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THE

RAMAYAN OF VALMIKI

H

TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH VERSE

BY

RALPH T. H. GRIFFITH, M.A..C.I.E.

FORMER PRINCIPAL OF THE BENARES COLLEGE, AND LATE DIRECTOR
PUBLIC INSTRUCTION N.-W. P. AND OUDH.



COMPLETE IN ONE VOLUME.




BENARES :

PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY E. J. LAZARUS AND CO.

SOLD ALSO BY
LUZAC AND CO., LONDON.



1895.
All rights reserved.



750
\Jf96



V-YI



u y\



n <

Qi



TO

THE HONOURABLE
SIR WILLIAM MUIR, K. C. B. I., LL. D.

LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR OF THE NORTH-WESTERN
PROVINCES OF INDIA

THIS TRANSLATION

OF



THE GREAT EPIC POEM OF THE HINDUS
IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED.



M31887



CONTENTS.



Page



Dedication.

Introduction.

Invocation.



BOOK I.

CANTO i. Narad.

i{._ Brahma's Visit,
iii. The Argument.
j v> __The Rhapsodista.
v. Ayodhya.
vi.The King.

vii.The Ministers,
viii. Sumantra's Speech. ...
ix. Rishyasring.
x. Rishyasring Invited. ...
xi. The Sacrifice Decreed,
xii. The Sacrifice Begun...
xiii. The Sacrifice Finished,
xiv. Ravan Doomed,
xv. The Nectar,
xvi.-The Vanars,
xvii. Rishyasring's Return,
xviii. Rishyasring's Depar-

ture.

x ix. The Birth of thePrinces.
xx. Visvamitra's Visit. ...
xxi. Visvamitra's Speech...
xxii. Dasaratha's Speech....
xxiii. -Vasishtha's Speech,
xxiv. The Spells,
xxv. The Hermitage of Love,
xxvi. The Forest of Tadaka.
xxvii. The Birth of Tadaka.
xxviii. The Death of Tadaka.
xxix. The Celestial Arms. ..
xxx. The Mysterious Powers,
xxxi. The Perfect Hermitage.
xxxii. Visvamitra's Sacrifice,
xxxiii. The Sone.
xxxiv. Brahmadatta.
xxxv. Visvamitra's Lineage,
xxxvi. The Birth of Ganga.
xxxix. The Sons of Sagar.
xl. The 01 caving of the Earth,
xli. Kapil.
xlii. Sagar's Sacrifice.



Page

3ANTO xlii i. P>hagi rath. ... 53

xliv. The Descent of Ganga. 54
xlv. The Quest of the Amrit. 56
xlvi. Diti's Hope. ... 58

xlvii. Sumati. ... 59

xlviii. Indra and Ahalya. 60
xlix. Ahalya Freed. ... 61
1. Janak. ... 6l

li. Visvamitra. ... 62

Iii. Vasishtha's Feast. ... 63
liii. Visvamitra's Request. 64
liv. The Battle. ... 65

lv. The Hermitage Burnt. 66
Ivi. Visvamitra's Vow. ... 67
Ivii. Trisanku. ... 68

Iviii. Trisanku Cursed. ... 69
lix. The Sons of Vasishtha. 70
Ix. Trisanku's Ascension. ... 71
Ixi. Sunahsepha. ... 72

Ixii. Ambarisha's Sacrifice. 73

Ixiii. Menaka. ... 74

Ixiv. Rambha. ... 75

Ixv. Visvamitra's Triumph. 76

Ixvi. Janak's Speech. ... 77

Ixvii. The Breaking of the
Bow.

Ixviii. The Envoys' Speech.

Ixix. Dasaratha's Visit. ...

Ixx. The Maidens Sought.

Ixxi. Janak's Pedigree. ...

Ixxii. The Gift of Kine. ...

Ixxiii. The Nuptials.

Ixxiv. Rama with the Axe.

Ixxv. The Parle.

