'-f ' S S 

Though he tried every kind of threat and blandishment, 
the monster could not succeed, and at last after exhausting 
all his devices he left her under the Asoka tree. With 
Rdma*s beauteous form impressed upon her heart, as he 
appeared when pursuing the mimic deer. Sfta was inces- 
santly invoking his name, Hari, Hari ! " 
Chaupdi. 

When Raghupati saw his brother coming, he was seized 
with a new and greater fear : " brother, have you left Sita 
alone and come here against my order, though so many 
demons roam the forest? My mind misgives me that Sita 
is not at the hermitage." Lakshman clasped his lotus feet 
and cried with folded hands : " Hearken, my lord, it is no 

1 That i8 to say, 'as a man groes to a place of pilgrimage in order to die 
there, so has he come to me to die by my hand' 



444 THE FOREST. 

fault of mine." When be found the hermitage bereft of 
^/ Sita, he was as agitated as any commom man. "Alas! 
^ JAnaki, my precious Site, so beautiful and amiable, so di- 

vinely pious and devoted ! " Lukshman did all he could to 
comfort him. As he went along, he questioned all the trees 
and flowers by the way : " ye birds and deer, O ye 
swarms of bees, have you seen the fawn-eyed Sita ? The 
wagtails, parrots, and pigeons ; the deer and fish ; swarm- 
ing bees and clever cuckoos : the jasmine and pomegranate 
flowers; the lightning, the lotus, the autumn moon ; the 
gliding serpent ; the meshes of Varuna, the bow of Kdma- 
deva; the swan, the elephant and the lion can now hear 
themselves praised ; the cocoannt, the champa, and the 
plantain can now rejoice, without any doubt or misgiving 
at heart.i Hearken, J^naki, now that you are away, they 
are all as glad as if they had gotten a kingdom. How can I 
endure this cruelty at your hands ; why do you not at once 
l^*^ disclose yourself, my beloved ? " In this manner the lord 
\ searched and lamented, like a fond lover distressed by 
separation. Rdma who has no wish unsatisfied, the per- 
fection of bliss, the uncreated and the everlasting, acted the 
part of a man. Further on he saw the vulture-king 
lying, with his thoughts fixed on the prints of Rama's feet. 

T)nlid2C). r^ 
The compassionate Ra^hubir laid his lotus hands upon 
his head. At the sight of Rima's lovely face all his pain 
was forgotten, 

Ghaupdi, 
and the vulture recovered himself and spoke as follows . 
" Hearken Rdma, remover of life's troubles. My lord, this is 
RA van's doing; he is the wretch, who has carried off Jaufik's 
daughter. He took her away, sire, to the south, crying as 

1 The different objects here mentionerl from the Hindu poet's stock in 
trade upon which he invariably draws for comparisons when he wishes to 
describe the charms of a lovely woman : with clustering hair like swarms of 
bees, teeth white as buds of jasmine, lips like the pomegranate, eyes brip:hf as 
flashes of lightniner, breasts swelling like coconniUs, waist like a lion's, gaitj 
like an elephant's <&c., &c. Now that Sita is gone, who excelled each of them 
in the very point on which they most prided themselves, they may again 
bear themselves quoted as perfect. 



THE FOREST. 445 

piteously as an osprey. I have kept alive, my lord, only to 
see you ; now, most merciful, I would depart." Said 
R^ma : " Remain alive, father." He smiled and answered : 
"He, by the repetition of whose name at the hour of death 
the vilest sinner, as the scriptures declare, attains salvation, 
has come in bodily form before my eyes ; what need is 
there, sire, for me to live any longer ?" Raghurai's eyes 
filled with tears as he replied : " Father, it is your own 
good, deeds that have saved you. There is nothing in the 
world beyond the reach of those who devote their soul to 
the good of others When you pass out of the body, father, 
ascend to my sphere in heaven. What more can I give 
you ? your every wish is gratified." Dropping the form of 
a vulture, he appeared in all the beauty of Hari, bedecked 
with jewels and in gorgeous yellow attire, with dark-hued 
body and four mighty arms, and with his eyes full of tears 
he chanted this hymn of praise : 

Ghhand 9. 
" Glory to R^ma of incomparably beauty ; the bodiless, 
the embodied ; the veritable source of every bodily element ; 
who with mighty arrows has broken the might of the arm 
of the ten-headed demon ; the ornament of the earth With 
his body dark as a rain-cloud, with his lotus face and his 
eyes large as the lotus flower, I unceasingly worship R^ma 
the merciful, the mighty-armed, the dispeller of all life's 
terrors; of immeasurable strength ; without beginning and 
unborn ; the indivisible ; the one ; beyond the reach of all 
the senses ; the incarnate Govinda ; the annihilator of 
duality ; the profound in wisdom ; the supporter of the 
earth ; an everlasting delight to the soul of the saints, who 
practise the spell of Rdma's name. I unceasingly worship 
Rdma, the friend of the unsensual, the destroyer of lust and 
every other wickedness. He, whom the scriptures hymn un- 
der the name of the passionless Brahm, the all-pervading, 
the supreme spirit, the unbegotten ; to whom the saints 
attain after infinite study and contemplation, penance and 
abstraction ; he the all-merciful, the all-radiant, the un- 
approachable, has Tiow becon^e manifest for the delight of 



446 THE FOREST. 

the world. He who is at once iaacc^ssible aad accessible, 
like and unlike, the essentially pure, the unfailing com- 
forter, whom ascetics behold only when they have laborious- 
ly subdued their mind and senses; even R^ma, the spouse 
of LaUshmi, who is ever at the command of his servants, 
though the lord of the three spheres, may he abide in my 
heart, the terminator of transmigration, whose praises make 

pure." / 

Doha 27. [^ 

After asking the boon of perfect faith, the vulture de- 
parted for Hari's sphere. Rama with his own hands perform- 
ed his funeral rites with all due ceremony. 

Ghaupdi. 

The tender-hearted and compassionate RAghun^th, who 
shows mercy even on the undeserving, bestowed upon a vul- 
ture, an unclean flesh-eating bird, such a place in heaven 
as the greatest ascetics desire. Hearken, Uma ; the most 
miserable of men are they who abandon Hari and become 
attached to objects of sense. 

The two brothers in their search for Sita visited and exa- 
mined many woods, tangled with creepers, dense with trees, 
and swarming with birds, deer, elephants and lions. As 
they went on their way they overthrew Kabandha, who 
declared the whole history of the curso. '* DurvAsas^ 
cursed me, but now that I have seen my lord's feet, my 
sin has been blotted out." Hearken, Gandharva ; those 
who trouble Brihmans are displeasing to me. 

Dohd 28. 

They who without guile in thought, word and deed do 

1 The reference to Durvnaas is obscure. Accordingto the legernt as 
told by Viilmiki, Kabandha had been a beautiful youth by name Danu, who 
as a reward for penance abtained from heaven the boon of a lonjj life. On 
the strength of this promise lie ventured to rhallenp;e Irulra to battle, who 
lannohed his thunderbolt apainst him and dn^vo his head and shouldt^rs 
down into his body, which was thus made a horrible headless shapeless 
trunk. To keep him from starving, since he needs must live, his arms were 
made a league long : and a huge month was openetl in his belly In the text 
as translated by Griffith, there is mention of a sage Sthiila-Siras (Great-head) 
who l>a<l bc^en annoyed by Drinu and therefore cursed him : but the passage 
has rather the air of an interpolation, and does not appear in Gorrosio's edi- 
tion. The meaning of the word hnhandhn is ' a headless trunk.' 



i THE FOREST. 447 

service to the gods of earth,^ subdue unto themselves 
Brahma, Siva, myself and every other divinity. 
Ghaupdi. 
A Brdhmao, though he curse, beat and abuse you, is 
still an object of reverence ; so declare the saints. A Brdh- 
man must be honoured, though devoid of every virtue and 
merit; but a Sddra never, though distinguished for all 
virtue and learning." So saying, he instructed him in his 
doctrine and was pleased to see his devotion to his feet. 
When the beneficent Rama had given him beatitude, he 
passed on to the hermitage of SavariJ When she saw that 
Rdma had come to her abode, she remembered the saint's 
promise and was glad of heart. With lotus eyes, mighty 
arms, hair fastened up in a knot on their head, and a 
garland of wild flowers upon their breast, one dark of hue, 
the other fair, stood the two brothers. Savari fell and 
embraced their feet. She was so drowned in love that 
no speech came to her lips, but again and again she bowed 
her head at their lotus feet, then reverently brought water 
and laved their feet and finally conducted them to a seat 
of honour. 

Doha 29. 

Then she brought and presented to RiSma the most 
delicious fruits and herbs and roots, and the lord graciously 
ate of them, again and again thanking her. 

Chaiipdi. 

She stood before him with folded hands and as she 
gazed upon the Lord her love waxed yet more vehement. 
" How can I hymn thy praises, seeing that I am of meanest 
descent and of dullest wit : the lowest of the low and a 
woman to boot ; nay among the lowest of woman the one 
who is of all most ignorant, sinless god." Said Raghupa- 
ti : *' Hearken, lady, to my words : I recognize no kinsman- 
ship save that of faith ; neither lineage, family, religion, 



1 SavUra, is the feminine savari, is, strictly speaking, not the distinc- 
tive name of any one particular person, but of a whole savage tribe. The 
worri is probably connected with mm, ' a corpse. ' 



448 THE FOKEST. 

rank, wealth, power, connections, virtue, nor ability. A 

man without faith is of no more account than a cloud 

without water. I will explain to you the nine kinds of 

faith ; hearken attentively and lay them up in your mind. 

The first step in faith is communion with the saints ; the 

second a love for the legends relating to me ; 

Doha 30. io^ 

The third, an incalculable step devotion to the lotus 

feet of the guru; the fourth, singing my i)raises with a 

guileless purpose. 

Ghaupdi. 

The fifth, as the Vedas have expounded, prayer and the 
repetition, with an assured confidence, of mystic spells : 
the sixth, self-governance, kindness, detachment from the 
world and in every action a loving and persevering piety ; 
the seventh, seeing the whole world full of me, and holding 
the saints in yet greater account than myself; the eighth, 
contentment with what one has, without ever a thought of 
spying out fault in others ; the ninth, a guileless simplicity 
towards all, and a hearty confidence in me without either 
exultation or dejection. Verily, lady, whoever possesses 
any one of these, whether he be man or woman, rational 
or irrational, is my friend ; and you have them all in the 
highest degree. The heavenly prize, which the greatest 
ascetics scarcely win, is to-day within your easy reach. The 
. result of seeing me is something most marvellous ; every 

w ""^-^.jyeature at once attains its j^roper consummation. But 
lady, have you any tidings of JAnaki ; tell me, fair dame, all 
that you know." " Go, Raghurai, to the lake Pampd ; there 
make friends wiih Sugriva;* he will tell you all. You 
know it already my god Raghubi'r, yet have the patience 
to ask him." After again and again bowing her head at 
the Lord's feet, she lovingly repeated the whole story. 
Ghhand 10. 
After repeating the whole story, as she gazed on Hari's 

1 Accordin;^ to the Sanskrit H.^raAyaua it was not Savari, but Kaban* 
(tha, who directctl Kama to apply to Sugriva. 



IHE FOREST. 449 

face and imprinted his lotus feet on her heart, she left 
her body in the sacrificial fire and became absorbed in 
Hari's feet beyond return. men, abandon all your re- 
ligious observances, which are unrighteousness, and your 
many sects, which yield only sorrow, and with all confi- 
dence (says Tulsi Dds) lovingly embrace the feet of Rama. 
Dohd 31. ;' 
He gave salvation to a woman of such low descent and 
so altogether born in sin as even this Savari was : foolish 
indeed are they who desire peace of mind after forgetting 

such a lord. 

Chaupdi. 

When they had left this wood, they went on their way 
R^raa and his brother, two lions among men, of immeasur- 
able strength. The Lord, like a bereaved lover, kept 
making lamentation and turning his discourse to many 
topics : *' Observe, Lakshman, the beauty of the forest ; 
whose heart is not moved to see it ? The birds and deer, 
all accompanied by their mates, seem to laugh and jeer 
at me. When the deer see me and would scamper away, 
he does cry ; ' Have no fear, enjoy yourselves, for you 
are genuine deer, and it is only a golden deer that these 
people have come to look for.' The female elephants, as 
they take aside their lords, seem to be giving me this 
caution ; ' The scriptures, however well studied, must be 
read over and over again ; a king, however well served, is 
never to be depended upon ; and a woman like the scrip- 
tures and the king, though you cherish her in your bosom, 
is never thoroughly mastered.' See, brother, how beautiful 
the spring is ; yet to me without my beloved it is frightful. 

Dohd ^2. |,l- ^'X 

Love, finding me tortured by separation, powerless and 
absolutely alone, has made a raid upon me with the bees 
and birds of the forest. His spy has seen me with only my 
brother, and on his report the amorous god has, as it were, 
resolutely encamped against me with his army. 

R-60 



460 THE FOREST. 

Chaupdi. 

The huge trees and tangled creepers are as it were the 
divei*se pavillioas that he has spread ; the plantains and 
stately palms his pennons and standards, that none but the 
stoutest could see without amazement ; the many kinds of 
different flowering shrubs are his warriors, arrayed in all 
their various kinds of panoply; the magnificent forest-trees, 
that stand here and there, are the separate encampments 
of warrior chiefs ; the murmuring cuckoos are his infuria- 
ted elephants, and the herons his bulls, camels and mules ; 
the peacocks, chakors and parrots are his war horses ; the 
pigeons and swans his Arab steeds ; the partridges and 
quails his foot soldiers ; but there is no describing the 
whole of Love's host. The mountains and rocks are his 
chariots, the waterfalls his kettle-drums, the chataks the 
bards that sing his praises, the garrulous bees are his 
trumpets and clarions, and the three kinds of wind his 
scouts. With an army complete in all its four branches, he 
goes about and exhorts every one. Lakshmau, they who 
can see Love's battle-array and stand firm, they are men of 
mark in the world. His greatest strength lies in woman ; 
any one who can escape her is a mighty champion indeed. 
VohdSS, ^>^.b' 

Brother, there are three evils of surpassing strength, 
love, anger, and greed : in an instant they upset the souls 
of the wisest philosopher. The weapons of greed are desire 
and pride ; of love, nothing but woman ; while anger's 
weapon is harsh speech ; so thoughtful sages have declared." 

