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FOR THE PEOPLE FOR EDVCATION FOR SCIENCE LIBRARY OF THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

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JOURNAL

OF THE

ASIATIC SOCIETY OF BENGAL.

VOL. Ly. PART I. (HISTORY, ANTIQUITIES, &C.) (Nos. I ro III.—1876: with seven plates.)

EDITED BY

) HE P HILOLOGICAL p ECRETARY.

,,

‘¢Tt will flourish, if naturalists, chemists, antiquaries, philologers, and men of science in different parts of Asza, will commit their observations to writing, and send them to the Asiatic Society at Calcutta. It will languish, if such communications shall be long intermitted ; and it will die away, if they shall entirely cease.” SIR WM. JONES.

CALCUTTA:

PRINTED BY C. B. LEWIS, AT THE BAPTIST MISSION PRESS.

1876.

2 Fi oO ee 9 Se ae :

aeternn eens ee SNPS ELeH MRL rreay

8 SD Oka

opera as red eoee

CONTENTS OF JOURNAL, ASIATIC SOCIETY OF BENGAL, Pazr J,

FOR 1876. .

No. I.

The Prologue to the Ramayana of Tulsi Das. A specimen transla- tion.— By F. 8. Growsn, M. A., B.C.S.,

On Early Asiatic Fire Weapons. aig We Grae R. cae SP Oe Dee ee ee

Were the ies ‘hah in ancient times P—By H. BEvERIDGE,

B. C. Se ©0000 60 7O0e POR CEH COOH LOCOS COCCR SOC COC COTE FOO LEO CEH LOH COELHO COO Ee On Human Sacrifices m Ancient India—By RAsENDRALALA

Mites Dy, ass. Oe eis eee

No. II.

Description of a trip to the Gilgit Valley, a dependency of the Maharaja of Kashmir.—By Carr. H. C. Marsu, 18th Bengal Cavalry (with four plates),...

On the Ghalchah Languages (Wakhi ad Sarikol). ae R. B. Swaw,

Political Agent, late on special duty at Kashghar, ..,, ieee

No. III. Popular Songs of the Hamirpur District in Bundelkhand, N. W. P. No. IJ.—By Vincent A. Suirn, B. A., C. 8.0... ee eee

List of Rare Muhammadan Coins.—No. II. cae of the Kings of Dihli, Malwah, Bengal, Kulbarga, and oe J. G.

DrtmeErRicxK, Dihli, (with two plates)... The Bhars of Audh and Banaras. = By Pisses ies EGY, Commis.

plone’ OL dr ieare, Ad ae ss es

Page

71

76

119

139

279

291

297

Contents.

Page

Translations from the Diwan of Zip-un-nish Brcam, poetically styled ‘Maxuri’, daughter of the Emperor AvRAN GziB.—By P. WHALLEY, B. C. oe Muradabéd, noe ae og Sri Swami Hari Das of Brindaban. ae RB S. Gaowen M. A., = i. C.S., Guth one pie. vie... Hck oe Bakes ae nee Rec. Reply to several passages in Mr. Blochmann’s Contributions to the History and Geography of Bengal,” No. III.—By the Translator of the Tabakat-1-Nasiri, Major H. G. Ravzrry, BOUbay Army Ben VIO). catered x ca eciccas o oein wisn Vere Morals of Kalidasa.—By Pranndtu Panprt, M. A., An Imperial Assemblage at Delhi three thousand years ago. —By

RAJENDRALALA Mirra, LL. Ue pee ie ee

OSS a Rie oe eee tester

PRL OI OI OL IS WLIO IAS eh, ONO NANA AL NAS NA NENA INS EA IT LAL ALL AL AL

Oe a a ee

S PRA emir aan Se a SESE aoe _ _ 7 pane ree s ea e 3 Renan A te ech Aes 3 te 3 OE Mert it a at mas - ee eee eee ee : SER ee et ee Satie renee Sa gee SEL SE SALES PA SOO a OT Sk = : ; ; - Sy a a a a eS a ae eS = . . : - = - SS pre ae Sie ee SSS cascaial 3 SSS = ——— Fe <a ice "i ren seis —< See Sees MEE RS le ES Rete —— wee sai on a ee apes ao

LIST OF PLATES IN JOURNAL, ASIATIC SOCIETY OF BENGAL, Parr I,

FoR 1876.

