Ayodhya Kanda: Chapter 2

ततः परिषदं सर्वामामन्त्र्य वसुधाधिपः। हितमुद्धर्षणं चैवमुवाच प्रथितं वचः॥ दुन्दुभिस्वरकल्पेन गम्भीरेणानुनादिना। स्वरेण महता राजा जीमूत इव नादयन्॥ राजलक्षणयुक्तेन कान्तेनानुपमेन च। उवाच रसयुक्तेन स्वरेण नृपतिर्नुपान्॥
Then facing his whole court, that lord of earth, the king, resounding all sides as if with thunder, in a mighty voice, echoing, and solemn, and like to the sounds of a kettle-drum, spoke words fraught with welfare, and capable of creating high rapture, and worthy of the attention of all. And in tones overflowing with royal signs; and mellifluous; and peerless; and surcharged with the sentiment of surprise, the monarch addressed the princes, saying.

विदितं भवतामेतद् यथा मे राज्यमुत्तमम्। पूर्वकैर्मम राजेन्द्रैः सुतवत् परिपालितम्॥
It is known to you that the (people of this) spacious empire now governed by me was governed like to children by those sovereigns that were my predecessors.

सोऽहमिक्ष्वाकुभिः सर्वैनरेन्द्रैः प्रतिपालितम्। श्रेयसा योक्तुमिच्छामि सुखार्हमखिलं जगत्॥
Now it is my intention to bring welfare to this entire earth worthy of being rendered happy, which had been governed by all those sovereigns, Ikşvāku and the rest.

मयाप्याचरितं पूर्वैः पन्थानमनुगच्छता। प्रजा नित्यमनिद्रेण यथाशक्त्यभिरक्षिताः॥
Following the path trod by my predecessors, I have, heedless of my own happiness, to the best of my power, always protected the people.

इदं शरीरं कृत्स्नस्य लोकस्य चरता हितम्। पाण्डुरस्यातपत्रस्यच्छायायां जरितं मया॥
And under the shade of the white umbrella, I effecting the good of the entire community, have brought decrepitude upon my body.

प्राप्य वर्षसहस्राणि बहून्यायूंषि जीवतः। जीर्णस्यास्य शरीरस्य विश्रान्तिमभिरोचये॥
Having attained an age extending over many thousands of years, and lived for a long period, desire rest for this decrepit frame.

राजप्रभावजुष्टां च दुर्वहामजितेन्द्रियैः। परिश्रान्तोऽस्मि लोकस्य गुर्वी धर्मधुरं वहन्॥
Bearing in the interests of the people the heavy burden of duty, incapable of being borne by even those that have controlled their senses, and requiring (in the bearer) right royal qualities, I have become fatigued.

सोऽहं विश्राममिच्छामि पुत्रं कृत्वा प्रजाहिते। संनिकृष्टानिमान् सर्वाननुमान्य द्विजर्षभान्॥
I therefore wish for rest, after in the interests of the subjects installing my son, with the permission of all these excellent twice-born ones around me.

अनुजातो हि मां सर्वैर्गुणैः श्रेष्ठो ममात्मजः। पुरन्दरसमो वीर्ये रामः परपुरंजयः॥
My worthy son, like to Purandara himself in prowess, Rāma, the conqueror of hostile cities, had been born, endowed with all my virtues.

तं चन्द्रमिव पुष्येण युक्तं धर्मभृतां वरम्। यौवराज्ये नियोक्तास्मि प्रातः पुरुषपुङ्गवम्॥
Him, like to the moon while in conjunction with the Puşya constellation, the foremost of those maintaining righteousness, the chief of men, will I, in the morning with a delighted heart, install as the heir-apparent to the throne.

अनुरूपः स वो नाथो लक्ष्मीवॉल्लक्ष्मणाग्रजः। त्रैलोक्यमपि नाथेन येन स्यानाथवत्तरम् ॥ अनेन श्रेयसा सद्यः संयोक्ष्येऽहमिमां महीम्। गतक्लेशो भविष्यामि सुते तस्मिन् निवेश्य वै॥
And that auspicious elder brother of Laksmana* will make a fit ruler for you, yea, the very three worlds might consider themselves as having a lord, by possessing him, through his agency I shall this day bring about the welfare of the world; and shall renounce my toil by reposing in him the task of government. *There is an alliterative beauty here in the original: Laksmīvān Laksmanāgraja; which of course is impossible to be retained in the translation.