Chaupdi. 

Uma, Rdma is without attributes, the lord of all 
animate and inanimate creation, and knows all secrets ; yet 
he exhibited all the distress of a lover no less than the 
detachment and steadfastness of a philosopher. Anger, love, 
greed, pride, delusion, all are dissipated by the grace of 
lUma, and the only man superior to all this jugglery is he 
to whom the great conjuror has shown favour.^ I tell you, 

I That is to say, whom he has taken behind the scenes. 



THE FOREST. 451 

Umd, what is my conclusion ; the worship of Hari is real 
and all the world is a dream. 

The Lord went on from there to the shore of the deep 
and beautiful lake called Pamp^ ; its water as clear as the 
soul of the saints ; with charming flights of steps on each 
of its four sides ; where beasts of different kinds came as 
they listed, to drink of the flood, like crowds of beggars at 
a good man's gate . . 

Doha 34. y ' I ^ 

Under its cover of dense lotus leaves the water was as 
difficult to distinguish as is the unembodied supreme spirit 
under the veil of delusive phenomena. The happy fish were 
all in placid repose at the bottom of the deep pool, like the 
days of the righteous that are passed in peace. 
Ghaupdi. 

Lotuses of many colours displayed their flowers ; there 
was a buzzing of garrulous bees, both honey-makers and 
humble-bees ; while swans and waterfowl were so noisy 
you would think they had recognized the Lord and were 
telling his praises. The geese and cranes and other birds 
were so numerous that only seeing would be believing, no 
words could describe them. The delighted voice of so many 
beautiful birds seemed as an invitation to the wayfarers. 
The saints had built themselves a house near the lake with 
magnificent forest-trees all round, the ehampa, the mdlsari, 
the kadamh and tamdla, the pdtala, the kathal, the dhdk 
and the mango.i Every tree had put forth its new leaves 
and flowers and was resonant with swarms of bees. A 
delightful air, soft, cool and fragrant, was ever in delicious 
motion, and the cooing of the cuckoos was so pleasant to 
hear that a saint's meditation would be broken by it. 

Dohd'35, A^ 



wio 



The trees laden with fruit bowed low lo the ground ; like 

1 The Champa, or champaka, i? the Michelia champaka, a handsome 
tree with sweet-scented golden flowers, 



452 THE FOREST. 

a generous soul whom every increase of fortune renders 
only more humble than before. 

Chaupdi. 

When Rdma saw this most beautiful lake, he bathed in 
it with great delight, and then with his brother sat down in 
the shade of the magnificent trees. There all the gods and 
saints came once more to hymn his praises and then re- 
turned each to his own home. The All-merciful rested in 
supreme content and addressed his brother in edifying 
discoui-se. When Narad saw the Lord God thus sorrowing 
for the loss of his beloved, his soul was much disturbed. 
" In submission to my curse^ Rdma endures all this weight 
of woe. I must go and visit so noble a lord, for I may 
never have such an opportunity again." Having thus re- 
flected, Ndrad with his lute in his hand,2 approached the 
spot where the lord was sitting at ease. In dulcet tones he 
sang his acts, affectionately dwelling upon them in all 
detail. As he prostrated himself, R^ma took and lifted 
him up, and again aod again clasped him to his bosom and 
asked him of his welfare and seated him by his side. Then 
Lakshman reverently laved his feet. . 

Dohd 36. 1^ 

Perceiving that his lord was well pleased, Nsirad made 
much supplication and clasping his lotus hands addressed 
him in these words : 



The malmri, called in the text by another of its Sanskrit names, rakula, 
is the Mimusops elengi. Its fragrant star-shaped flowers are much used by 
Hindus for garlands and supply the native silversmiths with a very favourite 
pattern. 

The kadamh is the Nauclca cadainba, a large and handsome forest tree, 
which grows wilfl in the Matliura district and figures in many of Krishna's 
pastoral adventuf&s. 

The tamala is a tree with dark bark and white blossoms. 

They^a^aZa is the Hignonia or Stcreospermum suaveolens, a large tr 
common in South India, with dark dull-crimson, exquisitely fragrant flowei 

The kathnl^ called in the text by its Sanskrit name imnam, is tl 
Artocarpns integrifolia, or jack-tree. The fruit is an important article 
food in South India and Ceylon. 

The dhdk, called in the text by ifs Sanskrit name palana^ is the But 
frondosa, a tree with scarlet flowers, which precede the new leaves, and whe 
in full bloom make a striking sight, like a fire on the horizon Hence th^ 
vernacular name, dhak, from the Sanskrit dagha, ' on fire.' 

1 For the explanation of NArad's curse see Book 1, chaupai 143. 

2 N^rad is th^ reputed inventor of the v^na, or India lute. 



THE FOREST. 453 

Chaupdi. 
" Hearken, most generous Raghu-ndiyak, beautiful and 
beneficent, at once unapproachable and easy of approach, 
grant me, my lord, the one boon that I ask ; though you 
know it without my asking, since you know the secrets of 
all hearts." " Reverend father, you understand my character ; 
can 1 ever turn away my face from any one of my worship- 
pers? There is nothing I hold so dear that you, most excel- 
lent of saints, may not ask it of me. There is nothing of 
mine that I would refuse to a believer ; never allow yourself 
to abandon this confidence in me." Then Ndrad was glad 
and said : *' This is the boon that I presume to ask. Though 
my lord has many names, each more glorious than the 
other, as declared in the scriptures, may the name Rama, 
sire, surpass all names, exterminating the whole brood of 
sin, as when a fowler ensnares an entire flock of birds. 

nohd37. ^t^' - ;\' 
May your name Rama be as the moon in the bright night of 
cloudless faith, and your other names as brilliant stars in 
the heaven of the believer's soul." Raghun^th, the ocean 
of mercy, said to the saint, ' so be it.' Then was NArad's 
soul rejoiced exceedingly and he bowed his head at his 

lord's feet. 

Chavpdi. 

Seeing Raghundth so gracious, N^rad spoke again in 

winning tones: "0 Rama, when you sent forth your 

delusive power and infatuated me hearken, Raghurdi 

I was anxious to accomplish a marriage, why was it, my 

lord, that you did not allow me to do so?" *' Hearken, 

saint, and I will tell you, if you will not be angry : If men 

will abandon all other hope and worship me only, I always 

keep watch over them as a mother over her infant child. If 

an infant child run to lay hold of the fire or a snake, the 

mother at once rescues it ; when her son has grown up, the 

mother does not show her affection to him in the same way 

^8 before. The wise are, as it were, my grown up sons 



454 THE FOREST. 

and humble worshippers my infant children. The latter are 

protected by my strength, the former by their own, and 

both have to fight against love and anger. Philosophers 

know this and worship me, and though they have acquired 

wisdom, still they do not discard faith. 

Doha 38. 

Lust, anger, greed and all other violent passion form a 

rushing torrent of deception ; but among them all the most 

formidable and the most calamitous is that incarnation of 

vanity, woman. 

Chaupdi. 

Hearken, saint, to the teaching of the Pur^nas, the 
Vedas and the saints : Woman is like the season of spring to 
the forest of infatuation ; like the heat of summer to dry up 
the pools and waterfalls of prayer, penance and devotional 
exercises ; like the rains to rejoice the gnats^ and frogs of 
lust, anger and pride ; like the autumn to revive the lily- 
like growth of evil propensities ; like the winter to distress 
and deaden all the lotus beds of piety; and lastly, like the 
dewy season^ to foster the jawdsa weeds of selfishness. 
Woman, again, is like a dark and murky night, in which 
owls and deeds of darkness delight, or like a hook to catch 
the fish of sense and strength and honour and truth ; so 

say the wise. 

Doha 39. 

Wanton woman is the root of all evil, a source of tor- 
ment, a mine of all unhappiness ; therefore, saint, know- 
ing all this, I prevented your marriage." 
Ghaupdi. 

As the saint listened to Raghupati's delightful discourse, 
his body quivered with emotion and his eyes filled with 
tears. '* Tell me, is there any other lord, whose wont it is to 
be so kind and considerate to his servants ? All, who will 

1 Matsara^ translated ' gnats,' also means ' selfishness,' and may be 
intended in that sense here, as both meanings suit the context equally well. 

2 Sisira, ' the dewy season,' consists of the months, M^gh and Ph^lgun, 
that come between the winter and the spring. 



tHE FOREST. 455 

not abandon their errors, nor worship such a lord as this, 
are indeed dull and witless fools." N^rad the sage rever- 
entially enquired further : *' Hearken Rdnia, versed in all 
wisdom : tell me, my lord Raghubir, lightener of earth's 
burdens, what are the marks of a saint?" Listen, reverend 
sir, and I will tell you what are the qualities of the saints, 
by virtue of which they hold me in their power. They have 
overcome the six disturbing influence^ ; are sinless, pas- 
sionless, and imperturbable ; have no worldly goods, but 
live a life of chastity and contentedness ; their wisdom is 
immeasurable ; they are without desires and temperate in 
enjoyment ; oceans of truth, inspired bards, practised in 
meditation ; circumspect ; void of pride and arrogance ; 
persevering and eminently wise in the mystery of salvation : 

Doha 40. 
Mines of virtue, free from the troubles of the world and 
with all their doubts solved ; who, rather than abandon my 
lotus feet, account neither life nor home precious ; 

Chaupdi. 
Who are abashed when they hear themselves praised, 
and exceedingly glad to hear the praises of others ; who are 
always equable and calm, consistent in virtuous practice ; 
honest and kindly disposed to all men ; distinguished for 
prayer, penance, religious observances, temperance, self- 
denial, and performance of pious vows ; for devotion to 
their guru, to Gobinda and to Brahmans ; for faith, forbear- 
ance, charitableness and compassion ; for a rapturous love of 
my feet ; a superiority to all material delusions ; an absolute 
composure, discrimination, huniility and knowledge ; and 
for doctrine in strict accordance with the Vedas and Pur^- 
nas ; who never display, ostentation, arrogance, or pride, 
nor ever by any chance set their foot on the way of wicked- 

1 According to the Sankhya philosophy there is an original eternal 
germ, or primal source of all things, except soul, which is called Hrakriti. 
From it are evolved certain vikdras, or productive products, or modifications, 
which occasion all the diversity of material phenomena, and which may 
therefore be designated ' disturbing influences.' 



466 THE FOREST. 



; who are always either hearing or singing my 
acts and have no selfish object, but are devoted to the 
good of others ; in short, reverend sir, the characteristics of 
the saints are so numerous that not even S^rada or the 
scriptures could tell them all. 

Chhand 11. 

Not Sdrad^ nor Sheshndg could tell them." Hearing 
this, NArad clasped his lotus feet, crying, " Thus the friend 
of the suppliant, the all-merciful, has with his own mouth 
declared the characteristics of his worshippers." After 
again and again bowing his head at his feet, Narad returned 
to the city of Brahma. Blessed, says Tulsi D^s, are all they 
who abandon other hope and attach themselves to Hari. 

Dohdii. 

People who hear or recite the sanctifying praises of 
Rdvan's foe, even without asceticism, prayer and medita- 
tion, are rewarded with steadfast faith in R-^'ma. Woman 
is like the flame of a candle ; let not your soul be as the 
moth, but discard love and intoxication, worship R^ma and 
hold communion with the saints. 



[Thus endeth the book entitled " the forest" composed 
by Tulsi Dda for the bestowal of pure wisdom and continence ; 
being the third descent * into the holy lake of Rdma^s dceds^ 
that cleanses from every defilement of the loorld]. 



BOOK IV. 

K I S H K 1 N D H Y A 



R-61 



KISHKINDHYA. 459 

KISHKINDHYA. 



Sanskrit Invocation. 

BEA.UTIFUL as the jasmine or the lotus, of surpassing 
strength, store-houses of wisdom, all glorious and accom- 
plished bowmen, hymned by the Vedas, benefactors of cows 
and Brdhmans, may they who appeared in the form of 
mortal men as the two noble sons of Raghu, the champions 
of true religion, the wayfarers intent on their search for 
Sfta, may they grant us faith. 

Blessed are the pious souls, who ever imbibe the nectar 
of holy Rdma's name ; nectar, the product of no ocean, but 
of Brahm himself, the utter exterminator of all the im- 
purities of this sinful age, the imperishable, the quintes- 
sence of the beauty of blessed Sambhu's moonlike face, the 
ever glorious, the remedy for all the diseases of life, the 
exquisitely sweet, the life of blessed Jiinaki. 
Sorathd 1. \ - a 

How is it possible not to reverence Kasi, the home of 
Sambhu and Bhav^ni, knowing it to be the earthly birth- 
place of salvation, a treasury of knowledge and the des- 
troyer of sin. Dull indeed of soul is the man who worships 
not him, who when all the hosts of heaven were in distress, 
drank up the deadly poison; who is so merciful as Sankara? 
Chaupdi. 

R^ma again proceeded on his way and drew near to the 
mountain Rishyamdka.^ There Sugriva dwelt with his 
ministers, who, seeing them approach in all their immeasur- 
able strength, was exceedingly alarmed and cried : *' Hear- 
ken, Hanumfin ; take the form of a young Brdhman student 
and go and see who these two heroes are, of such remark- 
able strength and beauty, and when you have ascertained 
make some sign by which I may know also. If that wretch 
BAli has sent them, I must leave the hill and flee at once." 

1 The mountain Rishyamiika derives its name from Bishya, a kind 
of antelope. 



460 KISHKINDHYA. 

The monkey assumed the form of a Brtfhman and went to 
the place ; there bowed his head and thus questioned them: 
" Who are you two knights of warrior mien, who roam this 
wood, one dark of hue, the other fair? The ground is 
rough for your soft feet to tread. What is the reason, my 
masters, that you visit this forest ? Your body is too 
delicate and exquisitely beautiful to be exposed to the 
intolerable sun and wind of these wild regions Who are 
you ? A Person of the Trinity ; or the two great gods Nara 
and NarAyan ?i 

Dohd 1. 3 
Or has the lord of all the spheres become incarnate in 
your human form, for the good of the woild, to bridge the 
ocean of existence and relieve earth of its burdens?" 