Ixxvi. Debarred from
Heaven,

Ixxvii. Bharat's Departure.

BOOK II.

CANTO i. The Heir Apparent. ...
ii. The People's Speech. ...
iii. Dasaratha's Precepts. ...
iv. Rama Summoned,
v. Rama's Fast,
vi. The City Decorated. ...
vii. Manthara's Lament. ...



Page

CANTO viii. Manthara's Speech. ... 97
ix. The Plot. ... 98

x. Dasaratha's Speech. ... 100
xi. The Queen's Demand. ... 102
xii. Dagaratha's Lament. ... 103
xiii. Uaaaratha's Distress. 106
xiv. Rama Summoned. ... 107
xv. Tlie Preparations. ... 109
xvi. Rama Summoned. ... Ill
xvii. Rama's Approach. ... 112
xviii. The Sentence. ... 113
xix. Rama's Promise. ... 114
xx. Kausalya's Lament. ... 116
xxi. Kausalya Calmed. ... 118
xxii. Lakshman Calmed. ... 120
xxii. Lakshman's Anger. 121
xxiv. Kausalya Calmed. ... 122
xxv. Kausalya s Blessing. 124
xxvi. Alone with Sita. ... 125
xxvii. Sita's Speech. ... 126
xxviii. The Dangers of the

Wood 127

xxix. Sita's Appeal. ... 128
xxx. The Triumph of Love. 129
xxxi, Lakshman's Prayer. 131
xxxii. The Gift of the

Treasures 132

xxxiii. The People's Lament. 133
xxxiv. llama in the Palace. 134
xxxv. Kaikeyi Reproached. 136
xxxvi. Siddharth's Speech. 137
xxxvii. The Coats of Bark. 138
xxxviii. Care for Kausalya. 139
xxxix. Counsel to Sita. ... 140
xl. Rama's Departure. ... 141
xli. The Citizens' Lament. 143
xlii. Dasaratha's Lament. 144
xliii. Kausalya's Lament. 145
xliv. Sumitra's Speech. ... 143
xlv. The Tamasa. ... 147

xlvi. The Halt 148

xlvii. The Citizens' Return. 149
xlviii. The Women's Lament 150
xlix. The Crossing of the

Rivers lol

1. The Halt under the Ingudi. 15 1
H. Lakshman's Lament. ... 153
Hi. The Crossing of Ganga. 153
liii. Rama's Lament. ... 157
liv. Bharai vaj a'a Hennitage.153



Page
CANTO lv. The Passage of YamunA. 159

Ivi. Ohitrakuta 161

Ivii. Sumantra's Return. 102
Iviii. Rama's Message. ... 163
lix Dasaratha's Lament. 164
Ix. Kausalya Consoled. ... 165
Ixi Kauaalya's Lament. ... 166
Ixii. Dasaratha Consoled. 167
Ixiii. The Hermit's Son ... 168
Ixiv. Daaaratha's Death. 170
Ixv. The Women's Lament. 172
Ixvi, The Embalming. ... 173
Ixvii. The Praise of Kings. 174
Ixviii. The Envoys. ... 175
Ixix. Bharat's Dream. ... 176
Ixx. Bharat's Departure. 177
Ixxi. Bharat's Return. ... 178
Ixxii. Bharat's Inquiry. ... 180
Ixxiii. Kaikeyi Reproached. 181
Ixxiv.Bharat's Lament ... 182
Ixxv. The Abjuration. ... 183
Ixxvi. The Funeral. ... 185
Ixxvii. The Gathering of the

Ashes 186

Ixxviii. Manthara Punished. 187
Ixxix. Bharat's Commands. 188
Ixxx. The Way Prepared. 188
Ixxxi. The Assembly. ... 189
Ixxxii. The Departure. ... 190
Ixxxiii. The Journey Begun. 191
Ixxxiv. Guha's Auger. ... 192
Ixxxv. Guhaand Bharat. 192
Ixxxvi. Guha's Speech. ... 193
Ixxxvii. Guha's Story ... 194
Ixxxviii. The Ingudi Tree. 195
Ixxxix. The Passage of

