Friday, January 22, 2010

PDE Ramayana: Pushpaka

Reading Guide. Rama now takes Sita back to Ayodhya in the flying Pushpaka chariot that used to belong to Ravana. This passage is like watching a movie in reverse as Rama narrates to Sita all the people and places that have been part of their story for these fourteen years of exile.

Image: If you look closely at the illustration, you can see Hanuman riding along with Sita and Rama.

Source. Ramayana, The Epic of Rama, Prince of India, condensed into English verse by Romesh Dutt (1899). [400 words]

Sita Tested | 75. Pushpaka | Rama and Bharata

"Mark my love," so Rama uttered, as on flying Pushpa car,
Borne by swans, the home-returning exiles left the field of war,

"Lanka's proud and castled city on Trikuta's triple crest,
As on peaks of bold Kailasha mansions of Immortals rest!

Mark the gory fields surrounding where the vanars in their might,
Faced and fought the charging rakshas in the long and deathful fight.

Indrajit and Kumbhakarna, Ravan and his chieftains slain,
Fell upon the field of battle and their red blood soaks the plain.

Mark where dark-eyed Mandodari, Ravan's slender-waisted wife,
Wept her widow's tears of anguish when her monarch lost his life.

She hath dried her tears of sorrow and bestowed her heart and hand,
On Vibhishan good and faithful, crowned king of Lanka's land.

See my love, round Ceylon's island how the ocean billows roar.
Hiding pearls in eaves of corals, strewing shells upon the shore,

And the causeway far-extending — monument of Rama's fame —
'Rama's Bridge' to distant ages shall our deathless deeds proclaim!

See the rock-bound fair Kishkindha and her mountain-girdled town,
Where I slayed the warrior Vali, placed Sugriva on the throne,

And the hill of Rishyamukha where Sugriva first I met,
Gave him word — he would be monarch ere the evening's Sun had set.

See the sacred lake of Pampa by whose wild and echoing shore,
Rama poured his lamentations when he saw his wife no more,

And the woods of Janasthana where Jatayu fought and bled,
When the deep deceitful Ravan with my trusting Sita fled.

Dost thou mark, my soft-eyed Sita, cottage on the river's shore,
Where in righteous peace and penance Sita lived in days of yore,

And by gloomy Godavari, Saint Agastya's home of love,
Holy men by holy duties sanctify the sacred grove!

Dost thou, o'er the Dandak forest, view the Chitrakuta hill?
Deathless bard the Saint Valmiki haunts its shade and crystal rill.

Thither came the righteous Bharat and my loving mother came,
Longing in their hearts to take us to Ayodhya's town of fame,

Dost thou, dear devoted Sita, see the Jumna in her might
Where in Bharadwaja's ashram passed we, love, a happy night,

And the broad and ruddy Ganga sweeping in her regal pride,
Forest-dweller faithful Guha crossed us to the southern side.

Joy! Joy! My gentle Sita! Fair Ayodhya looms above,
Ancient seat of Raghu's empire, nest of Rama's hope and love,

Bow, bow, to bright Ayodhya! Darksome did the exiles roam,
Now their weary toil is ended in their father's ancient home!

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