The Ramayana/Book I/Canto XXIX: The Celestial Arms

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The Ramayana of Valmiki by Valmiki, translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith
Book I — Canto XXIX[1]: The Celestial Arms

That night they slept and took their rest;
And then the mighty saint addressed,
With pleasant smile and accents mild
These words to Raghu's princely child:
'Well pleased am I. High fate be thine,
Thou scion of a royal line.
Now will I, for I love thee so,
All heavenly arms on thee bestow.
Victor with these, whoe'er oppose,
Thy hand shall conquer all thy foes,
Though Gods and spirits of the air,
Serpents and fiends, the conflict dare.
I'll give thee as a pledge of lore
The mystic arms they use above,
For worthy thou to have revealed
The weapons I have learnt to wield.

First, son of Raghu, shall be thine
The arm of Vengeance, strong, divine:
The arm of Fate, the arm of Right,
And Vishnu's arm of awful might:
That, before whioh no foe can stand,
The thunderbolt of Indra's hand;
And S'iva's trident, sharp and dread,
And that dire weapon Brahmá's Head,
And two fair clubs, O royal child,
One Charmer and one Pointed styled
With flame of lambent fire aglow,
On thee, O Chieftain, I bestow.
And Fate's dread net and Justice' noose
That none may conquer, for thy use:
And the great cord, renowned of old,
Which Varun ever loves to hold.
Take these two thunderbolts, which I
Have got for thee, the Moist and Dry,
Here S'iva's dart to thee I yield,
And that which Vishnu wont to wield.
I give to thee the arm of Fire,
Desired by all and named the Spire.
To thee I grant the Wind-God's dart,
Named Crusher, O thou pure of heart.
This arm, the Horse's Head, accept,
And this, the Curlew's Bill yclept,
And these two spears, the best e'er flew,
Named the Invincible and True.
And arms of fiends I make thine own,
Skull-wreath and mace that smashes bone.
And Joyous, whioh the spirits bear,
Great weapon of the sons of air.
Brave offspring of the best of lords,
I give thee now the Gem of swords,
And offer next, thine hand to arm,
The heavenly bards' beloved charm.
Now with two arms I thee invest
Of never-ending Sleep and Rest,
With weapons of the Sun and Rain,
And those that dry and burn amain;
And strong Desire with conquering touch,
The dart that Káma prizes much.
I give the arm of shadowy powers
That bleeding flesh of men devours.
I give the arms the God of Gold
And giant fiends exult to hold.
This smites the foe in battle-strife,
And takes his fortune, strength, and life.
I give the arms called False and True,
And great Illusion give I too;
The hero's arm called Strong and Bright
That spoils the foeman's strength in fight.
I give thee as a priceless boon
The Dew, the weapon of the Moon,
And add the weapon, deftly planned,
That strengthens Vis'vakarmá's hand.
The Mortal dart whose point is chill,
And Slaughter, ever sure to kill;
All these and other arms, for thou
Art very dear, I give thee now.
Receive these weapons from my hand,
Son of the noblest in the land.'

Facing the east, the glorious saint
Pure from all spot of earthly taint,
To Ráma, with delighted mind,
That noble host of spells consigned.
He taught the arms, whose lore is won
Hardly by Gods, to Raghu's son.
He muttered low the spell whose call
Summons those arms and rules them all
And, each in visible form and frame,
Before the monarch's son they came.
They stood and spoke in reverent guise
To Ráma with exulting cries:
'O noblest child of Raghu, see,
Thy ministers and thralls are we.'
   With joyful heart and eager hand
Ráma received the wondrous band,
And thus with words of welcome cried:
'Aye present to my will abide.'
Then hasted to the saint to pay
Due reverence, and pursued his way.


  1. 'The whole of this Canto together with the following one, regards the belief, formerly prevalent in India, that by virtue of certain spells, to be learnt and muttered, secret knowledge and superhuman powers might be acquired. To this the poet has already alluded in Canto xxiii. These incorporeal weapons are partly represented according to the fashion of those ascribed to the Gods and the different orders of demi-gods, partly are the mere creations of fancy; and it would not be easy to say what idea the poet had of them in his own mind, or what powers he meant to assign to each.' SCHLEGEL.