\W Pl. I. (p. 185) View of Gaokuch. Pl. II. (p. 119) View of Mazena Pass. Pl III. (p. 186) View of the junction of the Karambar and Yassin

Rivers.

Pl. IV. (p. 119) Sketch Map of countries surrounding Gilgit. . Plates V and VI. (p. 291) Unpublished Muhammadan coins. \~ Pl. VII. (p. 812) Gateway of the Banke Bihari Lemple at Brinddban.

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Fels ares Sagres HIE, LEE EPP OPE es CLS a dies te

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IN

JOURNAL, ASIATIC SOCIETY OF BENGAL, Parr I,

FoR 1876.

Page 141, 1. 19, and p. 152, 1. 18, for zud read zit 4

143, 1. 150, 1.

27, for Jape read y 970

6 from below, for with the read with the house, and for in the houses

read with the houses

157, 1. 159, 1.

8, for kshon-t read kshon-at 26, for yu read yu

160, 1. 2, from below, for doing read taking 185, note, for khan and san, read khau and sau

186, 1. 186, 1. 188, 1. 188, 1. 332, 1. 334. |. 349, 1. 381, 1. 390, 1. 390, 1. 396, 1. 396, 1.

4,in column “Indian, Modern’, after apricot insert chir, Gappi 4. from below, in column Ghalchah”, for kashir read khshir 6, for shanidan read shunidan

5 from below, for karbey read khar-be7

23, for Shiam read Shiam

5, from below, for &mSX% reaa &suanS%

14, for we read he

20, for assembled read had assembled

22, for Raterindm read Ratninam

29, for gymnasium read gynaeceum

25, for scymitar read scimitar

26, dele comma after and

a

St ee oD EO SE erented eee

ty Ae 4 et ye tor ——~—

JOURNAL

ASIATIC SOCIETY OF BENGAL.

a ae

Part I.—-HISTORY, LITERATURE, &ec.

Nor 18 76"

PRPALSS CRESPO ALL

F See pak es a 2 MS

Lhe Prologue to the Ramayana of Tulsi Das. A Specimen translation. —By F. 8. Growsz, M. A., B. ©. S.

The Sanskrit Ramayana of Valmiki has been published more than once, _ with all the advantages of European editorial skill and the most luxurious typography. It has also been translated both in verse and prose, and—in part at least—into Latin as well as into Italian and English. The more popular Hindi version of the same great national Epic can only be read in lithograph or bazar print, and has never been translated in any form into any language whatever. Yet it is no unworthy rival of its more fortunate predecessor. There can of course be no comparison between the polished phraseology of classical Sanskrit and the rough colloquial idiom of Tulsi Das’s vernacular, while the antiquity of Valmiki’s poem further invests it with an adventitious interest for the student of Indian history. But on the other hand the Hindi poem is the best and most trustworthy guide to the popular living faith of the Hindu race at the present day—a matter of not less practical interest than-the creed of their remote ancestors—and its language, which in the course of three centuries has contracted a tinge of archaism, is a study of the greatest importance to the philologist, since it serves to bridge an otherwise impassable chasm between the modern style and the medieval. It is also less wordy and diffuse than the Sanskrit original, and—probably in consequence of its modern date—is less disfigured by wearisome interpolations and repetitions; while, if it never soars so high as Valmiki in some of his best passages, 1t maintains a more equable level of poetic diction and seldom sinks with him into such dreary depths of A.

Be Set tr 8 Rs Oe | ee Ort bee oy,

2 FS. Growse—TZhe Prologue to the Ramayana of Tulsi Das. {No L,

unmitigated prose. It must also be noted that it is in no sense a transla. tion of the earlier work: the general plan and the management of the in- cidents are necessarily much the same, but there is a difference in the touch in every detail ; and the two poems vary as widely as any two dramas on the same mythological subject by two ditterent Greek tragedians. Even the coincidence of name is an accident ; for Tulsi Das himself called his poem The Rém-charit-manas”’, and the shorter name, corresponding in form to the Iliad or Atneid, was only substituted by his admirers as a handier designation for a popular favourite.