Ganga 193

xc. The Hermitage. ... 197
xci. Bharadvaja's Feast .. 197
xcii. Bharat's Farewell. ... 200
xciii. Chitrakuta in Sight. 201
xciv. Chitrakuta. ... 202

xcv. Mandakini 203

xcvi. The Magic Shaft. ... 204
xcvii. Lakshman's Anger. 206
xcviii. Lakshman Calmed. 207
xcix, Bharat's Approach. 208

c. The Meeting 209

ci. Bharat Questioned. ... 210
cii, Bharat's Tidings. ... 211



CONTENTS.



CANTO ciii. The Funeral Libation
c iv t The Meeting with the

Queens

cv. Rama's Speech

cvi. Bharat's Speech,
cvii. Rama's Speech,
cviii. Javali's Speech,
cix. The Praises of Truth,
ex. The Sons of Ikshvaku.
cxi. Counsel to Bharat. ...

cxii. The Sandals

cxiii. Bharat's Return. ...
cxiv.Bharat's Departure,

cxv. Nandigram

cxvi. The Hermit's Speech
cxvii. Anasuya.
cxviii. Anasuya's Gifts,
cxix. The Forest.

BOOK III.

TO i. The Hermitage,
ii. Viradha.
iii. Viradha Attacked,
iv. Viradha's Death.
v. Sarabhanga.
vi. Rama's Promise,
vii. Sutikshna.
viii. The Hermitage,
ix, Sita's Speech.
x. Rama's Reply,
xi. Agastya.
xii. The Heavenly Bow.
xiii. Agastya's Counsel,
xiv. Jatayus.
xv. Pane hav ati.
xvi. Winter,
x vii. Surpanakha.
xviii. The Mutilation.
xix, The Rousing of Khara.
xx. The Giants' Death,
xxi. The Rousing of Khara.
xxii. Khara's Wrath,
xxiii. The Omens,
xxiv. The Host in Sight,
xxv. The Battle,
xxvi. Dushan's Death,
xxvii. The Death of Trisiras.
xxviii. Khara Dismounted,
xxix. Khara's Defeat,
xxx. Khara's Death.