Ghaupdi, 

*' We are the sons of Dasarath, the king of Kosala, and 
have come into the forest in obedience to our father's com- 
mand ; Rama, the name of one brother, and liakshman of 
the other. With us was my young and beautiful bride, the 
daughter of the king of Videha. But some demon here has 
stolen her away ; and it is she, BrAhman, whom we are 
trying to find. We have told you our affairs, tell us now 
your own story." He recognized his lord and fell and clasp- 
ed his feet with a joy, UmA, beyond all description. His 
body thrilled with emotion and all words failed his tongue, 
as fhe gazed upon the fashion of their ravishing disguise. 

1 Nam, the original or eternal Man, the divine imperishable spirit that 
pervades the universe, is always nssociated with NarAyana, which, as u 
patronymic from Nara, means ' the Son of the original Man.' In Manu, 1. 
10, Nara is apparently identified with NArdyana: the waters, it is said, V>eing 
called NArA, as produced from Nar, the eternal Spirit, or PnramAtmsi. 
which is also styled N4rAyann, as having its first place of motion on thr 
waters. In the more systematic theology Nara and NdrAyana are distinct, 
the former being regarded as a sage or patriarch, while the laUer is a god. 
In epic poetry they are the sons of Dharma by Murti, or AhinsA, and are 
emanations of Vishnu, Arjuna b-ing identified with Nara, and Krishna 
with NArAyflna. In some places Nara and Ndrayana are called devau, ' tlu^ 
two gods'; or jmrva-deran ' the two original gods'; or rishi, ' the two sages'; 
or pit ranav rislii tat faniau, ' the two most ancient and best of sages ; or 
tapamn ' the two ascetics ; or maha-muyii, ' the two great munis. J/om'V/- 
WilUamn, sub verbo, 



KISHKINDHYA. 401 

At last he collected himself and burst forth into a hymn 
of praise, with great joy of heart, for he had found his lord. 
" I asked, sire, in my ignorance ; but why should you ask, 
as though you were a mere man. Under the influence of 
your delusive power I wandered in error, and therefore I 
did not at once recognize my lord. 

Doha 2. ^ 
In the first place I was a bewildered dullard, ignorant 
and perverse of soul, and then my gracious Lord God him- 
self led me astray. 

Ghaupdi. 

Although, sire, my faults are many, yet a servant can- 
not anyhow be above his master. All created things are 
first fettered by your delusive power and then again set 
free by your grace. Therefore I make my cry to Raghu- 
bir, and know no other saving mode of prayer. As a 
servant has confidence in his master, or a child in its 
mother, so all dwell secure under the protection of the 
Lord." So saying, he fell in much agitation at his feet, 
and the love that filled his soul showed itself in every part 
of his body. Then Raghupati raised him up and took 
him to his bosom, while his own eyes were flooded with 
tears of joy. " Bearken, monkey ; do not account your- 
self vile; you are second to Lakshman only in my affection ; 
every one says that I have no respect of persons ; any 
servant is beloved of me, and has a rank in heaven second 

to none. ^ 

Doha 3. *? 

For he, Hanumdn, is second to none who never wavers 
in this faith, that he is the servant of the Lord God who is 
manifested in creation." 

Ghaupdi. 

When the Son of the Wind (i.e., Hanumdn) saw his 
lord so gracious, he rejoiced at heart, and every anxiety 
was at an end. " The king of the monkeys, sire, lives on 
this rock, Sugriva by name, a servant of yours. In return 



462 KISHKINDHYA. 

for his submission you should make friends with him and 
set his mind at rest. He will have Sita tracked ; for he 
will despatch millions of monkeys in every direction." In 
this manner he told them all the particulars and took them 
both with him and gave them stools to sit upon. When 
Sugrfvasaw Rima, he thought it a great blessing to have 
been born. He reverentially advanced to meet him and 
bowed his head at his feet ; and RaghunAth and his bro- 
ther returned his courtesy. The monkey's mind was occu- 
pied with this thought, ' If God would only give me such 
allies !' # 

Dohd 4. l 
Hanuman then explained the circumstances of both 
sides ; holy fire was made a witness, and a firm alliance 
concluded. 

Chaupdi. 

When the alliance had been concluded, nothing was 
kept in reserve ; Rdtna and Lakshman told all their adven- 
tures. Sugriva's eyes were full of tears as he replied 
*' The daughter of the king of MithiU will be recovered. 
One day when I was sitting here with my ministers deep 
in thought, I saw some one flying through the air, with a 
woman in his power, who was weeping piteously and crying 
' R^ima, Rama,0 my R4ma ! ' When she saw me, she drop- 
ped her scarf." Rama at once asked for it ; he gave it him ; 
he pressed the scarf to his bosom in the deepest distress. 
Said Sugriva ; " Hearken, Raghubir ; be not so distressed ; 
take courage. I will do all in my power to serve you and 

recover Janaki." 

Dohd 5. 
The All-merciful and Almighty rejoiced to hear liis 
friend's speech. ** Tell me, Sugriva, the reason why yon 

are living in this forest." 

Chaupdi, 

" My lord, BAli and I are two brothers ; our mutual 

love was past all telling. The son of Maya, MayAvi by 

name came to our town. In the middle of the night he 



KISHKINDHYA. 403 

shouted at the city-gate. B^li endures no enemy to set him 
at defiance and sallied forth. Seeing this he fled. Now I 
too accompanied my brother, and when he had gone 
into one of the caves of the mountain, Bill said to me : 
Wait for me a fortnight, and if I do not come then, con- 
clude that I have been killed. I stayed there a whole 
month, Khardri ; a tremendous stream of blood then flowed 
out ; I made sure that Bali had been defeated and that the 
enemy would come and kill me too. I therefore closed the 
mouth of tlie cave with a rock and fled away. When the 
ministers of state saw the city without a master, they 
forced the government upon me, whether I would or no. 
When Bdli, who had slain the foe, came home and saw me, 
he was greatly set against me and gave me a severe beating, 
as he would an enemy, and took from me everything that 
I had, together with my wife. For fear of him, merciful 
Raghubir, I wander forlorn all over the world. The curse^ 
prevents him from coming here, and yet I am ill at ease in 
mind.'' When the friend of the suppliant heard of his 
servant's troubles, his two mighty arms were uplifted 
with a convulsive motion. 

Dohd 6. 

" Hearken, Sugriva ; I will slay Bali with a single 
arrow ; though he take refuge with Brahma even, or Rudra, 
he shall not escape with his life. 

Chawpdl. 

They, who are not distressed at the sight of a friend's 
distress, are guilty of grievous sin. They, who do not 
think it the most natural thing possible to regard 
as a mere grain of sand their own mountain-like troubles, 
while a friend's trouble, though really no bigger than 
a grain of sand, seems to them as weighty as mount 
Meru ; such men are churls, upon whom it is useless 



1 When Bali had slain the demon Dundubhi, who had attacked him in 
the form of a bull, he hurled tl)e body away, and a drop of blood fell in the 
hermitage of the iiishi Matanga, who thereupon pronounced a curse upon 
Bali, that if ever he came that way he should at once die. 



464 KISHKINDHYA. 

to press frieudship. To restrain from evil paths and to 
direct in the path of virtue ; to publish all good qualities 
and conceal the bad ; to give and take without any distrust 
of mind ; to be always ready to assist with all one's power, 
and, in time of misfortune to be a hundred times more 
affectionate than ever ; such the scriptures declare to be the 
properties of a true friend. But one who speaks you fairly 
to your face, but behind your back is an enemy in the 
viciousness of his soul, whose mind, brother, is as tortuous 
ay the movements of a snake, such a man is a bad friend, 
whom it is well to let alone. A dishonest servant, a miserly 
king, a false wife, and a treacherous friend, are four things 
as bad as the stake. Cease to distress yourself, friend ; I will 
put forth all my strength to do your business for you." 
Said Sugriva : " Hearken, Raghubir ; B^li is very strong 
and most resolute in battle," and he showed him Dundu- 
bhi's bones and the palm-trees. ^ Without an effort, 
Raghubfr tossed them away. At this exhibition of bound- 
less strength the affection of the monkey king was increased 
and he made sure of killing B41i. Again and again he 
bowed his head at his feet, in the greatest delight, know- 
ing him to be the Lord. Knowledge sprung up in his soul, 
and he spoke and said : " By my lord's favour my 
mind is set at rest ; I will abandon pleasure, fortune, 
home, grandeur and all, to do you service ; for all these 
things are hindrances to faith in RfimA, as the saints declare 
who are devoted to the worship^ of your feet. All the friends 
and enemies, joys and sorrows of the world, are effects of 

1 This mention of ' palm-trees' would not be intelligible without a r* 
ferencc to the Sanskrit Kamiiyana. There it is told how after IIAtna by ;i 
slight touch of liis foot had sent Hying a hundred leagues through the air 
the giant Dundubhi's enormous skeleton, Sugiiva still doubted whether li 
were a raateh in strength for Kali. wIjo had liurled the bo<ly an cjual ili 
tancc, while it was still clothed with llesh and therefore of much grcatci 
weight. To convince him, Udma shot an arrow from his, wliich cleft seven 
palm-trees that stood in a line one after the other, pierectl the hill behind 
them anil sped downwards to the nethermost hell, wlience again it returned 
and dropt into the <iuivcr at Kama's side, from which it had been taken. 

2 Aran'ulhak, ' a worshipper,' '\^h)V avail k,ik, from I lie root rad/i, ' { 
propitiate,' with the intensive prefix a. In tin; Hindi glassary it is ex 
plained by Mctxfk, 'a servant,' as if connected with arara. 



KlStlKINDHVA. ^65 

delusion, and are not eternal realities. Bdli is my greatest 
friend, by whose favour I have met you, RAma, destroyer 
of all sorrow; as when a man dreams that he has been fight- 
ing some one, and on wakin^i and coming to his senses is 
ashamed of his illusion. Now, my lord, do me this favour, 
that T may leave all and worship you, night and day." When 
Rama heard the monkey's devout speech, he smiled and 
said, with his bow in his hand : ** Whatever I have said is 
all true ; my words, friend, cannot fail." Clardr, Rdma, 
as the scriptures say, is the juggler who makes us all dance 
like so many monkeys. Sugriva then took Raghundth 
away with him, who went with bow and arrows in hand. 
Afterwards he sent Sugriva on ahead, who went up close 
and roared with all his might. Bdli on hearing him, sprang 
up in a fury, but his wife clasped his feet in her hands and 
warned him : " Hearken, my lord, Sugriva's allies are two 
brothers of unapproachable majesty and might, the sons of 
the king of Kosala, Lakshman and Rdma, who would con- 
quer in battle even Death himself." 

DoU 7. 
Said Bali : " Hearken, timorous dame ; Raghundlh is 
kind and the same to all ; even if he kill me, he will still 
be my lord." 

Chaupdi. 

So saying, he sallied forth in all his pride, thinking no 
more of Sugriva than of a blade of grass. The two joined 
combat ; and Bdli with a furious leap struck him a blow 
with his list, which resounded like a clap of thunder. Sug- 
riva at once fled in dismay ; the stroke of his fist had fallen 
upon him as a bolt from heaven, " What did I say, merci- 
ful Raghubir ; this is no brother of mine but Death him- 
self." "You two brothers are so much alike that for fear 
of mistake I did not shoot him." He then stroked Sugriva's 
body with his hands and his frame became as of adamant, 
and all his pain was gone. N^ext he put on his neck a 
wreath of flowers and sent him back with a large increase of 

R-G2 



460 KISUKIiJDUi'A. 

strength. Again they fought ia every kind of way, while 
Rimii watched them from behind a tree. 

Doha 8. /c) 
When Sugriva had tried every trick and put forth all 
his strength and had given up in despair, Rtoa drew an 
arrow and struck Bdli in the heart. 

Chaupdi. 
Struck by the shaft, he fell in dismay to the ground. 
Again he sat up and saw the Lord standing before liini, 
dark of hue, with his hair fastened up in a knot on his 
head, and his eyes inflamed as they were when he fitted the 
arrow to his bowstring. Again and again as he gaz^d upon 
him, he laid his soul at his feet and accounted his life bless- 
ed : for he recognized his lord. Though his heart was full 
of affection, the words of his mouth were harsh, as he look- 
ed towards R^ma and said : *' You have become incarnate, 
sire, for the advancement of religion, and yet you take my 
life, as a huntsman would that of a wild beast. I, forsooth, 
am an enemy and Sugriva a friend ; yet for what fault 
have you killed me, my lord ?" " Hearken, wretch ; a 
younger brother's wife, a sister, a daughter-in-law and an 
unwedded maid are all alike : whoever looks upon one of 
them witli an evil eye may be slain without any sin. 
Fool, in your extravagant pride you paid no heed to your 
wife's warning. You knew that he had taken refuge under 
the might of my arm, and yet in your wicked pride you 
wished to kill him." 

Doha 9. 
** Hearken Rdma ; I dealt craftily with my lord ; to-day, 
guilty as 1 am, 1 obtain, sire, at my death a place in heaven." 

Chaupdi. 
When RAma heard this most tender speech, he touched 
Bali's head with his hands: " I restore the soundness of 
your body ; retain your life." Said B^li ; " Hearken, All 
merciful ; the saints are born again and again and labour 
throughout their life, and yet even to the last Rama never 



KISHKINDHYA. 467 

comes near them. But he, the everlasting, by the virtue 
of whose name Sankara at K^si bestows heaven upon all 
alike, has come in visible form before my very eyes ; can 
I ever, my lord, have such a chance again ? 
Ghhctnd 1. 

He has become visible to my eyes, whose praises the 
scriptures are all unequal to declare, to whom scarcely the 
saints attain after profound contemplation accompanied by 
laborious suppression of the breath, ^ abstraction of soul, 
and control of the senses. Seeing me the victim of exces- 
sive pride, the Lord has told me to retain my body. But 
who would be such a fool as to insist upon cutting down 
the tree of paradise and watering a wild babul tree ? Now, 
my lord, look upon me with compassion and grant me the 
boon I l)eg; whatever the womb, in which it be my fate to 
be born, may I ever cherish a special devotion to the feet of 
RAma. my lord, take this my son Angad and grant him 
like discretion, power and prosperity ; grasp him by the 
hand. king of gods and men, and make him your 
servant." 