The passage, of which a translation is here submitted, forms the In. troduction to the first book. It is at once of less obvious interest and also of much greater difficulty than the narrative portions of the poem. It is valuable, however, as a resumé of popular Hindu theology and metaphysics, and it supplies some personal details of the author’s. lite. Thus we learn from it that he studied at Soron, and commenced writing at Ayudhy4 on the festival of Réma’s birthday in the Sambat year 1631, corresponding to 1575, A.D. We need not suppose that he remained long at Ayudhya, for according to tradition the main body of the poem was composed at Chitraktt. His vindication of himself against his critics is a curious feature. They attacked him for lowering the dignity of his subject by cloth- ing it in the vulgar vernacular. However just his defence may be, it did not succeed in converting the opposite faction ; and the professional Sans- krit Pandits, who are their modern representatives, still affect to despise his work as an unworthy concession to the illiterate masses. With this small and solitary exception the book is in every one’s hands, from the court to the cottage, and is read or heard and appreciated alike by every class of the Hindu community, whether high or low, rich or poor, young or old. ‘The purity of its moral sentiments and the absolute avoidance of the slightest approach to any pruriency of idea—which the author justly advances among his distinctive merits—render it a singularly unexceptionable text-book for native boys. For several years past I have persistently urged its adoption upon the Education Department, and—thanks to Raja Siva Prasid—extracts from it have now been introduced into our primary schools. It has always been prescribed as the principal test in the Civil Examination for High Profici- ency and a Degree of Honour ; and if is equally well adapted for both these apparently incongruous purposes. Fora Hindu child generally grasps at once the familiar idiom and finds no great difficulty i even the most crab- bed passage; while on the other hand both the terminology and the syntactic collocation of the words are in the highest degree perplexing to the European student. The reason is, that an English official as a rule knows only the language of the courts, and has never studied the vernacular of the people: for which neglect he has hitherto had much excuse in the

is Ss RG LORE Eis ae Sad Rn ESS, % mS ;

1876.] F. S. Growse—The Prologue to the Ramayana of Tulst Das. 8

absence both of a Dictionary and a Grammar. The former want is in course of being supplied by Dr. Fallon ; and the latter by Mr. Kelloge of the Allahabad Mission, who has nearly completed a work. that promises from the pages I have seen, to be in a remarkable degree both lucid and exhaustive.

It will, I think, be admitted that a poem of such manifold interest should no longer be withheld from the English reader ; and the advantages in the way of criticisms and suggestions which I hope to secure from its being generally known that a translation is in progress will, I trust, bea sufficient excuse for occupying so many pages with the following specimen. The notes that I have added are more explanatory than would be required by the mem- bers of a learned Society, but they may be found useful by the general public, and I have therefore retained them in their place ; since I would have the specimen represent as closely as possible the exact form which it is intended the complete work should assume.

Boox I.—CnrripHoop. Sanskrit Invocation.

I reverence the Goddess of Speech and the Divine Guide,* who are the inventors of the alphabet ; of multiform expression ; of the poetic modes and of metre. I reverence Bhavdni and Sankara, the incarnation of Faith and Hope, without whom not even the just can see Gop the great Spirit. I re- verence as the incarnation of Sankara the all wise Guru, through whom even the crescent moon is everywhere honoured.t I reverence the king of Bardsf and the Monkey-king, of pure intelligence, who ever lingered with delight in the holy forest land of Rama and Sitd’s infinite perfection. I bow before Sita, the beloved of Rama ; the queen of birth, of life and death; the de- stroyer of sorrow; the cause of happiness. I reverence, under his name of Rama, the Lord Hari; supreme over all causes ; to whose illusive power are subject the whole universe and every supernatural being from Brahma downwards ; by whose light truth is made manifest, as when what appeared to be a snake turns out a rope ; and by whose feet as by a bark those who

* By Vani, the goddess of speech and Vindyaka, the guide, are certainly in- tended the divinities ordinarily so designated, viz. Sarasvati and Ganesa. The trans- lation, however, leaves it open; since some of the Hindu commentators conceive that in this particular passage the reference is rather to Sité and Lakshman.

+ The crescent moon, being one of Sankara’s (i. e. Siva’s) constant symbols, ig honoured on his account, though in itself imperfect; while the full moon is honout- ed for its own sake. :

{ The king of bards is V4lmiki, the reputed author of the Sanskrit Ramayana. The monkey king is of course Hanuman, and the two are brought together more on account of the close similarity of name than for any other reason; Kaviswara and Kapisvara differing only by a single letter.

4 E.8. Growse—The Prologue to the Rémayana of Tulsi Das. (No. 1,

will, may pass safely over the ocean of existence. In accord with all the

Puranas and different sacred texts and with what has been recorded in the

Ramayana (of Valmiki) and elsewhere, I Tulsi to gratify my own heart’s

desire have composed these lays of Raghunath in most choice and elegant

modern speech. ) Soratha 1.