Page


Page


, 211


CANTO xxxi. Ravan. ... 265




xxxii. Ravan Roused. ... 267


213


xxxiii. Surpanakha's Speech. 268


214


xxxiv. Surpanakha's Speech. 269


215


xxxv. Ravan's Journey. ... 270


216


xxxvi. Ravan's Speech. ... 271


217


xxxvii. Marie ha's Speech. 272


217


xxxviii. Marieha's Speech. 273


219


xxxix. Marioha's Speech. 274


220


xl. Ravan's Speech. ... 275


221


xli.Mancha's Reply. ' ... 276


222


xlii. Maricha Transformed. 277


223


xliii. The Wondrous Deer. 278


224


xliv. Maricha's Death. ... 280


i. 225


xlv. Lakshman's Departure. 281


226


xlvi. The Guest. ... 282


226


xlvii. Ravan's Wooing. 284


228


xlviii. Ravan's Speech. ... 285




xlix . The Rape of Sita. ... 286




1. Jatayus. ... 288


, 229


15. The Combat. ... 289


. 230


Iii. Ravan's Flight. ... 290


. 231


liii. Sita's Threats. ... 292


. 232


liv. Lanka. ... 293


. 233


Iv. Sita in Prison. ... 294


235


Ivi. Sita's Disdain. ... 295


. 236


Ivii. Sita Comforted. ... 293


. 237


Iviii. The Brothers' Meeting. 297


. 237


lix. Rama's Return. .. 298


. 239


Ix. Lakshman Reproved. 299


. 239


]xi. .Rama's Lament. ... 300


. 243


Ixii. Rama's Lament. ... 301


. 244


Ixiii. Rama's Lament. ... 302


. 245


Ixiv. Rama's Lament. ... 303


. 247


Ixv. Rama's Wrath. ... 304


. 248


Ixvi. Lakshman's Speech. 306


249


Ixvii. Rama Appeased. ... 307


250


Ix viii. Jatayus. ... 308


i. 251


Ixix. The Death of Jatayus. 309


252


Ixx. Kabandha. ... 310


i. 253


Ixxi. Kabandha's Speech. 312


254


Ixxii. Kabandha's Tale. ... 312


255


Ixxiii. Kabandha's Counsel. 314


256


Ixxiv. Kabandha's Death. 315


257


Ixxv. avari. 316


259


Ixxvi. Pampa 317


ts. 260




. 261


BOOK IV.


, 262


CANTO i. Rama's Lament. ... 319


, 263


ii.Sugriva's Alarm. ... 324



Page

CANTO Ixxv.The Night Attack. . . 434
xciii. Ravan's Lament. ... 485
xcvi. Ravan's Sally. ... 486
c. Ravan in the Field. ... 487
ci. Lakshman's Fall. ... 487
cii. Lakshman Healed. ... 4S8
ciii. Indra's Car. ... 488
cvi. Glory to the Sun. ... 489
cviii The Battle. ... 490
cix. The Battle ... 491
ex. llavan's Death. ... 491
cxi. Vibhishan's Lament ... 491
cxii. The Rakshas Dames. 492
cxiii. Mandodari's Lament. 492
cxiv. Vibhishan Conse-
crated. ' ... 493
cxv. Sita's Joy. ... 494
cxvi. The Meeting. ... 495
cxvii. Sita's Disgrace. ... 495



CANTO cxviii. Sita's Keply.

cxix. Glory to Vishnu. ...
cxx. Sita Restored.'

cxxi. Dasaratha

cxxii. Indra's Boon,
cxxiii. The Magic Car. ...
cxxiv. The Departure.
cxxv. The Return.
cxxvi. Bharat Consoled. ...

cxxvii Rama's Message

cxxviii. Hanuiuan's Story,
cxxix. The Meeting with

Bharat.
cxxx. The Consecration.



APPENDIX

Uttarakanda.
Additional Notes.
Index of Principal Names.




NOTE.



a is pronounced like u in fun.

a II ke a in father.

e like a in fate.

i like i in fill.

i like ee in feel.

u like u in full.

u like u in flute,

ai like i in fire,

au like ou in foul.

y is a consonant only.
& is pronounced nearly as sh.



INTRODUCTION.



The subject of the Ramayan, the great national epic of the Hindus, their one com-
mon and everlasting possesssion. is, as the name implies, 1 the life and adventures of
Ratna. These adventures are briefly summarized in the introductory cantos of the
poem and do not require to be dwelt upon here. The great exploit and main subject
of the epic is the war which Rama waged with the giant Ravan. the fierce and mighty
King of Lanka or Ceylon and the dread oppressor of Gods and nymphs and saints and
men. ' The army,' to borrow the words of Gorresio, ' which Rama led on this expedi-
tion was, as appears from the poern, gathered in great part from the region of the
Vindhyan hills, but the races which he assembled are represented in the poem as
monkeys, either out of contempt for their barbarism or because at that time they
were little known to the Sanskrit-speaking Hindus, The people against whom Rama
waged war are, as the poem indicates in many places, different in origin, in civiliza-
tion, and in worship, from the Sanskrit Indians ; but the poet of the Ramayan, in
this respect like Homer who assigns to Troy customs, creeds, and worship similar to
those of Greece, places in Ceylon, the seat of this alien and hostile people, names,
habits, and worship similar to those of Sanskrit. India. The poet calls the people
whom Rama attacked Rakshasas. Rakshasas, according to the popular Indian be-
lief, are malignant beings, demons of many shapes, terrible and cruel, who disturb
the sacrifices and the religious rites of the Brahmans. It appears indubitable that
the poet of the Ramayan applied the hated name of Rakshasas to an abhorred and
hostile people, and that this denomination is here rather an expression of hatred and
horror than a real historical name.

