The Ramayana/Book I/Canto XXIII: Vas'ishtha's Speech

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The Ramayana of Valmiki by Valmiki, translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith
Book I — Canto XXIII: Vas'ishtha's Speech

While thus the hapless monarch spoke,
Paternal love his utterance broke.
Then words like these the saint returned.
And fury in his bosom burned:
'Didst thou, O King, a promise make,
And wishest now thy word to break?
A son of Raghu's line should scorn
To fail in faith, a man forsworn.
But if thy soul can bear the shame
I will return e'en as I came.
Live with thy sons, and joy be thine,
False scion of Kakutstha's line.'

As Vis'vámitra, mighty sage,
Was moved with this tempestuous rage,
Earth rocked and reeled throughout her frame,
And fear upon the Immortals came.
But Saint Vas'ishtha, wisest seer,
Observant of his vows austere,
Saw the whole world convulsed with dread,
And thus unto the monarch said:
'Thou, born of old Ikshváku's seed,
Art Justice' self in mortal weed.
Constant and pious, blest by fate,
The right thou must not violate.
Thou, Raghu's son, so famous through
The triple world as just and true,
Perform thy bounden duty still,
Nor stain thy race by deed of ill
If thou have sworn and now refuse
Thou must thy store of merit lose.
Then, Monarch, let thy Ráma go,
Nor fear for him the demon foe.
The fiends shall have no power to hurt
Him trained to war or inexpert,
Nor vanquish him in battle field,
For Kus'ik's son the youth will shield.
He is incarnate Justice, he
The best of men for bravery.
Embodied love of penance drear,
Among the wise without a peer.

Full well he knows, great Kus'ik's son,
The arms celestial, every one,
Arms from the Gods themselves concealed,
Far less to other men revealed.
These arms to him, when earth he swayed,
Mighty Kris'ás'va, pleased, conveyed.
Kris'ás'va's sons they are indeed,
Brought forth by Daksha's lovely seed, [1]
Heralds of conquest, strong and bold,
Brilliant, of semblance manifold.
Jayá and Vijayá, most fair,
And hundred splendid weapons bare.
Of Jayá, glorious as the morn,
First fifty noble sons were born.
Boundless in size yet viewless too,
They came the demons to subdue.
And fifty children also came
Of Vijayá the beauteous dame,
Samháras named, of mighty force,
Hard to assail or check in course.
Of these the hermit knows the use,
And weapons new can he produce.
All these the mighty saint will yield
To Ráma's hand, to own and wield;
And armed with these, beyond a doubt
Shall Ráma put those fiends to rout.
For Ráma and the people's sake,
For thine own good my counsel take,
Nor seek, O King, with fond delay,
The parting of thy son to stay,'


  1. These mysterious animated weapons are enumerated in Cantos XXIX and XXX. Daksha was the son of Brahmá and one of the Prajápatis, Demiurgi, or secondary authors of creation.