O Ganes of the grand elephant head, the mention of whose name en- sures success, be gracious to me, accumulation of wisdom, store-house of all good qualities ! Thou too, by whose favour the dumb becomes eloquent and the lame can climb the vastest mountain, be favourable to me, O thou that consumest as a fire all the impurities of this iron age. Take up thy abode also in my heart, O thou that slumberest on the milky ocean, with body dark as the lotus and eyes bright as the water lily. O spouse ot Uma, clear of hue as the jasmine or the moon, home of compassion, who shewest pity to the humble, shew pity upon me, O destroyer of Kémadeva. I reverence the lotus feet of my master, that ocean of benevolence, Hari incarnate, whose words are like a flood of sunlight on the darkness of ig- norance and intatuation.*

Chaupie.

I reverence the pollen-like dust of the lotus feet of my master, bright, fragrant, sweet and delicious ; pure extract of the root of ambrosia, potent to disperse all the attendant ills of life ; like the holy ashes on the divine body of Sambhu, beautiful, auspicious, ecstatic. Applied to the forehead as a tilak, 1b cleanses from defilement the fair mirror of the human mind and enriches it with all the virtues of the Master. By recalling the lustre of the nails of the reverend guru’s feet, a divine splendour illumines the soul, dispersing the shades of error with its sun-like glory. How blessed he who takes it to his heart! the mental vision brightens and expands, the night of the world with its sin and pain fades away; the actions of Rama,f

like diamonds and rubies, whether obvious or obscure, all alike become clear, in whichever direction the mine is explored.

Doha 1. | By applying this collyrium as it were to the eyes, all good and holy men see and understand his sportive career when on earth, on mountain or in forest, and all the treasures of his orace.

* The persons addressed in this stanza are Ganes, Sarasvati, Narayan, and the ‘poet’s own spiritual instructor, or guru. _ + The simple actions are compared to rubies, which may be picked up on the sur-

face of the ground; the mysterious actions to diamonds, which have to be dug out of a mine.

1876.| fF. S. Growse—The Prologue to the Rdmdyana of Tulsi Das. 5

Chaupat.

The dust of the guru’s feet is a soft and charming ecollyrium, like ambrosia for the eyes, to remove every defect of vision. With this having purified the eyes of my understanding, T proceed to relate the actions of Rama, the redeemer of the world. First I reverence the feet of the creat Brahman saints, potent to remove the doubts engendered by error. In my heart as with my voice I reverence the whole body of the Faithful, mines of perfection ; whose good deeds resemble the fruit of the cotton-plant in austerity, purity, and manifold uses, and in painful cleansing from impuri- ties: reverence to them, whatever the age or clime in which their glory was consummated. An assembly of the saints is all joy and felicity, like the creat terath Prayag endowed with motion ; for faith in Réma is as the stream of the Ganges ; contemplation on Brahma as the Sarasvati ; and ritual, deal- ing with precepts and prohibitions for the purification of this iron age, as the sun-god’s daughter the Jamun4. The united flood of the Tribeni is represented by the legends of Hari and of Hara, filling all that hear with delight : the sacred fig tree by faith firm in its own traditions ; and Praydg

itself by the assembly of the virtuous. Easy of access to all, on any day,

at any place, curing all the ills of pious devotees, is this unspeakable, spiri- tual chief ¢erath, of manifest virtue and yielding immediate fruit.

Doha 2.

At this Prayag of holy men, whoever hears and understands and in spirit devoutly bathes, receives even in this life all four rewards.*

Chaupat. | In an instant behold the result of the immersion; the crow becomes a parrot and the goose a swan. Let no one marvel at hearing this, for the in- fluence of good company is no mystery. Valmiki, Ndrad and the jar-born Agastyay have told its effect upon themselves. Whatever moves in the water

or on the earth or in the air; every creature in the world, whether animate or inanimate, that has attaied to knowledge, or glory, or salvation, or power,

* The four rewards are kdma, artha, dharma, moksha ; that is, pleasure, wealth, religious merit, and final salvation.

t+ Valmiki confessed to Réma that he had once been a hunter and had taken the life of many innocent creatures, till he fell in with the seven Rishis, who converted him and taught him to express his penitence by constantly repeating the word mara, mara. As this is Rama read backwards, it acted as a spell and advanced him to the highest degree of sanctity.