Such, reduced to its bare simplicity, is the fundamental idea of the Ramayan,
a war of two hostile races di ffering in origin, civilization, and worship. But. as is
the case in all primitive epopeas, around this idea as a nucleus have gathered
elements of every kind drawn from the very vitals of Indian tradition, and worked
up by the ancient poet to embody his lofty epic conception. The epopea received
and incorporated the traditions, the ideas, the beliefs, the myths, the symbols of
that civilization in the midst of which it arose, and by the weaving in and arranging
of all these vast elements it became the complete and faithful expression of a whole
ancient period ; and in fact the epopea is nothing but a system which represents
poetically those ideas of a people which the philosophical systems expound theo-
retically.' 2

Other scholars will not concede even this historical basis to the exploits celebrated
in the poem. 'Professor Weber is of opinion (Hist, of Ind. Lit. p. 181.) that the
principal characters who figure in the Ramayan are not historical personages at all,

1 From Rama and ayana, Rama's Adventures. Schlegel Latinizes the Sanskrit
title into Rameis. In conformity with Indian custom I write Ramayan with the
dental or undotted V and without the final 'a,' as we speak of the Iliad and

and not of the Ilias and JEneis.

2 GOREESIO, Rdmdyan, Vol. VI. Preface,



ii INTRODUCTION.

but mere personifications of certain events and circumstances. Sita (the furrow) he
remarks, occurs both in the Rig-veda [R. V. IV, 57. 6] and in the Grihya ritual as
an object of worship, and represents the A'ryan agriculture, while he regards Rama
as the ploughman personified. The Ramayana has only, he thinks, a historical
character in so far as it refers to an actual occurrence, the diffusion of Aryan civi-
lization towards the south of the peninsula.' 1 To attempt to ascertain the date of
the events, real or imaginary related in the Ramayan would be a mere waste of tirne >
I will only mention that Sir William Jones places Rama in the year 2029 B. 0., Tod
in 1100, and Bentley in 950. Gorresio would place him about the thirteenth century
before the Christian era. 2

The introductory Cantos of the Ramayan and general tradition ascribe the
authorship of the poem to the inspired Saint Valmiki, one of the holy company of
those whose eye could pierce 'The present, and the past, and the to-come,' who
attained the science of secret things by

' Dreadful abstinence

And conquering penance of the mutinous flesh,
Deep contemplation, and unwearied study,
In years outstretched beyond the date of man.' 3

The same authority makes V&lmiki contemporary with Rama, and assigns the com-
position of the poem to the age which saw the accomplishment of the great enterprise
\vhich forms its subject. ' Critical inquiry,' says Lassen, ' will not allow the actual
authorship of Valmiki and the handing down of the poem unchanged from the
beginning to pass current;' 4 while Gorresio maintains that 'the popular tradition
which makes Valmiki contemporary with Rama and relat.es all the particulars of
the first propagation of the Ramayan appears as probable and as worthy of credit
as any other ancient fact historically related.' The internal evidence offered by the
poem is sufficiently strong confirmation of its remote antiquity, although it is impos-
sible to fix even approximately the date of its composition. 5 Portions of this and

1 Muir's Sanskrit Texts, Vol. II. p. 438.

* ' From Rama to Sumitra the contemporary, as it appears, of Vikramaditya
(B. C. 57) fifty-six Kings ruled in succession. By allowing on a reasonable comput-
ation an average of a little more than twenty years to each reign we arrive at the
thirteenth century before the Christian era. But to this opinion I do not intend to
attribute more weight than that of a probable conjecture.'

