Finally I got my copy of Ralph T.H. Griffith’s translation of Rámáyańa in verse. For the past two weeks, whenever I could find some free time, I have been reading it on my android phone. The epubs are available on Project Gutenberg and the Aldiko reader renders the e-book quite nicely. I finished Bálakáńda and was quite impressed with the translation. The parts I liked in particular were the ones where Ráma fights Tádaka and the one where Viśhwamitra’s story is narrated by Śhatananda. Since I have not read the original (which requires me to learn sanskrit first!) I cannot say how true the translation has been to the original. There are some portions which have been translated quite well. I shall blog about the interesting verses some other time.
For now, I shall leave you with the last few verses of Bálakáńda.
Rama and Lakshman honoured still
Their godlike sire with duteous will.
Two constant guides for Rama stood,
His father’s wish, the people’s good.
Attentive to the general weal
He thought and wrought to please and heal.
His mothers too he strove to please
With love and sonly courtesies.
At every time, in every spot,
His holy guides he ne’er forgot.
So for his virtues kind and true
Dearer and dearer Rama grew
To Dasharatha, Brahmans, all
In town and country, great and small.
And Rama by his darling’s side
Saw many a blissful season glide,
Lodged in her soul, each thought on her,
Lover, and friend, and worshipper.
He loved her for his father’s voice
Had given her and approved the choice:
He loved her for each charm she wore
And her sweet virtues more and more.
So he her lord and second life
Dwelt in the bosom of his wife,
In double form, that, e’en apart,
Each heart could commune free with heart.
Still grew that child of Janak’s race,
More goddess-fair in form and face,
The loveliest wife that e’er was seen,
In mortal mould sweet Beauty’s Queen.
Then shone the son Kaushalya bore,
With this bright dame allied,
Like Vishnu whom the Gods adore,
With Lakshmi by his side.
The highlighted portions in the verses above correspond to the verse 1.77.29 (read it here)
प्रिया तु सीता रामस्य दारा: पितृकृता इति।
गुणाद्रूपगुणाच्चापि प्रीतिर्भूयोऽभ्यवर्धत ।।
I remember this verse from an upanyaasa on Ramayana by Shatavadhani Dr R Ganesh.