Similarly Narad confessed to Vyasa, the author of the Puranas, that he was by birth only the son of a poor slave-girl, and had become a saint simply by eating the fragments of food left by the holy men who frequented his master’s house.

Agastya also declared to Mahddeva that by birth he was the meanest of all crea- tures, and had only attained to miraculous powers by the influence of good company.

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6 FS. Growse—The Prologue to the Rémdyana of Tulsi Das. [No 1,

or virtue, by any work, at any time or place, has triumphed through associa. tion with the good ; neither the world nor the Veda knows of any other expedient. Intercourse with the good is attainable only by the blessing of Rama, and without it wisdom 1s impossible: it is the root of all 4 joy and felicity, its flowers are good works and its fruit perfection. By it the wick. ed are reformed, as by the touch of the philosopher’s stone a vile metal be.

comes gold. If by mischance a good man falls into evil company, like the jewel in a serpent’s head, he still retains his character. Brahma, Vishnu, Ma- ~ hadeva; the wisest of the poets; all have failed to describe the supremacy of ibaa: for me to tell it is as 1b were for a costermonger to expatiate

on the eee of a set of jewels.

Doha 8-4:

I reverence the saints of equable temperament, who regard neither friend nor foe ; like a gracious flower which sheds its fragrance alike on both infolding hands.* Ye Saints, whose upright intention, whose catholic charity and whose ready sympathy I acknowledge, hear my child-like prayer, be gracious to me and inspire me with devotion to the feet of Réma.

Chaupar. |

Again, I would propitiate those saintly wretches} who without a cause swerve right or left; with whom a neighbour’s loss is gain; who rejoice in desolation and weep over prosperity ; who are as an eclipse to the full-moon glory of Hari and Hara; who become as a giant with a thousand arms to

work another’s woe; who have a thousand eyes to detect a neighbour’s

faults, but, like flies on ghz, settle on his good points only to spoil them; quick as fire, relentless as hell; rich in crime and sin as Kuver is in gold; like an eclipse for the clouding of friendship, and as dead asleep as Kumbha- karant to everything good ; if they can do any injury, as ready to sacrifice themselves as hailstones, that melt after destroying a crop ; spiteful as the great serpent, with a thousand tongues ; and like Prithuraj,§ with a thou- sand ears, to tell and hear of others’ faults; like the thousand- eyed Indra, too, ever delighting in much strong drink ane in a voice of thunder.

* ‘Though the right hand is the one by which it has been plucked, and the left that in which it is held and preserved.

+ In the following lines the poet defends himself by anticipation against possible Bea and roundly abuses the whole army of critics.

{ Ravan’s gigantic brother, Kumbha-karan, obtained as a boon from uli that iene he had satisfied his voracious appetite, the slumber of repletion might be of the longest and deepest, and that he might only wake to eat again.

§ It is not related that Prithuraj had really ten thousand ears, but only that he prayed that he might be as quick to hear whatever redounded to the glory of God as if his ears were so many.

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1876.| F.8. Growse—The Prologue to the Rémdyana of Tulsi Dds. 7

Doha 5.

I know when they hear of philosophers, who regard friend and foe both as Iriends, they are enraged ; but I clasp my hands and entreat them pite- ously.

Chaupia. )

_ I have performed the réle of supplication, nor will they forget their part. However carefully you may bring up a crow, it will still be a crow and a thiet. I propitiate at once the feet of saints and sinners, who each give pain, but with a difference: for the first kill by absence, while the second torture by their presence : as opposite as a lotus and a leech, though both alike are produced in water. Good and bad thus resemble nectar and intoxicating drink, which were both begotten by the one great ocean :* each by its own acts attains to pre-eminence ; the one in glory, the other in dis- grace: compare with the good, ambrosia, or the moon, or the Ganges ; and with the bad, poison, or fire, or the river Karmndsd4. Virtue and vice may be known to all by their natural development.

Doha 6. The good acquire goodness, and the vile vileness. Thus ambrosia has its proper effect in immortality, and poison has its effect in death.

Chaupat.