GORRESIO, Rdm,dyan t Vol< 1. Introduction,

3 Shelley's Hellas.

4 Indisclie Alterthumskunde, 1. 484.

5 ' The Greeks did not acquire any intimate knowledge of India. They applied
themselves chiefly to describe the regions, situations, the climate, the natural produc-
tions of the Indian soil, the dress, the arms, and the customs of the inhabitants. No
aid, then, can be hoped for from the Greeks to discover the age of the Ramayan, as
nothing can be concluded against its antiquity from our finding no mention of it
in the works of those writers. Nor can precise data be obtained even frcm Indian
writers, data impressed with a certain stamp of historical truth, sufficient by them-
selves to establish the indubitable age of the poem. Indian minds were always more
inclined to meditate than to narrate, to launch themselves boldly into the regions of
the ideal and the infinite rather than, to consign to memory iu their reality events



INTRODUCTION. Hi

other evidence I will not lay before the reader, gathered chiefly from Gorresio's
Introduction to his magnificent edition of the Ramayan.

1 What I have said,' observes Gorresio, 'with regard to the antiquity of Rama
may be applied to Valmiki the author of the Ramayan, whose synchronism with.
Rama is indicated, as I have pointed out, in the introduction to the poem, and
confirmed by two passages of the poem itself. In such a case the question would be
ended and the antiquity of the poem proved, although without determining its age
with absolute precision, a difficult question not in the case of the Ramayan only but
in the poems of Homer themselves. But because there will be found some people to
whom the testimony of the introduction to the poem will appear suspicious, and the
authority of the two passages (not found in the Bengal recension) doubtful, I will
here condense the indications and arguments which appear to me to confirm the
antiquity of the Ramayaii. Passing over the Purana period I come to the era of
Vikramaditya (57 B. 0.) Here I find a poem which celebrates in a compendious
form the exploits sung in the Ramayan, I mean the Raghuvaiisa of Kalidasa. 1 The
poet himself in his introduction gives direct testimony that preceding poets have
opened the way for him in this same subject. It is hardly necessary to say that
amongst these poets Valmiki is certainly comprised, the copious and original source
of all the poems which celebrate the deeds of Rama. As I proceed beyond the age
of Kalidasa there appears before me a great epic monument to which Indian tradi-
tion ascribes a most remote antiquity so far as to make Vyasa the compiler of the
Vedas its author. This monument is the Mahabharata, I bow before this colossal
epic : but without wishing to detract from its antiquity, I do not hesitate to declare
it less ancient than the Ramayan. And here I first observe that when we speak of
the antiquity of a literary monument, especially an epic one, we must distinguish
the elements of which it is composed from the arranging hand which collected and
put them together. These elements may be most ancient ; and so are in fact the
elements of the Mahabharata : the work of arranging and uniting them may be
more or less ancient. And it is precisely this work of union and arrangement in the
Mahabharata which I affirm to be later than that in the Ramayan. If this posteri-
ority were not declared in the Mahabharata itself which says that the exploits of
Rama had already been sung by Valmiki inspired by Narada, it would be sufficiently
proved by the fact that there is embodied in the Mahabharata a summary of the
Ramuyan of Valmiki in the same order and very often in the same words. Besides
the life and worship of Krishna celebrated in the Mahabharata indicate an age later

than the Ramayan in which there is no mention of Krishna or Krishnaism

The invention of the sloka attributed to Valmiki in the introduction to the Ramayan

appears to confirm the antiquity of the poem It should be observed that the

sloku is not only mentioned in the Rig-veda but the very metre is used. How can
these apparent contradictions be reconciled ? Tradition says that Valmiki was the
inventor of the sloka and that he first made use of it in the Ramayan : but in the
Ramayan the Vedas are very frequently spoken of in which the sloka is both men-
tioned and employed. It may be that the hymns referred to are later than the

Ramayan ; but at present we must be content to leave the difficulty unsolved

The Ramayan is mentioned in the Rajatarangini (Rajatarangini, Histoire des

circumscribed within narrow limits : in one word, history was checked by contempla-
tion and poesy.' GOKRESIO.