Doha 10. 

After making a fervent act of devotion to Rama's feet, 
Bali's soul left the body ; as placidly as when a wreath of 
flowers drops from an elephant's neck without his knowing 
it; 

Chaupdi. 

and Rdma dismissed him to his own heavenly mansion. 
All the people of the city ran together in dismay, and Tdrd 
with dishevelled hair and tottering frame broke out into 
wild lamentation. When Raghurdi saw her distress, he 
imparted to her wisdom and dispersed her delusion. " The 

1 The eight means of mental concentration (according to Patanjali, the 
founder of the Yog*i system of philosophy) are Yania, ' forbearance,' ' res- 
traint.' ; 37 yaw.';/, ' religious Observances' ; Asana, 'postures' ; Prdnaydnia, 
suppression of the breath', or ' breathing in a peculiar way ; Pratydhdra 
' restraint of the senses '; Dhdmiia, 'steadying of the mind ' ; Dhydna, ' con- 
templation ; and Sdmddhi, 'profound meditation,' or rather, a state of reli- 
gions trance. ~-3foni(!)' Williayns. 



468 KISIIKINDHYA. 

bod}^ which is composed of the elements, earth, water, fire, 
air and ether, ' is of no v^lue. The mortal frame, which 
you see before you, sleeps ; but the soul is eternal ; why 
then do you weep ?" True understanding sprung up in 
her mind ; she embraced his feet and received the boon 
that she asked, a perfect faith. 0, Uma, the lord R^ma 
dances us all up and down like so many puppets. Then 
he gave orders to Sugriva and he performed all the funeral 
rites with due ceremony. Rama next directed his brother 
to go and celebrate Sugriva's installation. He bowed his 
head at Raghupati's feet and went forth, he and all whom 
Rilma had commissioned to accompany him. 
Dohd 11. 

Lakshman immediately summoned the citizens and the 
council of Brahmans, and invested Sugriva with the sover- 
eignty and appointed Angad Prince Imperial. 

Chaupdi. 

0, UmA, there is no such friend as Rdma in the world, 
neither guru, nor father, nor mother, nor kinsman, nor 
lord. It is the way with all other gods, men and saints, to 
make friends for selfish purposes ; but the generous 
Raghubir, from mere natural kindness, made Sugriva king 
of the monlvcys, when he was trembling all day and all 
night in such fear of Bili that there was no colour left in 
his face and his heart was burnt up with anxiety. I know 
this, that any man, who deserts such a lord, must needs 
be caught in the meshes of calamity. Rama then sent for 
Sugriva and instructed him in all the principles of state- 
craft, and added : " Hearken, Sugriva, lord of the monkey 
race ; I may not enter a city for fourteen years. The hot 
weather is now over and the rains have set in. I will 
encamp on the hills close by. Do you with Angad reign 
in royal state ; but remain ever mindful of my interests." 

1 Akasa, 'ether.' is the subtle ancJ ethereal fluid, supposed to fill and 
pervade the universe and to be the peculiar vehicle of life and of sound 
Monirr Willinmn. 



KISHKINDHYA. 469 

Sugriva then returned to the palace, while Rdma remained 
in camp on mount BravarshanaJ 

Doha 12. I Mr 

The gods had beforehand made and kept for him a 
charming cave in the mountain, knowing that the all-merci- 
ful R^ma would come and stay there for some days. 

Ghaiipdi. 

The magnificent forest was a most charming sight, with 
the trees all in flower and the swarms of buzzing bees 
gathering honey. From the time that the Lord came, every 
plant and fruit and every kind of agreeable foliage was 
forthcoming in profusion. Seeing the incomparable beauty 
of the hill, the Lord and his brother rested there. In the 
form of bees, birds and deer, the gods, saints and seers 
came and did service to their lord. From the time that 
Lakshmi's spouse took up his abode in it, the forest became 
a picture of felicity. There the two brothers sat at ease on 
the bright and glistening crystal rock, and the younger 
was told many a tale inculcating faith, self-governance, 
statecraft and wisdom. What with clouds that ever cano- 
pied the heavens and the frequent thunder, the season of 
the rains seemed a most delightful time. 

Doha 13. 

" See, Lakshman, how the peacocks dance at the sight 
of the clouds, like a householder, enamoured of asceticism, 
who rejoices when he finds a true believer in Vishnu. 

Ghaiipdi. 

Clouds gather in the sky and thunders roar ; but my 
darling is gone and my soul is in distress.2 The lightning 
flashes fitfully amid the darkness, like the friendship of the 
vile which never lasts. The pouring clouds cleave close to 

1 In the Sanskrit Raraayana the hill is called Prasravnna ; but >he two 
words bear much the same meaninp:. The text might also be translated, 
remained on thp hill during the early rains.' 

2 In England a cloudy sky is associated with gloomy ideas, and the 
bright sunshine with everything that is cheerful. But in India it is the 
reverse. When the clouds gather and thunder is heard, every one rejoices 
at the prospect of rain. 



470 KTSIIKIXDIIYA. 

the ground, as sages stoop beneath accumulated lore. The 
mountain endures the buffeting of the storm, as the vir- 
tuous bear the abuse of the wicked. The flooded stream- 
lets rush proudly along, like mean men puffed up with a 
little wealth. The water by its contact with the earth 
becomes as muddy as the soul when environed by delusion. 
The lakes swell gradually and imperceptibly, like as when 
the quality of goodness developes . in a good man ; and the 
rivers flow into the bosom of the ocean, like as the soul, 
that has found Hari, is at rest for ever. 

Doha 14. ( 4> 
The green earth is so choked with grass that the paths 
can no longer be distinguished, like holy books obscured 
by the wrangling of heretics, '^n^ 

Chaupdi. 

On all sides there is a lively croaking of frogs, like a 
party of Rrdhman students repeating the Vedas. All the 
trees put fortii thoir new leaves, like pious souls that have 
come to matured wisdom. The alt and jawdsa plants lose 
their leaves : as in a well-governed realm the scliemes of 
tlie wicked come to nought. Search as you like, the dusty 
footpath is no longer to be traced ; like as when religion 
is put out of sight by passion. The earth rich with crops 
makes as goodly a show as the prosperity of benevolent. 
The fire flies glitter in the darkness of the cloudy night, 
like a mustered band of hypocritical pretenders. The 
ridges of the fields are broken down by the heavy rains, 
like women ruined by too much license The diligent 
cultivators weed their lands, like philosophers who root up 
ignorance, vanity and pride. The chakwd and other birds 
are nowhere to be seen, like virtue that fled at the coming 
of the iron age. However much it may rain, no grass 
springs upon barren ground ; so lust takes no root in the 
heart of Hari's worshippers. The earth gleams with 
swarms of living creatures of every kind ; so the people 



klSHKlNDUYA. 471 

multiply under good government. Here and there weary 
wayfarers stay and rest, like a mau's bodily senses after the 
attainment of wisdom. ^ 

Doha 15. ^ ' 
At times a strong wind disperses the clouds in all direc- 
tions, like the birth of a bad son, who destroys all the pious / ^ 

j)ractices of his family. 

Chaupdi. 

Now the rains are over and the season of autumn has 
returned ; see Lakshman, how exquisitely beautiful every- 
thing is. The whole earth is covered with the flowering 
kdns grass, as though the rains had exposed its old age. 
The rising of Canopus^ has dried up the water on the roads, 
like as greed is dried up by contentment. The surface of 
every river and lake is as pure and bright as is the soul of 
the saints devoid of all vanity and delusion ; drop by drop 
their depths are diminished, like as the enlightened 
gradually lose all notions of self. The wagtails know the 
autumn season and come out once more, like virtuous deeds 
in an auspicious time. There is neither mud nor dust ; 
the earth is as brilliant as the administration of a king who 
is well versed in state policy. The fish are distressed by 
the shrinking of the water, like improvident men of family 
by the loss of money. The unclouded sky shines as bright 
as a worshipper of Hari, who has discarded every other 
patron. Here and there is a slight autumn shower, like the 
faith of one who is not yet fully persuaded. 

Dohd 16. 

King and ascetics, merchants and mendicants, leave the 
city and go their way with joy, like men in any of the four 
stages of life,2 who cease to labour when they have once 
attained to faith in Hari. 

1 The heliacal rising of t he constellation Agastya, ?" <?., C'anopus, takes 
place on the seventh day after the new moon of Bhadon, in the rain}' season. 

2 The four stages of life, through which every Brahman should pass, 
are 1st, that of the Brahmachari, or student , 2nd, that of the Griha-stha, 
or householder ; 3rd, that of the Vanaprastha. or anchorite ; and 4(h, that 
of the Hhikshu, or mendicant. 



472 KISHKINDHYA. 

Chaupdi. 

Where the water is deep, the fish are as glad as men 
who have taken refuge with Elari aad have not a single 
trouble The lakes, with their flowering lotuses, are as 
beautiful as tlie immaterial Supreme Spirit when clothed 
with a material form. The garrulous bees make a wonder- 
ful buzzing, and the birds a charming concert of diverse 
sounds ; but the cliakwd is as sad of soul to see the night, 
as a bad man at the sight of another's prosperity. The 
chAtak cries out from excess of thirst, like a rebel against 
Mahddev, who knows no rest. The moon by night subdues 
the autumnal heat of the sun, like as the sight of a saint 
expels sin. Flocks of partridges fix their gaze upon the 
moon, as Hari's worshippers look only to Hari. Mosquitoes 
and gadflies are driven away by the terrors of winter, like 
as a family is destroyed by the sin of persecuting BrAhmans. 

Dohd 17. 

Under the influence of the autumn, eartli is rid of its 
insect swarms, as a man, who has found a go^d teacher, is 
relieved from all doubt and error. 

Ghaupni 

The rains are over and the clear season has come, but I 
have had no news, brother, of Sita. If 1 could only once 
anyhow get tidings of her, I would in an instant recover 
her out of the hands of even Death himself. Wherever she 
may bo, if only she still liv^es, brother, 1 would make an 
effort to rescue her. Sugriva has forgotten all about me, 
now that he has got back his kingdom and treasure, his 
city and his queen. Fool that he is, I will to-morrow slay 
him with the selfsam'? arrow with which I slew B^li." lie, 
by whose favour, Um4, pride and delusion are dissipated, 
could never even dream of being angry. Only enlightened 
saints can understand these actions of his, who have a hearty 
devotion to the feet of Raghubir. Likshman believed his 
lord was angry, and strung his bow and took his arrows in 
his hands. 



KISHKINDHYA. 473 

Doha 18. 
Then the all-merciful Ragliupati iristructed his brother, 
saying : " Frighten our friend Sugriva and bring him here." 

Chaiip'ii. 

Now the Son of the Wind also had thought to himself, 
'Sugriva has forgotten all about Rama.' So he went near 
and bowed his head at his feet and reminded him of the four 
modes of making war.^ As Sugriva listened, he became much 
alarmed : " Sensual pleasures have robbed me of all my 
understanding. Now, Hanumdn, despatch a multitude of 
spies, legions of monkeys, in every direction, and tell them 
that any one who is not back in a fortnight shall meet his 
death at my hands." lianum^n then summoned envoys, 
and showed them all special honour, making use of threats, 
blandishments and motives of policy. They all bowed 
their head at his feet and set forth. At that very time 
Lakshman entered the city. Seeing him to be angry, 
(he monkeys all ran away. 

Doha 19. 

He twanged his bow and cried ' I will burn the city to 

ashes ' Then came Bdli's son, seeing the distress of the 

people, 

Chaupdi. 

and bowed his head at his feet and made humble petition, 

till Lakshman assured him he had nought to fear. When 

the monkey king heard tell of Lakshman's wrath, he was 

terribly alarmed : " Hearken, Hanumdn ; take Tdra with 

you and with suppliant prayers appease the prince." 

Hanumdn ; went with Tdra and fell at his feet, and after 

hymning his lord's praises, respectfully conducted him to 

the palace and bathed his feet and seated him on a couch. 

The monkey king also bowed his head at his feet, but 

Lakshman took him by the hand and embraced him. 

'' There is nothing, my lord, so intoxicating as pleasure ; 

I The four upayas, or modes of making war, are. sowing dissension 
negotiation, bribery and open force. 

R-63 



414: KISHKlNDHYA. 

in a single moment it infatuates even the soul of a saint." 

On hearing this humble speech, Lakshman was glad and 

said everything to reassure him, while Hanum^n told hiui 

all that had been done and how a multitude of spies had 

already started. 

Dohd 20. 

Then Sngriva with Angad and the other monkeys went 

forth with joy, preceded by Lakshman, and arrived in 

RAma's presence. 

Chaupdi. 

With folded hands he bowed his head at his feet and 
cried : " My lord, it has been no fault of mine. Your 
delusive power, sire, is so strong that only Rima's favour 
can disperse it. Gods and men, saints and kings are 
mastered by their senses ; and I am but a poor brute beast, 
a monkey, one of the most libidinous of animals. A man 
who is invulnerable by the arrow of a woman's eye, who 
remains wakeful through the dark night of angry passion, 
and whose neck has never been bound by the halter of 
covetousness, is your equal, RaghurAi. It is a virtue not 
attainable by any religious observance ; it is only by yonr 
grace that one here and one there can accomplish it." Then 
Raghupati smiled and said : " You are as dear to me a 
my own brother Bharat. Now take thought and make an 
effort to get tidings of Slta." 

Dohd 21. 

While they were yet thus speaking, the troops of mon- 
keys arrived of all colours and from all parts of the world, a 
monkey host marvellous to behold. 

Chaupdi. 

I, Uma, saw this army of monkeys ; only a fool would 
try to count them. They came and bowed the h^ad at 
RAma's feet and gazing upon his face found in him tlieir 
true lord. In the whole host there was not a single monkey 
to whom Rdma did not give separate greeting. This is nc 
great miracle for the lord Raghur^i, who is omniprespni 



KISHKINDHYA. 475 

and all pervading. They all stood as they were told, rank 
after rank, while Sugriva thus spoke and instructed them: 
" In Rama's behoof and at my request, go forth ye monkey 
host in every direction. Make search for Janak's daughter, 
my brethren, and return within a month. Whoever comes 
back at the end of the time without any news shall die at 
my hands." 

