Valmeeki Ramayana translated by Karnamrita dasa ACBSP © 1997

CANTO 1 Ayodhya khanda

    Description of the Qualities of Rama

          1) Taking His affectionate and sinless brother, Satrughna, who ever slays His foes, Lord Bharata proceeded to the habitation of His  maternal uncle.

          2) Being affectionately entertained by Yudhajit,  the horse master, the righteous prince  remained there for some time and received the  fond embrace due a beloved son.

          3) Bharata and Satrughna abided there in great happiness, having all Their desires gratified, and They always remembered Their elderly  father, King Dasaratha.

          4) King Dasaratha too, never forgot his absent sons, the heroic Bharata and Satrughna, who  resembled Indra and Varuna.

          5) Indeed, the emperor held his four mighty sons, who had issued from his body, as dear as his own arms.

          6) Of the four, Lord Rama was the king's most beloved son, and like a Brahma He excelled all others in virtue.

          7) Indeed, He was the eternal Lord Sri Vishnu, and had advented Himself in the world of men on behalf of the Devas, who desired the slaying of Ravana.

          8) Queen Kausalya had her beauty embellished by her son of unequalled potency, just as Aditi does by Vajrapani [Indra].

          9) He was endowed with supernal loveliness and heroism, and was envious of no one. He was a son unequalled in the world, and  resembled Dasaratha in the possession of good qualities.

          10) He was always tranquil at heart and His speech was gentle— He never spoke haughtily  to any man even though He had been reviled.

          11) He was often delighted by some small service rendered Him, and being  self-possessed, He would forgive hundreds of  misdeeds.

          12) Lord Rama would converse only with self-realised souls, with those of mature  character, with those advanced in spiritual  knowledge, and with those advanced in years.  He was always available to such persons when  He was not under arms.

          13) He was intelligent, sweetly spoken, and  would always speak first [thus allaying others'  nervousness]. He was agreeable and valorous,  but was not proud of His heroism.

          14) He never spoke an untruth, He offered all  respect to the learned and the elderly; the  people adored Him, and He loved the people.

          15) He was compassionate, mild, and the worshipper of brahmanas. He pitied the unfortunate, was conversant with the principles of religion, was always kind, and was purity personified.

          16) Lord Rama always had His family's well-being in mind. He considered His regal duty to be of great importance, and He contemplated the heavenly reward of such conduct with immense satisfaction.

          17) He would countenance no mischief, neither did He relish vulgar talk. Like Brihaspati, He could counter specious arguments with ease.

          18) His transcendental body was free from disease and the influence of old age. He was eloquent, beautiful, and adaptable to circumstances. He knew the heart of every man on earth [being omniscient], and He alone was aloof from the world of matter.

          19) He alone was possessed of all conceivable qualities who was the king's son, and was as dear to the people as their own hearts.

          20) He had acquired all requisite learning, had undertaken all manner of religious vows and was fully conversant with the Vedas and the Vedic supplements. Lord Rama, the elder brother of Bharata, surpassed His father in the wielding of the bow and missiles controlled by hymns.

          21) He was the benefactor of the people; He was determined and noble-minded, truthful and honest. He was tutored by elderly brahmanas who were authorities in matters of religion and economics.

          22) He knew the principles of religion, regulated sense enjoyment, and the acquisition of wealth. His memory was faultless, He was shrewd, and He was conversant with both worldly conventions and Vedic ritual.

          23) He was modest and reserved. He kept His counsellors' advice secret and had many companions and confidential servants. His wrath and joviality were both unfailing, and He knew when renunciation and restraint were called for.

          24) Rama was the personification of unflinching devotion, His wisdom was unswerving, He utterly rejected things mundane, and would never speak harshly. He was alert and infallible. He was neither unaware of the faults of His kin nor of others.

          25) He knew the scriptures, He was grateful, He was learned in the art of psychology, and He was sagacious in the matter of proffering and accepting favours.

          26) He attracted the self-realised, and bestowed His mercy upon them, and He knew when to suppress disturbing elements in His  father's realm. He was conversant with the  means of collecting revenue and He managed the state expenditure as per the scriptural ordinances.

          27) He was pre-eminent in His ability to extract the quiddity of the various scriptures and of works composed in a mixture of dialects. Lord Rama enjoyed sense-pleasure within the bounds of religion and economy and was never slothful.

          28) He knew how to apportion funds for the patronage of the arts that serve for amusement or sport, and He was an accomplished rider and trainer of spirited horses.

          29) He was fully conversant with the Dhanurveda and was adjudged the greatest warrior in the world by the atirathas. He knew how to best the enemy in an assault, and was proficient in the deployment of military  formations.

          30) He was invincible in battle by either demigods or demons. He was free from spite, having subdued anger, and He was neither  haughty nor envious.

          31) Lord Rama was not to be disesteemed or disregarded by any living being, neither did He come under the sway of the time factor. Indeed, the Prince was endowed with super-excellent characteristics that were unequalled within the three worlds.

          32) He was like the earth in point of forbearance, like Brihaspati in point of wisdom, and like Indra in point of valour.

          33) He was loved by His father's subjects, and ever increased His sire's delight. Lord Rama was endowed with dazzling transcendental qualities, and He was haloed as if by the rays of the sun.

          34) The earth personified adored Him who was possessed of such virtues, who was  unconquerable, who was courageous, and who was the unequalled Lord of all.

          35) Perceiving his son to be possessed of innumerable sublime characteristics, King Dasaratha, the subduer of foes, began to consider thus.

          36) Now that the long-lived monarch had grown old he thought: "How shall I live to see my  beloved Rama crowned king?

          37) This is undoubtedly the foremost desire within my heart— when, pray, shall I behold my darling son anointed as emperor?

          38) He is desirous of the people's prosperity and He is compassionate upon all living beings. He is dearer to my subjects than I, and is just like Parjanya, the god of rain.

          39) In valour He is the equal of Yama and Indra, and in intellect He is the equal of Brihaspati. He is as constant as a mountain, and He is more qualified and virtuous than am I.

          40) When I witness His dominion over the entire world, then I shall attain the kingdom of God!"

          41-42) Observing such manifold qualities, which are rarely to be found in kings, to be present in his cultured son, and to a degree that is seldom to be seen in mankind, King Dasaratha and his counsellors resolved to have Rama installed as heir-apparent.

          43) The emperor was somewhat elderly in body and mind, and he observed terrifying portents  in the heavens and upon the earth.

          44) He reminded himself, however, of the people's love for Rama— whose countenance was as radiant as the full moon, and his fears were completely dispelled.

          45) For his own benefit, as well as for that of his subjects, and also to gain the affection of the public, the righteous king, who was motivated by devotional love for his son, urged the speedy coronation of Lord Rama.

          46) To that end, the intelligent emperor had the prominent residents of various cities and villages brought to the capital to observe the festivities.

          47) Upon arriving in Ayodhya, they were  provided with fitting accommodation and with  jewels and ornaments. They were given an honourable reception, and the king came personally, fully decorated, and met them, just  as Brahma meets his offspring.

          48) The arrangements were so quickly made that the emperor had neither the king of the Kekayas nor King Janaka brought to his capital, thinking they would hear the delightful news in due course.

          49) Thereafter, as King Dasaratha, the subduer of foes, took his seat in the assembly of guests.  The other sovereigns, who were esteemed by  their subjects, entered and took their  respective seats as well.

          50) He was thus surrounded by kings who were self-controlled and endowed with the marks of nobility, by men who had come from town and village, and who sat closely about him, and he appeared like Indra in the midst of the demigods.