1 A later date is by most scholars assigned to this poem.



IV INTRODUCTION.

Rois du Krchmir, par M. A. Troyer, LIB. I. L, 166.). Damodara, second of that
name among the kings of Kashmir, was cursed by certain B rah mans, and the
malediction was to cease on the day on which he should hear the entire Rarnj'iyan.
recited. Now Damodara the Second, in the series of the l>ings of Kashmir, precedes
by five kings Gonarda the Third who according to the computation of M. Troyer,
the sagacious and learned translator and commentator of the History of Kashmir,
is to be placed in the year 1182 before Christ (Rajatarangini. Tom. II. p. 375),
Reckoning backward from this point to Damodara the Second through an interval
of five reigns the average duration of each of which is about twenty-four years, we
arrive at the beginning of the fourteenth century before the Christian era. I am far
from wishing to attribute any great precision to these chronological computations,
nor do I pretend to determine exactly the age of the Ramtiyan. but I maintain that
from the passage of the Rajatarangini cited the remote antiquity of the poem may
with all confidence be inferred. This antiquity is confirmed by the various popular
traditions diffused through the whole of India upon the epopeaof Valmiki, upon the
exploits which are celebrated in it, upon the principal actors in that great epic drama,
since traditions and popular legends gather round ancient monuments as ivy and
parasitical plants cling only to the trunks of aged oaks. The whole of India is full
of such legends originated by the celebrity of the epic of Valmiki. The fame of
Rama and of Hanuman his mighty ally, accompanied with popular legends, has
penetrated into the most remote parts of the southern regions of India and even into
Tibet. A proof of the antiquity of the Ramayan is the fact that many poets both
dramatic and epic have had recourse to the great fountain of his poem as the
Grecian poets have drawn their materials from the epics of Homer, The antiquity
of the Ram a van is proved by the numerous various readings which are found in it
and which can have arisen only from its antiquity and its diffusion by many mouths
through distant regions. And as an epic poem is the faithful image of the creeds,
the cult, the customs of the age in which it arose, so finding no mention of a creed,
a cult, a custom, or a region in an epic is a very probable indication that it did not
exist when the poem was composed. It is worthy of being remarked that in the
Ramayan no traces are found of that mystic devotion which absorbs all the faculties
of man, of that passionate, ardent worship called bhakti which is not of the greatest
antiquity but still must have sprung up before our era, as it is mentioned in the
Mahabharata. There are indeed iu the Ramayan examples of prodigious austerities,
but these have nothing to do with the religion called bhakti, and spring from another
cause, a principle more profound. They appear to have been originated by an inner
feeling, deeply rooted and of great antiquity in India, that is to say that expiation
was to restore fallen human nature. Nor is there found in the Ramayan any
mention of Buddha or Buddhism, although other heterodox creeds are spoken of.
Nor is the Island of Ceylon against which the expedition of Rama was directed
called Taprobane or Tamraparni, or Palesimundu or Palisimanta, names anterior by
eome centuries to the Christian era. Nor is it even called by the name of Sinhala
(Seat of Lions) which name is connected with the occupation of the island by
Vijaya several centuries before our era. The name which Ceylon bears in the Rama-
yan is always the primitive, the most ancient, Lanka. I could adduce many other
conjectural proofs of the antiquity of the Ramayan, such for instance as the nature
of the style, and its qualifying, as Homer does, with nich epithets as venerable,
benign, divine, the night, the day, the woods, the mountains, and the rivers.



INTRODUCTION. V

Colonel Sykes, in his dissertation inserted in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic
Society (Vol. VII. pp. 248 ff.), finding that the celebrated Chine.se Buddhist Fa Hian



Online LibraryValmikiThe Ramayan of Válmíki translated into English verse by Ralph T.H. Griffith .. → online text (page 1 of 95)