Dohd 22. 

No sooner had they heard this speech than all the mon- 
keys started at once in every direction. Sugriva then 
called Angad, Nila and Hanum^n : 
Ghaupai. 

" Hearken, Nila, Angad and Hanumdn, and you, 
staunch and sagacious Jdmbavan ; go ye together, all ye 
gallant warriors, to the south, and ask every one for news of 
Sita. Strain every faculty to devise some way of accomplish- 
ing Rama's object. The sun is content with back service and 
the fire with front, but a master must be served back and 
front alike, without any subterfuges. i Discard the unreali- 
ties of the world and consider the future ; so shall all the 
troubles connected with existence be destroyed. This is 
the end, brother, for which we were born, to worship 
Rdma without any desire for self. He only is truly discrimi- 
native, he only is greatly blessed, who is enamoured of the 
feet of Raghubir." After begging permission to depart 
and bowing the head at his feet they set out with joy, 
invoking Raghur^i. The last to make obeisance was 
Hanuman. The lord, knowing what would happen, called 
him near and with his lotus hands touched Iiis head and 
gave him his ring off his finger for he knew his devotion : 
" Say everything to comfort Sita, telling her of my might 
and my constancy, and come quickly." Hanumdn thought 

I In this line there is no diflEerence of reading in any of the MSS., but 
the precise meaning of the words is obscure and the Pandits interpret them 
in as many as 22 different ways. The translation given above exactly pre- 
serves the vagueness of the original. One of the alternative renderings is, 
' as the flint nourishes fire in its bosom so should one serve a master ; ' but 
I do not know of any parallelled passage where bhdnu pith is used in the 
sense of ' a flint.' 



476 KISHKINDHYA. 

himself happy to have been born and set forth, with the 
image of the all-mercifiil impressed npon his heart. 
Although the Lord knows everything, he observes the rules 
of statecraft in his character as the champion of the gods. 

Dohd 23. 
They went forth searching every wood, river, lake, and 
mountain cave, with their soul so absorbed in Rdma's con- 
cerns that they forgot all about their own bodily wants. 

Chaupdi. 
Wherever it might be that they came across a demon, 
they took his life with a single blow. They looked into 
every recess of forest and hill, and if they met any hermit 
they all surrounded him. Overcome by thirst they were 
dreadfully distrest, and losing their way in the dense 
jungle, could find no water. HanumAn thought to himself 
" without water to drink we shall all die. He climbed a 
mountain peak and looking all round about, spied a strange 
opening in the ground ; with geese, herons and swans on 
the wing and all kinds of birds making their way into it. 
Then Hanumin came down from the mountain and took 
them all and showed them this cavern, and with him to 
lead the way they lost no time, but entered the chasm. 

Dohd 2^. 
A grove and beautiful lake came in sight, with mnnyj 
flowering lotuses and a magnificent temple, where a holy 
woman^ was sitting, 

Chaupdi. 
From a distance they all bowed the head before her and 
made enquiry and explained their circumstances. She then 
said : " Take water to drink and eat at will of this luscious 
and beautiful fruit." They bathed and ate of the sweet fruit 
and then all came and drew near to her, and told hor all 
their adventures. *' T will now go to RaghiirAi ; close your 
eyes and so leave thf* cave ; you will recover Sita, do not 
fear." The warriors closed their eyes, and when the> 

1 In the Sanskrit RAmkyana her name is given as Swayamprabha, Hi 

self-hinlne ' 



KISHKINHDYA. 477 

again opened them they \vf>re all standing on the shore of 
the ocean. But she went to Raghun^th and came and 
bowed her head at his lotus feet, and made much supplica- 
tion. The lord bestowed upon her imperishable faith. 

Doha 25. 

In obedience to the Lord's commands she went to the 
Badri forest, cherishing in her heart Rama's feet, the 
adoration of the eternal Siva. 

Ghaupdi. 

Now tlie monkeys were thinking to themselves : " The 
appointed time has passed and nothing has been done." So 
theyjall came together and asked one another, " there is no 
news, brother ; what are we to do ? " Angad's eyes were 
full of tears as he replied : " It is death for us either way. 
Here we have failed to get tidings of Sita, and if we go home 
our king will slay us. After my father's death he would 
have killed me, had not Rdma protected me, no thanks to 
him." Again and again Angad told th?m all : " It is a case 
of death without a doubt." When the monkey chiefs heard 
Angad's words, th^^y could make no answer, tears streamed 
from their eyes. For a moment they were overwhelmed 
with despair, but at last they all spoke and said " unless 
we get news of Sita we will not return, sagacious prince." 
So saying the monkeys all went to the seashore, where they 
spread beds of husa grass and sat down. But Jdmbavan, 
seeing Angad's distress, addressed him with a discourse of 
appropriate admonition : *' My son, do not imagine R^ma 
to be a man : know that he is the invisible god, unconquer- 
able and from everlasting. All we who are his servants are 
most highly blessed in our love for the eternal God thus 

made incarnate. 

Dohd2Q. 

Of his own free will the Lord has manifested himself on 

behalf o gods, Br^hmans, cows and Earth, and remains in 

bodily form among his worshippers, having abandoned all 

the joys of heaven." 



478 KISHKINDHYA. 

Chaiipdi. 

He exhorted him in this wise at great length, and Sam- 
pAti from his cave in the mountain heard him. When he 
came out and saw the multitude of monkeys, he cried : 
" God has provided me with a feast. I will eat them all up 
at once; I am dying for want of a meal these many days 
past. I have never yet had a good bellyful, but to-day 
God has supplied me for once and all." The monkeys 
trembled to hear the valture's words, * we were right in 
saying to day we must die.' At the sight of him they all 
rose up, and J^mbavAn was mightly disturbed at heart ; 
but Angad, after thinking to himself, exclaimed : Glory to 
Jatdyu, there is none like him, who gave up his life in 
RAma's service and, blessed beyond measure, has been 
translated to Hari's sphere in heaven." When the bird heard 
these words of mingled joy and sadness, he drew near to 
the monkeys in alarm and after assuring them of snfety 
began to question them. They told him tlie whole history. 
When SampAti heard of his brother's doings, he gave great 
glory to Raghnpati. 

Dohd 27. 

" Take me to the sea-shore and make him an offering of 
sesamum seeds; with the help of my instructions you shall 
recover her whom you seek." 

Chaupdi. 

When he had completed the funeral rites for his brother 
on the seashore, he told them his own history. ** Hearken, 
monkey chiefs. We two brothers in our first youth mount- 
ed into the heaven, winging our way towards the sun. He 
could not endure its splendour and turned back, but I in 
my pride went closer. My wings were scorched by the 
excessive heat, and I fell to the earth uttering fearful cries. 
A saint, by name Chandrama,' was moved with compassion 
when he saw me, and instructed me in all kinds of knowledge 
and rid me of my inveterate pride. " In the Treta'age Goci 

I In the Sanskrit Rdm^yana he is called Nis4kara, the night-raakei. 
which also, like Chandrama, is a name for the moon. 



KISHKINDHYA. 479 

will take the form of a man, and his spouse will be carried 
ofE by the king of the demons. The Lord will send out 
spies to search for her, and if you join them you will be 
purified. Your wings will sprout again, fear not, when you 
have found them Sita." The saint's prophecy has come true 
to-day. Hearken to my words and set about your lord's 
business. On the top of mount Triktit is the city of Lank^ ; 
there lives R-Wan in absolute security, and there, in a 
grove of Asoka trees, sits Sita, a prey to grief. 

Dohd 28. 
I see her, though you cannot ; a vulture's sight has no 
bounds. I am now old, or else I would have given you some 
assistance. 

Chaupdi. 

If any one of you can leap over a hundred leagues of sea, 
he will do Rdma's business for him very cleverly. Look at 
me reassure yourselves ; see how my body has been restored 
by Rama's favour. Any wretch, who invokes his name, is 
able to cross the vast and boundless ocean of existence, and 
you are his messengers; have then no fear, but with Rama's 
image impressed upon your soul, concert your plans." So 
saying, Gariir, the vulture, left ibem, and their soul was in 
the greatest amazement. Each one vaunted his own strength, 
but doubted whether he could leap across- Said the king of 
the bears, " I am now too old and not a particle of my former 
strength is left in my body ; when Khardri took his three 
strides,^ then I was young and full of vigour. 

Dohd 29. 
As he fettered Bili, the lord insreased in stature to an 
indescribable size, but in less than an hour Iran round him 
seven times." 

Chaupdi. 

Angad said : " I will leap across ; but I am rather 
doubtful about getting back again." Then said Jdmbavdn : 
You are quite competent; but why should we send our 

1 The allusion is to Vishnu's incarnation as a dwarf, which was the 
fifth in order, that as Rama being the seventh. 



480 KISHKINDHYA. 

leader ? Hearken, HanumAn," added the king of the bears, 
" why is our champion so silent ? You are the son of the 
wind and strong as your sire, a storehouse of good sense, 
discretion and knowledge : in all the world what undertak- 
ing is there so difficult that you, my son, cannot accomplish 
it ? and it is on Rama's account that you have come down 
upon earth." On hearing this he swelled to the size of a 
mountain, with a body of golden hue and of dazzling 
splendour, as though a very monarch of mountains, and 
roaring again and again as it were a lion, he cried '* I can 
easily spring across the salt abyss, and slay Rivan with 
all his army, and uproot Trikdt and bring it here. But I 
ask you, JdmbavAn, what I ought to do; give me proper in- 
structions." ** All that you have to do, my son, is to go and 
see Sita and comeback with the news. Then the lotus-eyed, 
by the might of his own arm, taking with him merely for a 
show his hosts of monkeys. 

Chhand 2. 

With his hosts of monkeys Rama will destroy the de- 
mons and recover Sita ; and gods and saints and Narad and 
all will declare his glory, that sanctifies the three spheres." 
Any man attains the highest beatitude who hears, sings, tells 
or meditates upon the feet of Raghubir, lotus flowers which, 
like the bee, Tulsi DAs is ever singing. 

DohdSO. p7 

If any man or woman will study the glories of Raghu 
u6th, the panacea for all the ills of life, Siva will make him 
to prosper in everything that he desires. 

SoratM 2. ^ W\ 

Hearken then to his praises, with his body dark of hut- 
as the lotus, with more than all the beauty of a myriad Loves, 
the fowler who sweeps into his net all kinds of sin as it were 
so many birds. 

[Thus endeth the hook entitled " Kishkindhya," composed 
by TuUi Ddsfor the hestoroal of pure wisdom and continence ; 
being the fourth descent ' into the holy lake of Hdmaa 
deeds,' that cleanses from every defilement of the world.] 



BOOK V. 

THE BEAUTIFUL 



11-64 



THE BEAUTIFUL. 483 

THE BEAUTIFUL. 



Sanskrit Invocation. 
y I ADORE, under his name Rama, the passionless, the 
eternal, the immeasurable, the sinless ; the bestower of the 
peace of final emancipation ; the lord, whom Brahma, 
Sambhu, and the Serpent-king incessantly worship; the 
theme of the VedAnta; the sovereign of the universe ; the 
preceptor of the gods; Hari in the delusive form of man : 
the All-merciful ; the princely son of R^ghu ; the jewel of 
kings. 
V' Raghupati, there is no other desire in my soul I 
speak the truth and you know all my inmost thoughts 
grant me, Raghu king, a vehement faith, and make my 
heart clean of lust and every other sin. 
'^ I reverence the home of immeasurable strength, with 
his body resembling a mountain of gold ; the fire that con- 
sumed the demons as it were the trees of a forest ; the 
first name in the list of the truly wise : the store-house of 
all good qualities ; the monkey chief ; Raghupati's iioble 
messenger, the Son of the Wind. 

Chaupdi. 

\^ On hearing J^mbavAn speak so cheerfully, Hanumdn 
was greatly rejoiced at heart. " Wait for me here, my 
friends, however great your discomfort, with only roots, 

fl herbs, and fruits for your food, till I return after seeing 
Sita ; the task is one I am most pleased to undertake." So 
saying he bowed his head to them all and went forth with 
joy, having the image of Raghnndth impressed upon his 

1 heart. There was a majestic rock by the seashore; he light- 
ly sprung on to the top of it ; then, again and again invok- 
ing Raghubir, the Son of the Wind leaped with all his 
might. . The mountain on which he had planted his foot 
sank down immediately into the depths of hell. Like 
Rdma's own unerring shaft, so sped Hanuman on his way. 



484 THE BEAUTIFUL. 

^^ Ocean had regard for Rami's envoy and told Main^ka to 
ease his toil.i 

Dohd 1. 

[. But HanumAn merely touched him with his hand, then 
bowed and said, ' I can stop nowhere till I have done Rama's 
business.' 

Chaupdi. 

\> The gods saw Hanuraan on his way and wished to make 
special trial of his strength and sagacity. So they sent the 
mother of the serpent-race, Surasd by name, who came and 

0- cried: r' To-day the gods have provided me a meal.' On 
hearing these words, the Son of the Wind replied : " When 
I have performed Rdma's commission and have come back, 

l^^and have given my lord the news about Sita, then I will 
put myself into your mouth : I tell you the truth, mother, 
only let me go now." But, however much he tried, she 
would not let him go, till at last he said : * You cannot 

O^.get me into your mouth.'. She opened her jaws a league 
wide ; the monkey made nis body twice that size. Then 
she stretched her mouth sixteen leagues. Hanuman at 

^once became thirty-two. ^^ However much Suras^ expanded 
her jaws, the monkey made his frame twice as large again. 
When she had made her mouth a hundred leagues wide, 

Lhe reduced himself to a very minute form and went into 
her mouth and came out again : then bowed and asked 
permission to proceed. " The purpose for which the gods 
sent me, namely, to make trial of j^our wisdom and 
strength, I have now accomplished. 

Dohd 2. 

^^ Your wisdom and strength are perfect ; yon will do all 
that RAma requires of you." She then gave him her bless- 
ing and departed, and Hanuman went on his way rejoicing. 