Why enumerate the faults and defects of the bad and the virtues of the good ; both are a boundless and unfathomable ocean. Hence occasion- ally virtue is reckoned as vice, improperly and from want of discrimination. For God has created both, but it is the Veda that has distinguished one from the other. The heroic legends and the Puranas also, no less than the Vedas, recognize every kind of good and evil as creatures of the creator, pain and pleasure, sin and religious merit ; night and day; saint and sinner ; high caste and low caste ; demons and gods; great and small; life-giving ambro- sia and deadly poison ; the visible world and the invisible God ; life and the

* The churning of the ocean is one of the common-places of Hindu poetry, and the allusions to itin the Réméyana are innumerable. With mount Mandara as a churning- stick, the great serpent Vasuki as a rope, and Narayan himself in tortoise-form as the pivot on which to work, the gods and demons combined to churn the milky ocean. Thus were produced from its depth the moon; the sacred cow, Surabhi or K4ma-dhe- nu; the goddess of wine, Waruni; the tree of Paradise, Parijéta, or Kalpa-taru ; the heavenly nymphs, the Apsards; the goddess of beauty, Lakhsmi or Sri; and the physician of the gods, Dhanvantari. The cup of nectar which the latter held in his hand was seized and quaffed by the gods ; while the poison, which also was produced, was ei- ther claimed by the snake gods, or swallowed by Mahadeva ; whence comes the blackness of his throat, that gives him the name of Vil Kanth.

8 F.8. Growse—The Prologue to the Rémiyana of Tulsi Dds. (No. 1,

lord of life ; rich and poor ; the beggar and the king; Kasi and Magadha ;* the Ganges and the Karmnasaé; the desert of Marwar and the rich plain of Malw4; the Brahman and the butcher ; heaven and hell; sensual pas- sion and asceticism ; the Vedas and the Tantras, and every variety of good and evil.

Doha 7.

The creator has made the universe to consist of things animate and inanimate, good and evil: a saint ike a swan takes the milk of goodness and rejects the worthless water.f

Chawpit.

When the creator gives men this faculty of judgment, they abandon error and become enamoured otf the truth ; but conquered by time, tempera- ment, or fate, even the good, as a result of their humanity, may err from virtue ; but Hari takes their body so to speak and corrects it, and removing all sorrow and sin cleanses it and glorifies them. If the bad through inter- course with the good do good, their inherent badness is not effaced. An impostor of fair outward show may be honoured on account of his garb, but in the end he 1s exposed and does not succeed ; like Kéla-nemi, or Ravan, or

Rahu.{ The good are honoured notwithstanding their mean appearance, like the bear Jamavant or the monkey Hanumén. Bad company is loss and good company 1s gain’; this is a truth recognized both by the world and the Veda. In company with the wind the dust flies heavenwards ; if it joins water, it becomes mud and sinks. According to the character of the house in which a parrot or maina is trained, it learns either to repeat the name of Rama or to give abuse. With the ignorant, soot is mere refuse; but it may make good ink and be used even for copying a Purana; while water, fire, and air combined become an earth-refreshing rain-cloud.

Dohé 8-11.

The planets, medicines, water, air, clothes, all are good or bad things according as their accompaniments are good or bad; and people observe this distinction. Both lunar fortnights are equal as regards darkness and light ; but a difference in name has been wisely made, and as the moon waxes or wanes the fortnight is held in high or low esteem. Knowing

* Magadha (Bihar) is taken ag the opposite to Kasi, in consequence of its being the birth-place of Buddhism.

+ To the swan (rdj-hans) is ascribed the fabulous faculty of being able to separate milk from water, after the two have been mixed together.

{ Kala-nemi by assuming the form of an ascetic imposed for a time upon Hanu- man, a8 Ravan did upon Sité: and even Vishnu, at the churning of the ocean, was at first deceived by Rahu, who appeared like one of the gods.

~ Po Oe —— er. 72 : < neat nln "7 ~ - = : RRS SiS in ce wr A cl Saat CER tt ah abana cacaieeattaimaantte a SE EE SSE SS ae . = . » . - ene ot . - SS tee a a ea ee ee i : - a Sok ee A ee OS 4 ge

1876.| F.S. Growse—The Prologue to the Ramayana of Tulsi Dds. 9

Ay that the whole universe, whether animate or inanimate, is pervaded by the Hk spirit of Rama, I reverence with clasped hands the lotus feet of all, sods, fy giants, men, serpents, birds, ghosts, departed ancestors, Gandharvas, Kinnaras,

demons of the night ; I pray ye all be gracious to me. | Chaupai. haley By four modes of birth* are produced 84 lakhs of species inhabiting Pony, the air, the water and the earth. With clasped hands I perform an act of adoration, recognizing the whole world as pervaded by the spirit of Sité and Rama. In your compassion regard me as your servant, and dissembling no longer be kind and affectionate. I have no confidence in the strength of

