The Ramayana/Book I/Canto XLVII: Sumatí

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The Ramayana of Valmiki , translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith
Canto XLVII: Sumatí

Thus to Lord Indra, Thousand-eyed,
Softly beseeching Diti sighed.

When but a blighted bud was left,
Which Indra's hand in seven had cleft: [1]
'No fault, O Lord of Gods, is thine;
The blame herein is only mine.
But for one grace I fain would pray,
As thou hast reft this hope away.
This bud, O Indra, which a blight
Has withered ere it saw the light--
From this may seven fair spirits rise
To rule the regions of the skies.
Be theirs through heaven's unbounded space
On shoulders of the winds to race,
My children, drest in heavenly forms,
Far-famed as Maruts, Gods of storms.
One God to Brahmá's sphere assign,
Let one, O Indra, watch o'er thine;
And ranging through the lower air,
The third the name of Vayu [2] bear.
Gods let the four remaining be,
And roam through space, obeying thee.'

The Town-destroyer, Thousand-eyed,
Who smote fierce Bali till he died,
Joined suppliant hands, and thus replied:
'Thy children heavenly forms shall wear;
The names devised by thee shall bear,
And, Maruts called by my decree,
Shall Amrit drink and wait on me.
From fear and age and sickness freed.
Through the three worlds their wings shall speed.'
Thus in the hermits' holy shade
Mother and son their compact made,
And then, as fame relates, content,
Home to the happy skies they went.
This is the spot--so men have told--
Where Lord Mahendra [3] dwelt of old,
This is the blessed region where
His votaress mother claimed his care.
Here gentle Alambúshá bare
To old Ikshváku, king and sage,
Vis'álá, glory of his age,
By whom, a monarch void of guilt,
Was this fair town Vis'álá built.

His son was Hemachandra, still
Renowned for might and warlike skill.
From him the great Suchandra came;
His son, Dhúmrás'va, dear to fame.
Next followed royal Srinjay; then
Famed Sahadeva, lord of men.
Next came Kus'ás'va, good and mild,
Whose son was Somadatta styled,
And Sumati, his heir, the peer
Of Gods above, now governs here.
And ever through Ikshváku's grace,
Vis'álá's kings, his noble race,
Are lofty-souled, and blest with length
Of days, with virtue, and with strength.
This night, O prince, we here will sleep;
And when the day begins to peep,
Our onward way will take with thee,
The king of Mithilá to see.'

Then Sumati, the king, aware
Of Vis'vámitra's advent there
Came quickly forth with (illegible) meet
The lofty-minded sage to greet.
Girt with his priest and lords the king
Did low obeisance, worshipping.
With suppliant hands, with head inclined,
Thus spoke he after question kind;
'Since thou hast deigned to bless my sight,
   And grace awhile thy servant's seat,
High fate is mine, great Anchorite,
   And none may with my bliss compete.'


  1. 'In this myth of Indra destroying the unborn fruit of Diti with his thunderbolt, from which afterwards came the Maruts or Gods of Wind and Storm, geological phenomena are, it seems, represented under mythical images. In the great Mother of the Gods is, perhaps, figured the dry earth: Indra the God of thunder rends it open, and there issue from its rent bosom the Maruts or exhalations of the earth. But such ancient myths are difficult to interpret with absolute certainty.' GORRESIO.
  2. Wind.
  3. Indra, with mahá, great, prefixed.