Chaupdi. 
^ A female demon^ dwelt in the ocean, who by magic 

1 Mainaka is a rock in the narrow strait between Lankii and the main 
land. 

2 In the Sanskrit R&m&yana her name is given as Sinhik^, the mother 
of R^hu. 



THE BEAUTIFUL. 485 

caught the birds of the air. All living creatures that fly in 
the air as they look down upon the water cast a shadow 
upon it^and she was able to catch the shadow, so that they ' 
could not fly away; and in this manner she always had birds 
to eat. She played this name trick on HanumAn ; but the 
monkey at once saw through her crafty and slew her, hero ' 
as he was, and all undismayed crossed over to the opposite 
shore. Arriving there, he marked the beauty of the wood, 
with the bees buzzing in their search for honey ^^ the diverse Ui 
trees all resplendent with simultaneous flower and fruit, and 
multitudes of birds and deer delightful to behold. Seeing a 
huge rock further on, he fearlessly sprang on to the top of 
it. But, Uma, this was not at all the monkey's own strength, 
but the gift of the Lord, who devours even Death himself. 
^Mounted on the height, he surveyed Lank^ a magnificent J*^ 
fortress that defies description,^ with the deep sea on all 4 / 
four sides around its golden walls of dazzling splendour. 
Chhand 1. 
Its golden walls studded with all kinds of jewels, a mar- 
vellously beautiful sight, with market-places, bazars, quaj^s, 
and streets, and all the other accessories of a fine city. 
Who could count the multitude of elephants, horses and 
mules, the crowds of footmen and chariots, and the troops 
of demons of every shape, a formidable host beyond all 
description. The woods, gardens, groves, and pastures, 
the ponds, wells and tanks were all superb : and the soul 
of a saint would be ravished at the sight of the fair 
daughters, both of men and Ndgas, of gods and Gandharvas. 
Here wrestlers, of monstrous stature like mountains, were 
thundering with mighty voice and grappling with one 
another in the different courts, with shouts of mutual 
defiance. Thousands of warriors of huge bulk were 
sedulously guarding the city on all four sides ; elsewhere 
horrid demons were banqueting in the form of buffaloes, 
men, oxen, asses and goats. Tulsi D^s for this reason 
gives them a few words of mention, because they lost their 



486 THE BEAUTIFUL. 

life by Rama's hallowed shafts anil thus became assured 
of entrance into heaven. 

Dohd 3. 
Seeing the number of the city guards, the monkey thought 
to himself, * I must make myself very small and slip into 

the town by night.' 

Ghaupdi. 
i- Thereupon he assumed the form of a gnat^ and entered 
Lankii after invoking Vishnu.^ The female demon, by name 
Lankini, accosted him : " How dare you come here in con- 
/;,^tempt of me ?^ Fool, do you not know my practice, that 
every thief in Lankd becomes my prey ? " The monkey 
struck her one such a blow with his fist that she fell to the 
"i" ground vomiting blood.. Recovering herself again, she stood 
up and with clasped hands made this confident petition : 
" When Brdhma granted R^van's prayer, the Creator gave 
ij.me a sign before he left, ^ ' When worsted by a monkey, 
know then that it is all over with the demons.' My merito- 
rious deeds, my son, must have been very many that I have 
been rewarded with the sight of Rama's messenger. 

Dohd 4. 
In one scale of the balance put the bliss of heaven and 
the final emancipation of the soul from the body, but it will 
be altogether outweighed by a fraction of the joy that 
results from communion with the saints, 

Ghaupdi. 
j. Enter the city and accomplish your task, ever mindful 
at heart of the lord of KosaU. Deadly poison becomes as 

1 The word inaJtak^ which I translate 'gnat,' never, so far as I am aw^ie, 
bears any other meariinK. But in one glossary, with reference to this partic- 
ular passage, it is explained by bdnr, 'a cat,' only as it wouH seem 
because that is the animal mentioned in the Sanskrit Rdrntiyana. In botli 
cises the poet has no sooner stated the transformation than he forgets all 
a)out it ; for all FTaniim&n's subsequent actions are described as if perform- 
ed by him in his natural 8haf)e. He may be supposed to have resumed it as 
soon as he had passed the guard ; or the words may be taken to mean, " he 
made himself att small ns a gnat." This latter view is confirmed by what 
follows on page .S.'i, Vol. III.- 

2 Nara-hari stands for the more common Nar-sinha //rt/v and stinha 
both meaning 'a lion' and here denotes not that particular incarnation, 
but Vishnu generally. 



v 



THE BEAUTIFUL. 487 



ambrosia, foes turn friends, ocean shrinks to a mere puddle, 
fire gives out cold- and huge Sumeru is of no more account ^' 
than a grain of sand for him whom Rama deigns to regard 
with favour." In the tiny form that he had assumed, Ha- 
numAn entered the city with a prayer to God. Carefully -. 
inspecting every separate palace, he found everywhere 
warriors innumerable. When he had come to R^van's 
court, its magnificence was past all telling. ^The monkey <p 
saw him in bed asleep, but no trace of Sita in the room. 
He then noticed another splendid building, with a temple 
of Hari standing apart, its-^walk^ brilliantly illuminated 
with Rama's nam^^ too beautiful- feo-describe, it fascinated 
every belK)Ider. 

Doha 5/ 
The beauty of the chamber emblazzoned with Rama's 
insignia was indescribable. At the sight of some fresh 
springs of tulsi, the monkey chief was enraptured- 

Chaupdi. 
"Lankfi is the abode of a gang of demons, how can the /. 
pious have any home here ? " While the monkey was thus 
reasoning within himself, Vibhishan awoke^and at once r 
began to repeat Rjima's name in prayer. The monkey was 
delighted to find a true believer. '" Shall I at once make 
myself known to him? A good man will never spoil any 
undertaking.'' Assuming the form of a Brdhman, he raised w'^- 
his voice in speech. As soon as Vibhishan heard him, he 
rose to meet him, and bowing low, asked after his welfare, 
saying, "Tell me, reverend Sir, who you may be ; Jf a tf-^i 
servant of Hari, you have my hearty affection ; if a loving 
follower of Rima, your visit is a great honour for me " 

Doha 6 

Hanuman then told him Rdma's whole history and his 
own name. At the recital and the recollection of his 
infinite virtues, both quivered all over the body, while their 
soul was drowned in joy. 



488 THE BEAUTIFUL. 

Chaupdi. 

"Hearken, Son of the Wind ; my condition here is like 
that of the poor tongue between the teeth. Yet do not sup- 
pose, Father, that I am friendless : the Lord of the Solar 
race will show me favour.^ The sinful body is of no avail, 
if the soul has no love for his lotus feet. But now, llanu- 
mdn, I have gained confidence : for it is only by Hari's 
favour that one meets a good man, and it is the result of 
his kindness that you have so readily revealed yourself to 
me."' " Listen, Vibhishan, to my experience of the Lord ; 
he is ever affectionate to his servants.^ Say who am I and 
of what noble descent ; a wanton monkey, of no merit what- 
ever, a creature the mention of whose name in the early 
morning makes a man go fasting for the whole day. 

Doha 7. 

So mean am I ; yet hearken, friend ; Raghubir has 
shown favour even to me." His eyes filled with tears as he 
recalled his perfection. 

Chaupdi. 

'* I know of a truth that any who turns aside in forget- 
fulness of such a lord may well be miserable." As he thus 
discoursed on Rdma's excellences, he felt an unspeakable 
calm. Vibhishan then told him of all that had been going 
on and of Sita's mode of life, till Hanum^n cried ; " Hear- 
ken, brother; I would fain see the august Sita." Vibhishan 
explained to him the whole mode of procedure, and the Son 
of the Wind then took his leave and proceeded on his way. 
Assuming the same form as at first he went to the Asoka 
grove, where S'ta dwelt. As soon ashe saw her, mentally 
prostrated himself in her presence. She had spent the 
first watch of the night sitting up, haggard in appearance, 
her hair knotted in a single braid on her head,l repeating 
to herself the list of Raghupati's perfections. 

1 To twibt tho hair in a single braid is a sign of niouring for an absent 
husband. 



THE BEAUTIFUL. 489 

Doha 8. 

Her eyes fastened on her own feet, but with her soul 
absorbed in the contemplation of the feet of her lord. 
Hanuman was mightly distrest to see her so sad. 

Ghaupdi. 

Concealing himself behind the branches of a tree, he 
mused within himself ; " Come, sir, what ought I to do ?" 
At that very moment Rdvan drew near, with a troop of 
women in various attire. The wretch tried in every way 
to talk Sita over, by blandishments, bribes, threats 
and misrepresentations. " Hearken, fair dame," he cried," 
I will make Mandodari and all my other queens your hand- 
maids, I swear it, if you only give me one look." Sita 
plucked a blade of grass, and with averted face, fondly 
remembering her own dear lord, replied : '* Hearken, 
Bavan : will the lotus expand at the light of a glowworm ? 
Ponder this at heart," cried J^naki : *' Wretch, have you 
no fear of Rdma's shafts ? Even though absent, Hari will 
rescue me. Shameless monster, have you no shame ? 

Doha 9. 

I tell you, you are but a glowworm, while the very sun 
is only an image of Rdma." On hearing this bold speech 
he drew his sword and cried in the utmost fury : 
Ghaupdi. 

"Sita, you have outraged me ; I will cut off your head 
with this bitting blade. If you do not at once obey my 
words, you will lose your life, my lady." *' My lord's arms, 
!R6van, are beautiful as a string of dark lotuses and mighty 
as an elephant's trunk ; either they shall have my neck, 
or if not, then your cruel sword. Hearken, wretch, to this 
my solemn vow. With your gleaming scimitar^ put an 
end to my distress, and let the fiery anguish that T endure 
for Rdma's loss be quenched in night by the sharp blade 
of your sword : rid me, cried Sita, " of my burden of pain." 

1 The word translated 'gleaming, scimitar' is chandra-hds, which means 
literally 'deriding the moon,' by reason, that is, of itsown greater brilliancy. 

R-65 



490 THE BEAUTIFUL. 

On hearing these words he again rushed forward to kill 

her ; but the daughter of Maya restrained him with words 

of admonition. He then summoned all the female demons 

and ordered them to go and intimidate Sfta : ' if she does 

not mind what I say in a month's time, I will draw my 

sword and slay her.' 

Dohd 10. I \ 

R4van then returned to the palace, while the demones- 
ses, assuming every kind of hideous form, proceeded to 

terrify Sita. 

Chaupdi. 

One of them, by name Trijati, was devoted to Rdma's 
service, prudent and wise. She declared to them all a dream, 
how that they for their own sake ought to show Sita rever- 
ence. " In my dr^^am a monkey set fire to Lanka, and put 
to death the whole demon army, and set RAvan on an ass, 
naked, with his head^ shorn and his twenty arms hacked 
off. In this fashion he went away towards the south, ^ 
while Vibhfshan succeeded to the throne of LankA. The 
city resounded with cries for mercy in Rdma's name, till 
the Lord sent Sita among them. I deliberately warn you 
that four days hence this dream will be accomplished." 
Upon hearing her words they were all dismayed and went 
and threw themselves at Sita's feet, 

DohdU, 

after which they dispersed in every direction. But Sita 
was troubled at heart : ' At the end of a month^ this vilej 
monster will slay me.' 

Chaupdi . 

With clasped hands she cried toTrijatA : " Mother, you] 
are my helper in distress ; quickly devise some plan that I 
may be rid of life, for this intolerable bereavement is noj 

1 The realm of Yama, the god of Death, is supposed to be in the soutl 
For this reason a Hindu will never, when it is possible to avoid it, have th 
door of his house in that dirpction. Muhararaadans even, at the present 
day. are much influenced by the same superstition. 

2 As appears from what follows, it is not death that she dreads, but the 
long interval of a mouth, which has to elapse before her death takes place. 



THE BEAUTIFUL 491 

longer to be endured. Bring wood and erect my funeral pyre 
and then set fire to it. My affection, reverend dame, will 
thus be attested." Wht) could bear to listen to such an 
agonizing cry ? When she heard her speech she clasped 
her feet and would fain comfort her by reciting the majesty 
and might and glory of her lord. " Hearken, fair lady ; there 
is no fire to be had at night ;'* and so saying she went away 
home. Slta exclaimed : *' Heaven is unkind ; without fire 
my pain cannot be cured. I see the heaven all bright with 
sparks, but not a single star drops to the earth. The moon 
is all ablaze, but no fire comes from it, as if it knew what 
a poor wretch I am. Ye Asoka trees, ^ that hear my prayer, 
answer to your name and rid me of my pain ; and you 
flame-coloured opening buds, supply me with fire to con- 
sume my body." A single moment seemed like an age to 
the monkey, as he beheld Sita thus piteously lamenting her 
bereavement. 

Dohd 12. 

After taking thought within himself he threw down the 
signet ring, as though a spark had fallen from the Asoka. 
She started up with joy and clasped it in her hand. 

Chaupdi. 

When she had looked at the lovely ring, beautifully en- 
graved with Rdma's name, she was all astonishment, for 
she recognized it, and her heart fluttered with mingled joy 
and sorrow. " Who can conquer the unconquerable Raghu- 
riii ? This cannot be any trick of Maya." All sorts of 
fancies passed through her mind, till Hanumdn spoke in 
honeyed accents and began to recount R^mchandra's praises. 
As Sita listened, her grief took flight. Intently she heaikened 
with all her soul as well as her ears, while he related the 
whole story from the very beginning. " The tale you tell is 
so grateful to my ears; why do you not show yourself, friend? 
Then Hanum^n advanced and drew near. She turned and 

1 The name Asoka is derived from a ' without ' and soka ' pain.' The 
conceit cannot be preseiTcd in au English translation, 



492 THE BEAUTIFUL. 

sunk to the ground in bewilderment. *' Noble J^naki, I 

am RAma's messenger; the Fountain of mercy himself 

attests my truth I have brought this ring, lady, which 

Rdma gave me for you as a token." " Tell me how can 

monkeys consort with man?" He then explained how 

they had come together. 

Doha 13. 

On hearing the monkey's affectionate speech, her soul 

trusted him, and she recognized him as a faithful follower 

of the All-merciful. 

Ghaupdi. 