यदिदं मेऽनुरूपार्थं मया साधु सुमन्त्रितम्। भवन्तो मेऽनुमन्यन्तां कथं वा करवाण्यहम्॥
If what I have devised be meet, and also recommend itself to you, do you accord approval to it, proposing what I am to do besides this, together with the how of effecting it.

यद्यप्येषा मम प्रीतिर्हितमन्यद् विचिन्त्यताम्। अन्या मध्यस्थचिन्ता तु विमर्दाभ्यधिकोदया॥
If I have thought thus solely because I find delight in it, do you look about any other way to welfare. For different is the thought of the dispassionate; and by friction becomes far more efficacious.* *This is Mill's principle of free and equal discussion so lucidity upheld in his Liberty. The meaning in the text is obscurely expressed. The thought of the dispassionate is different from that of the passionate; and truth comes out from the friction of the two opposite forces.

इति ब्रुवन्तं मुदिताः प्रत्यनन्दन् नृपा नृपम्। वृष्टिमन्तं महामेघं नर्दन्त इव बर्हिणः॥
As the king had said this, the princes, exceedingly delighted, seconded him even as peacocks dance at sight of a mighty mass of clouds showering down rain.

स्निग्धोऽनुनादः संजज्ञे ततो हर्षसमीरितः। जनौघो ष्टसंनादो मेदिनी कम्पयन्निव॥
Then there arose a pleasant resonance (from the assembly of the potentates;) and next from the vast concourse inspired with high rapture arose an echo generated by their voices, which seemed to shake the earth.

तस्य धर्मार्थविदुषो भावमाज्ञाय सर्वशः। ब्राह्मणा बलमुख्याश्च पौरजानपदैः सह ॥ समेत्य ते मन्त्रयितुं समतागतबुद्धयः। ऊचुश्च मनसा ज्ञात्वा वृद्धं दशरथं नृपम्॥
Then being in complete possession of the views of that one (the king) versed in morality and interest, the Brāhmaṇas and the principal personages of the army, in company with the citizens and the inhabitants of the provinces, took counsel together, and became unanimous, and, having again revolved the mater individually in their mind, spoke to the aged king Dasaratha, saying.

अनेकवर्षसाहस्रो वृद्धस्त्वमसि पार्थिव। स रामं युवराजानमभिषिञ्चस्व पार्थिवम्॥
O king, being many thousand years old, you have become aged. Do you then install Rāma as the heir-apparent to the throne.

इच्छामो हि महाबाहुं रघुवीरं महाबलम्। गजेन महता यान्तं रामं छत्रावृताननम्॥
We wish to behold the exceedingly strong and mighty-armed hero among the Raghus, riding a huge elephant, his countenance underneath an umbrella.

इति तद्वचनं श्रुत्वा राजा तेषां मनःप्रियम्। अजानन्निव जिज्ञासुरिदं वचनमब्रवीत्॥
Hearing those welcome word of theirs, the monarch, as if not knowing their mind, asked them, saying.

श्रुत्वैतद् वचनं यन्मे राघवं पतिमिच्छथ। राजानः संशयोऽयं मे तदिदं ब्रूत तत्त्वतः॥
You have wished for Rāghava, soon as you have heard my speech. This, you kings, raise my doubts. Do you, therefore, speak out your minds truly.

कथं नु मयि धर्मेण पृथिवीमनुशासति। भवन्तो द्रष्टुमिच्छन्ति युवराजं महाबलम्॥
Why, while I am righteously governing the earth, do you wish to see the highly powerful Rāma as the heir-apparent?

ते तमूचुर्महात्मानः पौरजानपदैः सह। बहवो नृप कल्याणगुणाः सन्ति सुतस्य ते॥
And those high-souled ones together with the citizens and the inhabitants of the provinces said to him, O king, many are the virtues of your son, having for their object the welfare of the people.

गुणान् गुणवतो देव देवकल्पस्य धीमतः। प्रियानानन्दनान् कृत्स्नान् प्रवक्ष्यामोऽद्य ताञ्छृणु॥
To-day we will recount to you in detail the merits making even enemies happy of the meritorious and intelligent (Rāma) resembling a celestial.

