Page:Malabari, Behramji M. - Gujarat and the Gujaratis (1882).djvu/286

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GUJARÁT AND THE GUJARÁTIS.

human intellect owes much of its refined culture; but none so imbues, so possesses the mind with deep, calm, abiding affection, as the Rámáyan.

Hero and Heroine.

Look at the principal characters. There is Laxaman, lesser of the brother heroes of the solar dynasty. His generous heart recoils at the thought of living in ease and comfort when his elder brother is threatened with exile. He is indignant with the step-mother for her arts and machinations; but, obedient to his brother, he suppresses his wrath, and vows henceforth to renounce the world, and follow the brother and his bride in their forced banishment, humble as a slave, dutiful as a son unto both. Laxaman's behaviour towards her he honours with the name of "mother" is extremely tender and touching. Look at Ráma. The loving, dutiful son, the faithful brother, the tender protecting husband, the devoted friend, the magnanimous foe, in every relation of life he realises our ideal of man, while his character as sovereign, "a ruler of men," transcends all his private virtues. The picture drawn by the immortal poet is faultless, absolutely faultless in detail as in the aggregate.