The shrill cry pierced through Ráma's ears
And his sad eyes o'erflowed with tears,
When lo, transported through the sky
A glorious band of Gods was nigh.
Ancestral shades, 1 by men revered,
In venerable state appeared.
And he from whom all riches flow, 2
And Yama Lord who reigns below:
King Indra, thousand-eyed, and he
Who wields the sceptre of the sea. 3
The God who shows the blazoned, bull, 4
And Brahmá Lord most bountiful
By whose command the worlds were made
All these on radiant cars conveyed,
Brighter than sun-beams, sought the place
Where stood the prince of Raghu's race,
And from their glittering seats the best
Of blessed Gods the chief addressed:
'Couldst thou, the Lord of all, couldst thou,
Creator of the worlds, allow
Thy queen, thy spouse to brave the fire
And give her body to the pyre?
Dost thou not yet, supremely wise,
Thy heavenly nature recognize?
They ceased: and Ráma thus began:
'I deem myself a mortal man.
Of old Ikshváku's line, I spring
From Das'aratha Kosal's king.'
He ceased: and Brahmá's self replied:
'O cast the idle thought aside.
Thou art the Lord Náráyan, thou
The God to whom all creatures bow.
Thou art the saviour God who wore
Of old the semblance of a boar;
Thou he whose discus overthrows
All present, past and future foes;
Thou Brahmá, That whose days extend
Without beginning, growth or end;
The God, who, bears the bow of horn,
Whom four majestic arms adorn;
Thou art the God who rules the sense
And sways with gentle influence;
Thou all-pervading Vishnu Lord
Who wears the ever-conquering sword;
Thou art the Guide who leads aright,
Thou Krishna of unequalled might.
Thy hand, O Lord, the hills and plains,
And earth with all her life sustains;
Thou wilt appear in serpent form
When sinks the earth in fire and storm.
Queen Sítá of the lovely brows
Is Lakshmí thy celestial spouse.
To free the worlds from Rávan thou
Wouldst take the form thou wearest now.
Rejoice: the mighty task is done:
Rejoice, thou great and glorious one.
The tyrant, slain, thy labours end:
Triumphant now to heaven ascend.
High bliss awaits the devotee
Who clings in loving faith to thee,
Who celebrates with solemn praise
The Lord of ne'er beginning days.
On earth below, in heaven above
Great joy shall crown his faith and love.
And he who loves the tale divine
Which tells each glorious deed of thine
Through life's fair course shall never know
The fierce assault of pain and woe.' 1
498:1 The Pitris or Manes, the spirits of the dead.
498:2 Kuvera, the God of Wealth.
498:3 Varun, God of the sea.
498:4 Máhadeva or S'iva whose ensign is a bull.
499:1 The Address to Ráma, both text and commentary, will be found literally translated in the Additional Notes. A paraphrase of a portion is all that I have attempted here.