दिव्यैर्गुणैः शक्रसमो रामः सत्यपराक्रमः। इक्ष्वाकुभ्योऽपि सर्वेभ्यो ह्यतिरिक्तो विशाम्पते॥
O monarch, furnished with the choicest qualities, Rāma having truth for prowess is like to Sakra's self; and he towers above Ikşvāku and all.

रामः सत्पुरुषो लोके सत्यः सत्यपरायणः। साक्षाद् रामाद् विनिर्वृनो धर्मश्चापि श्रिया सह॥
Rāma is the one excellent person among men; and is true and devoted to truth. And in very Rāma is established morality with prosperity.

प्रजासुखत्वे चन्द्रस्य वसुधायाः क्षमागुणैः। बुद्ध्या बृहस्पतेस्तुल्यो वीर्ये साक्षाच्छचीपतेः॥
Touching the good of the subjects, he is like to the moon, and in the quality of forgiveness, he is like to the Earth; in intelligence like to Brhaspati; and in prowess like Saci's lord.

धर्मज्ञः सत्यसंधश्च शीलवाननसूयकः। क्षान्तः सान्त्वयिता श्लक्ष्णः कृतज्ञो विजितेन्द्रियः।।३१ । मृदुश्च स्थिरचित्तश्च सदा भव्योऽनसूयकः। प्रियवादी च भूतानां सत्यवादी च राघवः॥
He is cognizant of duty, and true in promise, and honest; and not given to detraction. He is forgiving, and soothing, and sweet-speeched and grateful, and of subdued senses. He is pliable to entreaties and staid, and of agreeable carriage, and un-calumniating. Rāghava speaks everyone fair, and is of truthful speech.

बहुश्रुतानां वृद्धानां ब्राह्मणानामुपासिता। तेनास्येहातुला कीर्तिर्यशस्तेजश्च वर्धते॥
He ministers to variously-versed aged Brāhmaṇas. It is for this that in this world his fame and renown and energy go on increasing.

देवासुरमनुष्याणां सर्वास्त्रेषु विशारदः। सम्यग् विद्याव्रतस्नातो यथावत् साङ्गवेदवित्॥
He has mastered all the weapons that are extant among the gods, the Asuras, and human beings. He has performed his ablutions after having acquired learning; and knows the Vedas with their branches.

गान्धर्वे च भुवि श्रेष्ठो बभूव भरताग्रजः। कल्याणाभिजनः साधुरदीनात्मा महामतिः॥
And Bharata's elder brother is a proficient in music. He is the home of the good, and is saintly, and has conquered his grief, and is magnanimous.

द्विजैरभिविनीतश्च श्रेष्ठैर्धर्मार्थनैपुणैः। यदा व्रजति संग्रामं ग्रामार्थे नगरस्य वा॥ गत्वा सौमित्रिसहितो नाविजित्य निवर्तते।
He is lowly to those twice bom ones that are worthy and are conversant with morality and interest. And when in company with Sumitra's son he wended to the fight with the view of protecting a city or a province, he came not back without conquering the foe. on or

संग्रामात् पुनरागत्य कुञ्जरेण रथेन वा॥ पौरान् स्वजनवन्नित्यं कुशलं परिपृच्छति। पुढेष्वग्निषु दारेषु प्रेष्यशिष्यगणेषु च॥
And even as a father enquired after the welfare of his sons, he, returning from the field horse or elephant, exhaustively and consecutively enquired after the weal of the citizens, concerning their sons, their (sacrificial) fire, or their wives, or their servants, or their disciples.

निखिलेनानुपूर्व्या च पिता पुत्रानिवौरसान्। शुश्रूषन्ते च वः शिष्याः कच्चिद् वर्मसु दंशिताः॥ इति वः पुरुषव्याघ्रः सदा रामोऽभिभाषते। व्यसनेषु मनुष्याणां भृशं भवति दुःखितः॥ उत्सवेषु च सर्वेषु पितेव परितुष्यति ।
And that tiger-like Rāma always asked the Brāhmaṇas, 'Do your disciples tend you' and the Kșatriyas, 'Do your disciples always remain mailed?' When calamity befallen the people, he experienced excess of sorrow; and on their festal occasions, he rejoiced ever like their own father.

सत्यवादी महेष्वासो वृद्धसेवी जितेन्द्रियः॥ स्मितपूर्वाभिभाषी चार्धे सर्वात्मनाश्रितः। सम्यग्योक्ता श्रेयसां च न विगृह्यकथारुचिः॥
He speaks the truth, and is a mighty bowman. He ministers to the aged, and has controlled his senses. He preludes his speech with a smile, and is established in righteousness with his whole soul. he entirely brings about good, and he takes no delight in bandying words after a quarrel.

