The Ramayana/Book I/Canto LXX: The Maidens Sought

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
The Ramayana of Valmiki , translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith
Canto LXX: The Maidens Sought

Then with the morn's returning sun.
King Janak, when his rites were done,
Skilled all the charms of speech to know,
Spoke to wise S'atánanda so:
'My brother, lord of glorious fame,
My younger, Kus'adhwaj by name,
Whose virtuous life has won renown,
Has settled in a lovely town,
Sánkásyá, decked with grace divine,
Whose glories bright as Pushpak's shine,
While Ikshumatí rolls her wave
Her lofty rampart's foot to lave.
Him, holy priest, I long to see:
The guardian of my rite is he:
That my dear brother may not miss
A share of mine expected bliss.'

Thus in the presence of the priest
The royal Janak spoke, and ceased.
Then came his henchmen, prompt and brave,

To whom his charge the monarch gave.
Soon as they heard his will, in haste
With fleetest steeds away they raced,
To lead with them that lord of kings,
As Indra's call Lord Vishnu brings.
Sánkás'yá's walls they duly gained,
And audience of the king obtained.
To him they told the news they brought
Of marvels past and Janak's thought.
Soon as the king the story knew
From those good envoys swift and true,
To Janak's wish he gave assent,
And swift to Mithilá he went.
He paid to Janak reverence due,
And holy S'atánanda too,
Then sate him on a glorious seat
For kings or Gods celestial meet.
Soon as the brothers, noble pair
Peerless in might, were seated there,
They gave the wise Sudáman, best
Of councillors, their high behest:
'Go, noble councillor,' they cried,
'And hither to our presence guide
Ikshváku's son, Ayodhyá's lord,
Invincible by foeman's sword,
With both his sons, each holy seer,
And every minister and peer.'
Sudáman to the palace flew,
And saw the mighty king who threw
Splendour on Raghu's splendid race,
Then bowed his head with seemly grace:
'O King, whose hand Ayodhyá sways,
My lord, whom Mithilá obeys,
Yearns with desire, if thou agree,
Thee with thy guide and priest to see.'
Soon as the councillor had ceased,
The king, with saint and peer and priest,
Sought, speeding through the palace gate,
The hall where Janak held his state.
There, with his nobles round him spread,
Thus to Videha's lord be said:
'Thou knowest, King, whose aid divine
Protects Ikshváku's royal line.
In every need, whate'er befall,
The saint Vas'ishtha speaks for all.
If Vis'vámitra so allow,
And all the saints around me now,
The sage will speak, at my desire,
As order and the truth require.'
   Soon as the king his lips had stilled.
Up rose Vas'ishtha, speaker skilled.
And to Videha's lord began
In flowing words that holy man:
'From viewless Nature Brahmá rose,
No change, no end, no waste he knows.
A son had he Maríchi styled,
And Kas'yap was Maríchi's child.
From him Vivasvat sprang: from him
Manu whose fame shall ne'er be dim.
Manu, who life to mortals gave,
Begot Ikshváku good and brave.
First of Ayodhyá's kings was he,
Pride of her famous dynasty.
From him the glorious Kukshi sprang,
Whose fame through all the regions rang.
Rival of Kukshi's ancient fame,
His heir, the great Vikukshi, came,
His son was Vána, lord of might;
His Anaranya, strong to fight.
His son was Prithu, glorious name;
From him the good Tris'anku came.
He left a son renowned afar,
Known by the name of Dhundhumár.
His son, who drove the mighty car,
Was Yuvanás'va, feared in war.
He passed away. Him followed then
His son Mándhátá, king of men.
His son was blest in high emprise,
Susandhi, fortunate and wise.
Two noble sons had he, to wit
Dhruvasandhi and Prasenajit.
Bharat was Dhruvasandhi's son,
And glorious fame that monarch won.
The warrior Asit he begot.
Asit had warfare, fierce and hot,
With rival kings in many a spot,
Haihayas, Tálajanghas styled,
And S'as'ivindus, strong and wild.
Long time he strove, but forced to yield
Fled from his kingdom and the field.
With his two wives away he fled
Where high Himálaya lifts his head,
And, all his wealth and glory past,
He paid the dues of Fate at last.
The wives he left had both conceived--
So is the ancient tale believed--
One, of her rival's hopes afraid
Fell poison in her viands laid.
It chanced that Chyavan, Bhrigu's child,
Had wandered to that pathless wild,
And there Himálaya's lovely height
Detained him with a strange delight.
There came the other widowed queen,
With lotus eyes and beauteous mien,
Longing a noble son to bear,
And wooed the saint with earnest prayer.
When thus Kálindi, [1] fairest dame,
With reverent supplication came,
To her the holy sage replied:
'Born with the poison from thy side,
O happy Queen, shall spring ere long
An infant fortunate and strong.
Then weep no more, and check thy sighs,
Sweet lady of the lotus eyes.'
The queen, who loved her perished lord,
For meet reply, the saint adored,
And, of her husband long bereaved,
She bore a son by him conceived.
Because her rival mixed the bane

To render her conception vain,
And fruit unripened to destroy,
Sagar [2] she called her darling boy.
To Sagar Asamanj was heir:
Bright Ans'umán his consort bare.
Ans'umán's son, Dilipa famed,
Begot a son Bhagírath named.
From him the great Kakutstha rose:
From him came Raghu, feared by foes,
Of him sprang Purushádak bold,
Fierce hero of gigantic mould:
Kalmáshapáda's name he bore,
Because his feet were spotted o'er. [3]
From him came S'ankan, and from him
Sudars'an, fair in face and limb.
From beautiful Sudars'an came
Prince Agnivarna, bright as flame.
His son was S'íghraga, for speed
Unmatched; and Maru was his seed.
Pras'uœs'ruka was Maru's child;
His son was Ambarísha styled.
Nahush was Ambarísha's heir,
The mighty lord of regions fair:
Nahush begot Yayáti: he,
Nábhág of happy destiny.
Son of Nábhág was Aja: his,
The glorious Das'aratha is,
Whose noble children boast to be
Ráma and Lakshman, whom we see.
Thus do those kings of purest race
Their lineage from Ikshváku trace;
Their hero lives the right maintained,
Their lips with falsehood ne'er were stained.
In Ráma's and in Lakshman's name
Thy daughters as their wives I claim,
So shall in equal bands be tied
Each peerless youth with peerless bride.'


  1. A different lady from the Goddess of the Jumna who bears the same name.
  2. This is another fanciful derivation, Sa--with, and gara--poison.
  3. Purushádak means a cannibal. First called Kalmáshapáda on account of his spotted feet he is said to have been turned into a cannibal for killing the son of Vas'ishtha.