Ramayana

by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1891 | ISBN-13: 9788171101566

This page describes Chapter X of the English translation of the Ramayana, one of the largest Sanskrit epics of ancient India revolving around the characters Rama, Sita and Ravana. It was orignally authored by Valmiki at least over 2500 years ago. This is the first book of the Bāla-kāṇḍa (Bala-kanda) of the Ramayana, which consists of 24,000 Sanskrit metrical verses divided oer seven books.

Thus asked by the king, Sumantra said these words—I will relate to you how the counsellors brought Ṛṣyaśṛṅga. Do you listen with your counsellors!

The priest together with the counsellors spoke to Romapāda, saying,

“The means that we have hit upon can never fail of effect.’

Ṛṣyaśṛṅga has been brought up in woods; and is engaged in austerities and the study of the Vedas. He is ignorant of the pleasure that ensues from contact with women.

By help of things agreeably ministering to the sense, and ravishing the soul, we shall bring him to the city. Do you, therefore, arrange for them!

Let courtezans of comely presence, clad in ornaments, repair thither. And if well treated, they will by various means bring him here.“

Hearing this, the king said to the priest, “So be it!” Then the priest and courtiers acted accordingly.

In accordance with the instructions, the courtezans entered that great forest; and remaining at some distance from the hermitage, endeavoured to meet with the sober son of the saint ever dwelling in the woods. And satisfied with serving his sire, he never strayed from the hermitage.

Since his birth he had never before seen men and women, or any other creatures living in cities and towns.

It came to pass that on one occasion, walking about at will, Vibhāṇḍaka’s son came to that spot and beheld the courtezans.

Colourfully attired, and singing sweet songs, the women came to the saint’s son and said,

“Who are you? And where are you going, O Brahman? We wish to learn all this. And why is it that you range alone this far-off forest?

Beholding these beautiful damsels never seen before, he from delight, hastened to inform them of his lineage.

My father is Vibhāṇḍaka; and I am his son. My name is Ṛṣyaśṛṅga and my occupation is known the world over.

This auspicious hermitage hard by belongs to us; and there I shall receive you all in due form O' lovely ones!.”

Hearing the words of the saint’s son, they all consented, and the women went to behold that asylum.

When they had come there, the saint’s son received them hospitably, saying, “Here is Arghya,” “Here is water for washing the feet,” “Here are fruits and roots.”

And thereupon they readily received his hospitality. And actuated by the fear of the saint, Vibhāṇḍaka, they bent their minds upon departing soon.

They said, Do you also, O twice-born one, receive from us these excellent fruits! O Vipra! good betide you, eat them without delay.

Thereupon, embracing him joyfully, they gave him sweetmeats and various kinds of savoury viands.

And tasting those things, the glorious one took them for fruits, never tasted before by the dwellers of the forest.

Then, having accosted him the women, feigning the observance of some vow, went away, inspired with the fear of his father.

And when they had gone, that twice-born one, Kaśyapa’s son, became sad, and suffered from grief of heart and became restless due to sadness.

And the next day his mind momentarily running upon it, the graceful son of Vibhāṇḍaka, endowed with prowess, came to that spot where he had encountered the comely courtesans, adorned with ornaments.

As soon as they observed him coming, they came forward, and said, Do you, O Brāhmaṇa, come into our hermitage.

There are in that asylum diverse kinds of fruits and roots; and there you will surely feed your fill.

Thereupon hearing those words of theirs capable of influencing the heart, he became bent upon going, and the women brought him away.

When that great-souled Vipra had been brought over, the god, Indra, suddenly poured forth plenteous showers, enlivening the spirits of men.

When the ascetic had arrived, with showers, the king approached him in bumble guise, bending his head to the ground.

And taking him into the inner apartments, and in due form conferring upon him in sober mood his daughter Śāntā, the king became happy.

Thus the highly powerful Ṛṣyaśṛṅga together with his wife Śāntā, began to live there, respectfully ministered to in regard to every desire.

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