On perceiving him to be one of Hari's worshippers, she 
felt an intense affection for him ; her eyes filled with tears, 
her body quivered with emotion. " Hanum^n, I was sink- 
ing in the ocean of bereavement ; but in you, my friend, I 
have found a ship. Tell me now of their welfare, I adjure 
you ; how is the blessed Khar^ri and how is his brother ? 
Raghurdi is tender-hearted and merciful, why, monkey, 
should he affect such cruelty ? The mere- sound of his voice 
is a delight to his servants. Does he ever deign to remem- 
ber me ? Will my eyes, friend, be ever gladdened by the 
sight of his dark and delicate body ? " Words failed, her 
eyes swam with tears. *' Alas ! my lord has entirely forgot- 
ten me." Seeing S ta thus distracted by her bereavement, 
the monkey replied in gentle and respectful tones: " Lady, 
your lord and his brother are both well, save that the All- 
merciful sorrows for your sorrow. Do not imagine, madam, 
that RAma's affection is a whit less than your own. 

Dohd 14. 

Take courage now and listen to R4ma's message." So 

saying, the monkey's voice failed him and his eyes filled 

with tears. 

Chaupdi. 

Then he proceeded to tell her of Rdma's forlorn condi- 
tion ** Every thing says he--i8 changed into its opposite. 
The fresh buds upon the trees burn like fire ; night seems 



THE BEAUTIFUL. 493 

as the night of death, and the moon scorches like the sun. 
A bed of lotuses seems a prickly brake, and the rain-clouds 
drop bcnling oil. The trees only add to my pain, and the 
softest and most fragrant breeze is like the breath of a 
serpent. Nothing relieves my torture, and to whom can I 
declare it ? for there is no one who will understand. The 
essence of such love as yours and mine, my beloved, only 
my own soul can comprehend, and this my soul is always 
with you. Know such to be the profundity of my love." As 
the Videhan princess listened to Rdma's message, she be- 
came so absorbed in love as to have no thought for herself. 
Said the monkey: " Lady, compose yourself, remembering 
that Rjima is a benefactor to all who serve him. Reflect 
upon his might and, as you listen to my speech, discard all 
anxiety. 

Dohd 15. 

The demon crew are like moths and Raghupati's 
arrows as a flame ; be stout of heart, madam, and rest 
assured that they will all be consumed. 
Chaupdi. 

If Raghubir only knew, he would make no delay. 
Rdma's shafts, like the rays of the rising sun, will scatter 
the darkling demon host. I would hftr^carri^^ you away 
at once myself, but, I swear to you by Rnma, that I have not 
received his order to do so. Wait patiently, madam, for a 
few days, and he will arrive with his monkeys, will 
slaughter the demons, and take you away, so that Ndrad 
and the other seers will glorify him in all the three spheres 
of creation." *' Are all the monkeys, my son, like you ? the 
demon warriors are very powerful, and my soul is sorely 
disquieted." On hearing this, the monkey showed himself 
in his natural form, his body in bulk like a mountain of 
gold, terrible in battle, and of vast strength ; then Sita 
took comfort at heart, and he again resumed a diminutive 
appearance. 



494 THE BEAUTIFUL. 

Dohd 16. \ T 

" Hearken, lady ; the monkeys have no great strength 
or wit of their own, but by the Lord's favour even a snake, 
small as it is, might swallow GarAr." 
Chaupdi. 

As she hearkened to the monkey's speech, so full of 
glorious faith and noble confidence, her mind became easy, 
she recognized his love for Rdma and gave him her bless- 
ing : '* May you abound, my son, in all strength and 
virtue ; may neither age nor death affect your good qualities, 
and may you be ever constant in your devotion to Rdma, 
and may the Lord be gracious to you." Hearing these 
words, Hanumdn became utterly overwhelmed with emo- 
tion ; again and again he bowed his head at her feet, and 
with clasped hands spoke thus : *' Now, lady, I am fully 
rewarded ; for your blessing is known to be effectual. But 
hearken, madam, I am frightfully hungry and I see the 
trees laden with delicious fruit." " Know, my son, that 
this grove is guarded by most valiant and formidable 
demons." '" I am not afraid of them, mother, if only you 
will keep your mind eas\\ 

Dohd 17. 

Seeing the monkey so strong and sagacious, JAnaki 
said : " Go, my son, and eat of this pleasant fruit, with 
your heart fixed on Hari's feet. 

Chaupdi. 

He bowed his head and went and entered the garden 
and having eaten of the fruit began breaking down the 
trees. A number of stalwart watchmen were posted there ; 
some he killed, the others went and called for help : '* My 
lord, an enormous monkey has come and rooted up the 
Asoka grove; he has eaten the fruit and broken down the 
trees, and with many a blow laid the watchmen on the 
ground." On hearing this, RAvan despatched a number of 
his champions. At the sight of them Hanum4n roared 
like thunder and overthrew the whole demon host ; a few. 



THE BEAUTIFUL. 495 

more dead than alive, ran off shrieking. He then sent the 
young prince Aksha, who took with him an immense num- 
ber of his best warriors. Seeing them approach he seized 
a tree, which he brandished and with an awful roar swept 
them down with it. 

Dohd 18. 

Some be hacked, some he crushed, some he laid low in 
the dust ; some got back and cried '* My lord, this monkey 
is too strong for us." 

Ghaupdi. 

When he heard of his son's death, the king of Lanki was 
furious and he sent the valiant Meghn^d. " Do not kill him, 
my son, but bind him ; I would fain see this monkey and 
where he has come from." Indrajit^ sallied forth, a peerless 
champion, full of fury at the tidings of his brother's death. 
When the monkey saw this formidable warrior draw near, he 
ground his teeth, and with a roar rushed forward and tore 
up a tree of enormous size, with which he swept the prince 
of Lank^ from his car. As for the mighty men of war who 
accompanied him, he seized them one by one and crushed 
them by his weight. Having finished them off, he closed 
with their leader. It was like the encounter of two lordly 
elephants. After striking him a blow with his fist, he went 
and climbed a tree, while for a moment a swoon came over 
his antagonist. But again he arose and practised many 
enchantments ; still the Wind god's son was not to be 
vanquished. 

Dohd 19. 

On his making ready Brahma's magical weapon,^ the 
monkey thought within himself, " Tf I do not submit to 
Brjihma's shaft, its infinite virtue will have failed." 

1 Meghn^d's name was changed by Brahma to Indrajit., after his vic- 
tory over Indra. 

2 The weapon had been given to Meghn^d by Brahma with a promise 
that it should never fail. Hanuman therefore submits to it in order that 
Brahma's promise might not be falsified. 



496 tHE BEAUTIFUL. 

Ghaupdi. 
He launched the magic dart against the monkey, who 
overthrew a host as he fell. When he saw that he had 
swooned, he bound him with a running noose and carried 
him off. Observe, Bhavani ; the messenger of the god, by 
the repetition of whose name wise men cut the bonds of 
existence, himself came under bondage, or rather in his 
lord's service submitted to be bound. When the demons 
heard that tlie monkey had been bound, they all rushed to 
the palace to see the sight. The majesiy of Rdvau's court 
on the monkey's arrival there struck him as being beyond 
all description. The gods and regents of the air, standing 
humbly with clasped hands, were all in dismay, if they 
saw him frown But the monkey's soul was no more 
disturbed at the sight of his majesty than Gardr would be 
friglitened by any number of snakes. 

Dohd 20. 

When R^van saw the monkey, he laughed aloud and 

mocked him ; then again he remembered his son's death 

and his soul grew sad. 

Ghaupdi. 

Said the King of LankA : " Who are you, monkey, and 
by whose might have you wrought the destruction of the 
grove ? What, do not you hear me ? I see you are an un- 
commonly bold varlet. For what offence did you put the 
demons to death ? Speak, wretch ; as you value your life." 
** Hearken, Rivan ; He by whose might Maya creates this 
universal sphere ; by whose might Brdhma, Vishnu, and 
Siva produce, maintain and destroy the world ; by whose 
might the thousand-headed serpent supports on his pate 
the mundane egg with its mountains and forests ; who 
assumes various forms in order to befriend the gods.and to 
give a lesson to wretches like you ; ^vho broke Siva's 
stubborn b.)w and crushed your pride and that of the 
assembled kings : who slew Khara and Diishan and Trisira 
and BAli, in spite of their matchless strength : 



tHE BEAUTIFUL. 497 

Doha 21. 

By the slightest exercise of whose might the entire 
mass of creation , animate and inanimate, exists ; he it is 
whose messenger I am, and it is his beloved spouse whom 
you have stolen away. 

Ghaupdi. 

I know your power; you had a fight with 8ahasra-bhuj, 
and also gained renown in your conflict with Bali." He 
heard what the monkey said, but smiled as though he 
heard not. " I ate the fruit, my lord, because I was 
hungry, and then like a monkey began breaking the 
boughs. Every one, master, loves his life more than aught 
else ; those good-for-nothing fellows fell upon me, and I 
gave them blow for blow. Thereupon your son put me in 
bonds bonds that lam in no way ashamed of for my 
only object is to accomplish my master's business. R^van, 
I implore you with folded hands, abandon your pride 
and attend to my advice. Have some consideration for 
your own family ; cease to go astray and adore him, 
who relieves his worshippers from every anxiety. Never 
fight against him, for fear of vVhom Death trembles exceed- 
ingly ; even Death, who devours all else, gods and demons, 
animate and inanimate creation alike. Give up Sita, as I 
tell you. 

Doha 22. 
R^ma is the protector of suppliants ; Kharari is a very 
ocean of compassion ; turn to him for protection, and the 
Lord will forget your offences and will shelter you. 

Chaupdi. 

Take Rama's lotus feet to your heart and reign f(n' ever 
at Lanka. The glory of saint Pulastya^ is stainless as the 
moon ; do not make yourself a spot on its brightness. Un- 
less Rdma's name be in it, no speech has any charm : 
Think and see for yourself, apart from pride and vanity. 
1 Pulastya was Ravan's grandfather. 

R 66 



498 tHE BEAUTIFUL. 

Without her clothes, RAvan, a modest woman, however rich- 
ly adorned with jewels, is a shameful sight ; and so is 
wealth, or dominion, without Rdma, gone at once, gotten 
as if not gotten at all. Those rivers, that have no peren- 
nial source, flow only after rain and then soon dry up again. 
Hearken, R^van ; I tell you on my oath, if Rama is against 
you, there is none who can save you. Siva, Seshnig, 
Vishnu and BrAhma cannot protect you, if you are R4ma's 

enemy. 

Doha 23. 

Arrogance is a root fruitful of many thorns; abandon 
violence and pride, and worship R^ma, the prince of the 
Raghu race, the Ocean of Compassion, the Lord God." 
Ghaupi'i. 

Though the monkey bespoke him in such friendly wise, 
in words full of faith and discretion, piety and sound judg- 
ment, he laughed and replied with the highest disdain : 
'' What a sage adviser I have found, and in a monkey too ! 
Wretch, you have come within an inch of death for daring 
to give me such vile counsel." '' It will be contrariwise " 
said Hanuman ; ** you will acknowledge the error of your 
soul, I know well." On hearing the monkey's words, he 
ground his teeih in a fury. " Quick, some of you, and put an 
end to this fool's life." The demons obeyed and rushed for- 
ward to slay him, but Vibhlshan and his ministers advanced 
and bowing the head made humble petition: " It is against 
all statecraft : an ambassador must not be killed. Punish 
him in some other way, Sire." All exclaimed to one an- 
other, ' this is sound counsel, friend,* RAvau on hearing it, 
replied with a laugh : ' Let the monkey go then, but multi- 
late him first. 

Dohd 24. 

A monkey is proud of his tail ** (so he went on to say)] 

" bind it with rags steeped in oil and then set fire to them.] 

Chaupai. 

The poor tailless wretch can then go back and fetch his 



THE BEAUTIFUL. 499 

master, and I shall have an opportunity of seeing his might, 
whom he has so extravagantly exalted." The monkey 
smiled to himself to hear this. ' Sdrad, I know, will help 
me.' Obedient to Rdvan's command the demons began 
making their foolish preparations. Not a rag was left in 
the city nor a drop of ghi or oil, to such a length the tail 
had grown. Then they made sport of him. The citizens 
crowded to see the sight, and struck him with their feet 
and jeered him greatly, and with beating of drums and 
clapping of hands they took him through the city and set 
fire to his tail. When Hanuman saw the fire blazing, he at 
once reduced himself to a very diminutive size, and slip- 
ping out of his bonds sprang on to the upper story of the 
gilded palace, to the dismay of the giants' wives. 

Doha 25. 

That instant the forty-nine winds, ^ whom Hari had sent, 
began to blow ; the monkey shouted with roars of laughter 
and swelled so big that he touched the sky. 

Ghaupdi. 

Of enormous stature and yet marvellous agility, he 
leaped and ran from palace to palace. As the city was thus 
set on fire, the people were at their wits' end ; for the 
terrible flames burst forth in countless millions of plnces. 
*' Alas ! father and mother, hearken to my cry : who will 
save us now -^ As I said, this is no monkey, but some god 
in monkey form. This is the result of not taking a good 
man's advice; our city is burnt down as though it had 
no protector." The city was consumed in an instant of 
time, save only Vibhishan's house ; the reason why it 

1 In the Veda, the Maruts, or winds, are said to be sixt.y-three in num- 
ber, forming nine Ganas, or troops, of seven each. In post-Vedic literature 
they are described as the children of Diti, either seven, or seven times seven 
in number. After Diti's elder sons, the Asuras, had been subdued by India, 
their mother implored her husband Kasyapa, the son of Marichi, to bestow- 
on her an Indra-destroying son. Her request was granted ; but Indra, with 
his weapon Vajra, divided the child, with which she was pregnant, into forty- 
nine pieces, which commenced uttering grievous cries, till Indra in com- 
passion transformed them into the Maruts, or Winds, .Vr'wirr WiUinmi 
sub-verbo, 



500 THE BEAUTIFUL. 

escaped, Bhavdni, was that he who sent the messenger had 
also created the fire. After the whole of Lankd had been 
turned upside down and given over to the flames, he threw 
himself into the middle of the sea. 

Dohd 26. 