उत्तरोत्तरयुक्तौ च वक्ता वाचस्पतिर्यथा। सुभ्रूरायतताभ्राक्षः साक्षाद् विष्णुरिव स्वयम्॥
In reasoning in chain, he is like to the lord of speech himself. His eye-brows are graceful; and his eyes expansive and coppery; and he is like to the very Vişnu

रामो लोकाभिरामोऽयं शौर्यवीर्यपराक्रमैः। प्रजापालनसंयुक्तो न रागोपहतेन्द्रियः॥
Like Kāma he is charming to all by virtue of his heroism, prowess and might. He is ever engaged in protecting the people: and the desire for the good things of the world cannot perturb his inind.

शक्तस्त्रैलोक्यमप्येष भोक्तुं किन्नु महीमिमाम्। नास्य क्रोधः प्रसादश्च निरर्थोऽस्ति कदाचन॥
He is capable of bearing the burden even of the three worlds, what then is this Earth? Neither his pleasure nor his displeasure even goes for naught.

हन्त्येष नियमाद् वध्यानवध्येषु न कुप्यति। युनक्त्यर्थैः प्रहृष्टश्च तमसौ यत्र तुष्यति॥
He slays those that deserve to be slain; but he is never enraged with those that ought not to be slain (i.e. the un-offending), with whom, he is pleased, he bestows wealth upon.

दान्तैः सर्वप्रजाकान्तैः प्रीतिसंजननैर्नृणाम्। गुणैर्विरोचते रामो दीप्तः सूर्य इवांशुभिः॥
In virtue of his self-control and other qualities, dear to the subjects and capable of exciting the delight of mankind, Rāma shines even like the effulgent Sun surrounded by his rays.

तमेवंगुणसम्पन्नं रामं सत्यपराक्रमम्। लोकपालोपमं नाथमकामयत मेदिनी॥
And even that Rāma, crowned with such qualities and having truth for his prowess, like a Lokapāla, the Earth wishes to have for her lord.

वत्सः श्रेयसि जातस्ते दिष्ट्यासौ तव राघवः। दिष्ट्या पुत्रगुणैर्युक्तो मारीच इव कश्यपः॥
By our good luck it is that your son has acquired competence in the task of administration; and also by your good luck it is that Rāghava has been born endowed with sonly qualities, like to Marici's son Kasyapa.

बलमारोग्यमायुश्च रामस्य विदितात्मनः। देवासुरमनुष्येषु सगन्धर्वोरगेषु च ॥ आशंसते जनः सर्वो राष्ट्रे पुरवरे तथा। आभ्यन्तरश्च बाह्यश्च पौरजानपदो जनः॥
The gods, and the Asuras, and men, with the Gandharvas, and the Uragas, and the inhabitants rural and urban, pray for the strength, health, and long life of self-knowing Rāma. And whether inmates or outsiders, citizens or natives of provinces, everyone speaks high of him.

स्त्रियो वृद्धास्तरुण्यश्च सायं प्रातः समाहिताः। सर्वा देवान्नमस्यन्ति रामस्यार्थे मनस्विनः। तेषां तद् याचितं देवत्वत्प्रसादात्समृद्ध्यताम् ॥
Women, old and young, in both the morning and evening, with intent minds, bow down to all the gods on behalf of the intelligent Rāma. Let their desire, O worshipful one, be fulfilled, through your grace.

राममिन्दीवरश्यामं सर्वशत्रुनिबर्हणम्। पश्यामो यौवराज्यस्थं तव राजोत्तमात्मजम्॥
And we would behold the son of the foremost of monarchs, the foe-destroying. Rāma dark-blue like a lotus, installed as the heir-apparent to the kingdom.

तं देवदेवोपममात्मजं ते सर्वस्य लोकस्य हिते निविष्टम्। हिताय नः क्षिप्रमुदारजुष्टं मुदाभिषेक्तुं वरद त्वमर्हसि ॥
Therefore, O bestower of boons, it behoves you, for the sake of our well-being, with a delighted mind to speedily install your son furnished with noble qualities resembling the god of gods, and every intent upon the welfare of the entire community.