The Rámáyan of Válmíki
Valmiki
Hindu
39:50 h
Ramayana (/rɑːˈmɑːjənə/; Sanskrit: रामायणम्, Rāmāyaṇam [ɽaːˈmaːjɐɳɐm]) is one of the two fictional Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Mahābhārata. Along with the Mahābhārata, it forms the Hindu Itihasa. The epic, traditionally ascribed to the Maharishi Valmiki, narrates the fictional life of Rama, the legendary prince of the Kosala Kingdom. It follows his fourteen-year exile to the forest by his father King Dasharatha, on request of his step-mother Kaikeyi. His travels across forests in India with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, the kidnapping of his wife by Ravana, the great king of Lanka, resulting in a war with him, and Ram's eventual return to Ayodhya to be crowned king is the crux of the epic.
The Rámáyan of Válmíki
Translated into English Verse
BY
Ralph T. H. Griffith, M. A.,
[(Ralph Thomas Hotchkin Griffith), b. 1826 d. 1906]
PRINCIPAL OF THE BENARES COLLEGE
[1870-1874]
INVOCATION.

Praise to Válmíki, bird of charming song,
Who mounts on Poesy’s sublimest spray,
And sweetly sings with accent clear and strong
Ráma, aye Ráma, in his deathless lay.

Where breathes the man can listen to the strain
That flows in music from Válmíki’s tongue,
Nor feel his feet the path of bliss attain
When Ráma’s glory by the saint is sung!

The stream Rámáyan leaves its sacred fount
The whole wide world from sin and stain to free.
The Prince of Hermits is the parent mount,
The lordly Ráma is the darling sea.

Glory to him whose fame is ever bright!
Glory to him, Prachetas’ holy son!
Whose pure lips quaff with ever new delight
The nectar-sea of deeds by Ráma done.

Hail, arch-ascetic, pious, good, and kind!
Hail, Saint Válmíki, lord of every lore!
Hail, holy Hermit, calm and pure of mind!
Hail, First of Bards, Válmíki, hail once more!


Book I

Canto I: Nárad

OM

To sainted Nárad, prince of those
Whose lore in words of wisdom flows.
Whose constant care and chief delight
Were Scripture and ascetic rite,
The good Válmíki, first and best

Of hermit saints, these words addressed:
‘In all this world, I pray thee, who
Is virtuous, heroic, true?
Firm in his vows, of grateful mind,
To every creature good and kind?
Bounteous, and holy, just, and wise,
Alone most fair to all men’s eyes?
Devoid of envy, firm, and sage,
Whose tranquil soul ne’er yields to rage?
Whom, when his warrior wrath is high,
Do Gods embattled fear and fly?
Whose noble might and gentle skill
The triple world can guard from ill?
Who is the best of princes, he
Who loves his people’s good to see?
The store of bliss, the living mine
Where brightest joys and virtues shine?
Queen Fortune’s best and dearest friend,
Whose steps her choicest gifts attend?
Who may with Sun and Moon compare,
With Indra, Vishnu, Fire, and Air?
Grant, Saint divine, the boon I ask,
For thee, I ween, an easy task,
To whom the power is given to know
If such a man breathe here below.’