After extinguishing his tail and recovering from his 
fatigue, he assumed his old diminutive form and went and 
stood before Jdnaki, with hands clasped in prayer. 
Ghaupdi . 

" Be pleased, madam, to give me some token, such as 
R<ima gave me," She unfastened the jewel in her hair and 
gave it him.i The Son of the Wind received it gladly. " Salute 
him respectfully for me, my son, with these words : ' my 
lord, you never fail to fulfil desire and are renowned as the 
suppliant's friend ; relieve me then from my grievous dis- 
tress.* Repeat to him, friend, the story of Indra's son,2 
and remind my lord of the might of his arrows. If he does 
not come within a month, he will never find me alive. Tell 
me, monkey, how can I keep myself alive ; for you now, my 
son, speak of going, and it is only the sight of you that has 
given me any comfort : henceforth day and night will seem 
tome both alike." 

Dohd 27. 

He did everything he could to console Sfta and inspire 
her with confidence, and then bowed his head at her lotus 
feet and set forth to rejoin RAma. 

Ghaupdi. 
As he went, he roared aloud with such a terrible noise 
that the wives of the demons, who heard it, were overtaken 
by premature childbirth. Crossing the sea with a bound, 
he arrived on this side and uttered a cry of joy for the 
monkeys to hear. At the sight of Hanumdn, they were as 

1 In both recensions of the Sanskrit R^mAyana, Sita gives Hanuman 
the jewel before he destroys the grove and sets the city on fire. The seconti 
interview is not mentioned at all in the up-country text. 

2 The son of Indra, to whom allusion is here made, is Jayanta. who had 
attj^cked Slta in the form of a crow. See page 190, Vol 2. 



THE BEAUTIFUL. 501 

delighted as if they have been given a new spell of life. 
" Your face is so glad and your whole body so radiant that 
you cannot but have accomplished Rdma's commission." 
All greeted him with as much delight as an expiring fish 
feels when it gets back into the water ; and they set out 
with joy to rejoin Rima, talking as they vvent of all that 
had lately occurred. When they had reached the Madhu- 
ban, with Angad's constent they began eating the luscious 
fruit ; the watchmen tried to stop them, but were beaten 
off with fisticuffs. They then fled, 
Dohd 28. 
crying out that the prince had laid waste the garden. Sug- 
riva rejoiced at the news: " The monkey must have return- 
ed, after successfully completing his master's business. 

Chaupdi. 

Tf they had not got news of Si'ta, they would never have 
eaten the fruit of the Madhu-ban." While the king was thus 
reasoning within himself, Hanumdn and his party arrived. 
They at once bowed the head at his feet, and he received 
them with all possible cordiality and asked of their welfare. 
" It is well with us now that we have seen your feet. By 
Rdma's favour the business has turned out excellently. 
Hanuman has accomplished his lord's purpose and has 
saved the life of us all." On hearing this, Sugriva again 
embraced him and then went on with the monkeys to where 
R6ma was. When Rama saw them coming, he was greatly 
delighted at the completion of the business. The two 
brothers were seated on a crystal rock and all the monkeys 
went and fell at their feet." 

Dohd 29. 

Raghupati in his infinite tenderness greeted them all 
with much affection and asked of their welfare. " All is well 
with us, my lord, now that we have seen your lotus feet." 
Chaupdi. 

Said J^mavant ; '' Hearken, Raghu-riiya ; anyone, my 
lord on whom you show favour will always be prosperous 



502 THK REAUTIFUL. 

for ever ; gods, men and saints will be gracious to him ; 
though victorious he will still remain modest and amiable, 
and his glory will irradiate all the three spheres of creation. 
By my lord's favour the task has been accomplished, and 
to-day we may well say that our life has been worth living. 
My lord, to tell the whole of Elanum^n's doings would be 
too much for a thousand tongues " Jdmavant then proceed- 
ed to inform. Rama of Hanumdn's principal exploits. The 
All-merciful was charmed by the recital and again in his 
joy clasped HanumAn to his bosom. " Tell me, my son, 
how Jdnaki is and how she keeps life in her body." 

Doha 30. 
" Your name is sentinel over her by night and day ; her 
contemplation of you is as a prison-gate ; her eyes are the 
fetters for her feet ; how then is it possible for her life to 

flit away ? 

Ghaupdi. 

When I was leaving, she gave me this jewel from her 
hair." Raghupati took and clasped it to his heart, while 
his eyes overflowed with tears. " And did Sita send any 
message also ? " *' Embrace the feet of my lord and his 
brother, crying, friend of the poor, reliever of the 
suppliant's distress ; in heart, word and deed, I am devoted 
to your service; for what offence, my lord, have you deserted 
me ? Of one fault I am myself conscious, in that I still 
continue to live, though separated from yon. But this, my 
lord, is tlie fault of my eyes, which prevent my soul from 
taking flight. In this furnace of bereavement which is 
fanned by my sighs, my body is as it were a heap of cotton 
and would be consumed in a moment, but my eyes drop 
such a flood in self-commiseration that it cannot catch fire. 
Sita's distress is so utterly everwhelming and you are so 
pitiful that it is better not to describe it. 
Dohd 31. 

fountain of mercy, each single moment seems an age 
fM-e it passes. Set out at once, my lord, and with your 
mighty arm vanquish the miscreant crew and deliver her." 



THE BEAUTI^'UL. 503 

Ghaupdi. 

On hearing of Sita's distress, the lotus eyes of the Lord, 
the abode of bliss, overflowed with tears. " When in 
thought, word and deed, a believer follows in my steps, 
what ought he to know of misfortune ? " Said Hanumdn : 
*' There is no misfortune, my lord, except to forget you and 
your worship. Of what account are the demons to my 
lord, who can rout them at once and recover Sita." " Hear- 
ken, monkey ; neither god, nor man, nor saint that has 
ever been born into this world, has been such a benefactor 
to me as you. What return can I make you ? There is 
none that occurs to my mind. Mark me, my son ; I am 
not free from my obligation to you ; I will think and see 
what I can do." Again and again as the deliverer of the 
gods gazed upon the monkey, his eyes filled with tears and 
his whole body quivered with emotion. 
Dohd 32. 

As lie listened to his lord's words and looked upon his 
face, Hanuman was enraptured, and in an ecstasy of love 
fell at his feet, crying, ' save me, save me, my Lord God.' 

Ghaupdi. 

Again and again his lord sought to raise him up, but he 
was so absorbed in devotion that he would not rise. (As 
he called to mind the Lord with his lotus hands thus placed 
on the monkey's head, Siva himself was overcome with 
emotion ; but again, restraining his feelings, he proceeded 
with the charming narrative). After raising the monkey, 
the Lord embraced him and took him by the hand and 
seated him close by his side : " Tell me, monkey, about 
Rdvan's stronghold of Lank^, and how you were able in 
such an off hand way to burn down his fort." Seeing his 
lord so gracious, Hanumdn replied in terms of singular 
modesty : " A monkey forsooth is a creature of singular 
prowess to skip about as he does from bough to bough. 
When I leaped across the sea, burnt down the golden city, 
routed the demon host and laid waste the grove, it was all 



504 THE BEAUTIFUL. 

done through your power, Raghurdi ; it was uo strength of 

mine, my lord. 

Doha 33. 

Nothing is difficult for him to whom you are propitious; 
a mere shred of cottou, were it your pleasure, could burn 
up the whole submarine fire."^ 

Chaupdi. 

The Lord smiled much to hear these words, and recog- 
nized him as iudeed a loving servant. " Ask of me a boon 
my son, some choice blessing ; to-day I will make you 
happy for ever." ' Faith, my lord, is the greatest of 
blessings ; of your favour grant me this else unattainable 
boon." On hearing the monkey's pious request, the Lord, 
Bhav6ni, responded : ' So be it.' Umd, he who knows 
Rama's true nature caii take ple;sure in nothing but his 
worship : and he who takes this truth to heart has attained 
to the virtue of faith in Rdma. When the assembled 
monkeys heard the Lord's reply, they cried ' glory, glory, 
glory to the All merciful, the All-blessed.' Raghupati then 
summoned the monkey chief and told him to make prepara- 
tions for the march : " What need now for any delay ? At 
once issue orders to the monkeys." The gods, who had 
witnessed the spectacle, rained down many flowers and 
returned with joy from the lower air to their own celestial 
spheres. 

Dohd 34. 

In obedience to Sugriva's summons all his hosts of cap- 
tains came in, differing in colour, but all unequalled in 
strength, a vast multitude of monkeys and bears. 
Chaupdi. 

They i)owed the head at the Lord's lotus feet, those 
roaring bears and gigantic monkeys. Rdua beheld all the 
monkey host, and turned upon them the gracious glance of 
his lotus eyes. Each monkey chief was as much embolden- 
ed by his favour as Sumeru would be by the recovery of 

1 Hadaranala, tlio subuiaiiiie tire, is represented in raytliology as a being 
with a body of Hauic. l)Ut the head of a mace (badava) which sprang from 
the thighs f)f tlic patriarcli Urvaanct fell into the ocean. 



THE BEAUTIFUt. 505 

his wings.i RAma then sallied forth exulting, and many- 
were the glad and auspicious omens that befell him. It 
was only befitting that his march should be attended by 
favourable omens, since in him abide all glory and aus- 
piciousness. Jdnaki knew of his departure, for her left 
side throbbed as if to tell her. Every good omen that 
befell her was converted into an omen of ill for Rdvan. 
Who could adequately describe the army on the road, with 
the terrible roaring of the monkeys and the bears, how they 
marched, brandishing rocks and trees and with their talons 
for weapons, now in the heaven and now on earth, as the 
fancy moved them. They bellowed as if with the voice of 
a tiger ; earth shook and the elephants of the eight quarters 
trembled. 

Ghhand 1--2. 

The elephants of the eight quarters trembled, the earth 
reeled, the mountains tottered, and the ocean was agitated ; 
the sun and the moon, gods, saints, Ndgas, and Kinnars, all 
rejoiced to know that their troubles were over. Myriads 
upon myriads of enormous fighting monkeys pressed on- 
wards, snapping, and snarling, singing glory to Rama's 
conquering might and hymning the praises of Kosala's 
lord. The huge serpent king could not support the burden ; 
he staggered again and again, but each time saved himself 
by clutching in his jaws the hard shell of the tortoise ; as 
though he had mastered the stupendous theme of Raghubir's 
glorious expedition, and were inscribing it on the tortoise's 
back as the most imperishable material to be had. 

Doha 35. ^ ^ 

In such wise the All-merciful marched onwards, till he 
arrived at the seashore, where the host of bears and fight- 
ing monkeys began to devour all the fruit they found. 

1 This conceit has a very unmeaning sound when expressed in English. 
The allusion is to tlie legend which represents all the mountains as once 
having had wings, till they were clipped by Indra ; while the word pakska 
which primarily means ' a wing ' has also the secondary signification of 
favour. 

R-67 



500 THE BEAUTIFUL. 

Ghaupdi 
On the other hand, the demons had been living in great 
fear, ever since the time the monkey had left, after burning 
down the city. Every one kept at home, thinking to him- 
self : "There is no hope of safety for the demon race ; if 
his messenger was so unspeakably powerful, how can the 
city escape when he comes himself ? " When Mandodari 
was informed of what the people were saying, she was 
still more distrest, and with clasped hands fell at her lord's 
feet and thus besought him, in words full of sound judg- 
ment : *'0 my husband, cease to contend against Hari : 
take my words to your heart as most wholesome advice. 
His mere messenger did such deeds that our matrans, on 
hearing them, were overtaken by premature labour ; if then 
you desire your own welfare, call your ministers and send 
him back his wife. As a frosty night comes upon a 
bed of lotuses, so has Sita come for the ruin of your race. 
Hearken, my lord ; unless you give up Sita, neither Sambhu 
nor Brdhma can help you. 

Doha 36. 
Rama's arrows are like serpents, and the demon host so 
many frogs ; delay not, but do the best you can before they 
have snapped you up." 

Ghaupdi. 

The monster heard her prayer and laughed aloud ; his 
arrogance is known throughout the world. " A woman is 
naturally cast in a timorous mould, and even in prosperity 
has a mind ill at ease. If the monkey army comes, the poor 
wretches will all be eaten up by the demons. The very 
guardians of the spheres trembled for fear of me ; it is quite 
absurd for my wife to be afraid." So saying he laughed 
and embraced her, and then full of inordinate conceit pro- 
ceeded to the council-chamber. But Mandodari was sore 
troubled at heart, saying, ' Heaven is against my lord.' 
While he was sitting in court, he received intelligence that 
the whole army had crossed the sea. Then he enquired of 



THE BEAUTIFUL. 507 

his ministers, ' Tell me what you think best to be done.' 
They all laughed and replied, *' Remain quiet. You have 
conquered gods and demons without any trouble ; of what 
account can men and monkeys be ?" 

Vohd 37. 

When these three, a minister, a physician and a spiritual 
adviser, use fair words, either from fear or hope of reward ; 
dominion, religion and health are all three quickly destroyed. 

Ghaupoi. 

This was all the help that Rivan got ; they did nothing 

but sound his praises. Perceiving his opportunity, Vibhi- 

shan came and bowed his head at his brother's feet, then 

again bowing took his seat on his throne and after obtaining 

permission spoke thus : " As you graciously ask of me my 

opinion, I declare it. Sire, to the best of my ability. If you 

desire your own welfare and glory, with a reputation for 

wisdom, a prosperous issue and every other happiness, turn 

away from the face of another man's wife as from the moon 

on its fourth day.i Though a man were lord of the fourteen 

spheres, he cannot set himself to oppose the Universal. 

However amiable and accomplished a person may be, no 

one will speak well of him if he shows even the slightest 

covetousness. 

Doha 38. 

Lust, passion, vanity, and covetousness are all paths that 

lead to hell : adjure them and worship Raghubir, whom all 

the saints worship. 

Chaupdi, 

Rama, my brother, is no mortal king, but the sovereign 

of the universe, the Fate of Fate itself, the Supreme Spirit, 

the imperishable and uncreated God, the benefactor of cows 

and of Brdhmans, of the earth and of the gods : who in his 

infinite mercy has assumed the form of humanity, to rejoice 

his votarie