Lncnetertnretnentrsemat trent tester A AAs lath a“ nares ys inition ar netroots et

tay my own wisdom, and therefore I supplicate you all. I would narrate the ty sreat deeds of Raghupati ; but my ability is little and his acts unfathomable. ery I am not conscious of any special qualification or capacity ; my intellect in ea short 1s beggarly while my ambition is imperial ; and I am thirsting for nec- hi tar, when not even skim milk is to be had. Good people all, pardon my pre- el | sumption and listen to my childish babbling, as a father and mother delight ath to hear the lisping prattle of their little one. Perverse and malignant fools fara may laugh, who pick out faults in others wherewith to adorn themselves. Every peat one is pleased with his own rhymes, whether they be pungent, or insipid ; but iss those who praise another’s voice are good men, of whom there are few in the ant world ; there are many enough like the rivers, which on getting a rain-fall | tt swell out a flood of their own, but barely one like the senerous ocean, which | tp bt swells on beholding the fulness of the moon. : ist Doha 12. i 4 My lot is low, my purpose high ; but I am confident of one thing, that a the good will be gratified to hear me, though fools may laugh. Chaupai.

The laughter of fools will be grateful to me: the crow calls the foil’s 4 te voice harsh. The goose ridicules the swan, and the frog the chdtak ; so the ie low and vile abuse pure verse. As they have no taste for poetry nor love for aps! Rama, I am glad that they should laugh. If my homely speech and poor ys wit are fit subjects for laughter, let them laugh ; it is no fault of mine. If

Kut they have no understanding of true devotion to the Lord, the tale will seem insipid enough: but to the true and orthodox worshippers of Hari and asl Hara the story of Raghubar will be sweet as honey. The singer’s devotion

* The four ékaras, or modes of birth are named Pindaja or viviparous ; andaja or Oviparous ; swedaja, born in sweat like lice; and udbhijja, produced by sprouting, , like a tree. The 84 lakhs of species are divided as follows: 9 lakhs of aquatic crea- tures, 27 lakhs of those attached to the earth, 11 lakhs of insects, 10 lakhs of birds, 23 lakhs of quadrupeds, and 4 lakhs of men. The literal meaning of dkara being a mine, Ahani which has the same primary signification, 1s used for it in Chaupdi 44.

B

Si a ngs ee ee oe yee Bes

i0 F.S. Growse—The Prologue to the Rémdyana of Tulsi Das. [No. 1,

to Rama will by itself be sufficient embellishment to make the good hear and praise his melody. Though no poet, nor clever, nor accomplished ; though unskilled in every art and science ; though all the elegant Aone of letters and rhetoric, and the inten variations of metre, and the inf- nite divisions of sentiment and style, and all the defects and excellencies of verse and the gift to distinguish between them are unknown to me, I de- clare and record it on a fair white sheet— Doha 13.

That though my style has not a single charm of ifs own, 1t hasa charm known throughout the world, which men of discernment will ponder as they read—

Chaup ie.

The gracious name of Raghupati; all-purifying essence of the Purdnag. and the Veda, abode of all that 1s auspicious, destroyer of all that is inaus. picious, ever murmured in prayer by Uma and the great T'ripurari. The most elegant composition of the most talented poet gives no pleasure, if the name of Rama is not m it ; in the same way as a lovely woman adorned with the richest jewels 1s an if unclothed. But the most worthless pro- duction of the feeblest versifier, 1f adorned with the name of Rama, is heard and repeated with reverence by the wise, like bees gathering honey : though the poetry has not a single merit, the glory of Réma is manifested in it. This is the confidence which has possessed my soul: is there anything which good company fails to exalt? Thus smoke forgets its natural pun- gency, and with incense yields a sweet scent. My language is that in vul-

gar use, but my subject is the highest, the story of Rama, enrapturing the

world. Chhand 1.*

Though rapturous lays befit his praise, who cleansed a world accurst,

Yet Tulsi’s rivulet of song may slake a traveller’s thirst.

How pure and blest on Siva’s breast shew the vile stains of earth !

So my poor song flows bright and strong illumed by Réma’s worth.

Doha 14. 15.

From its connection with the glory of Rama, my verse will be most grateful to every one; when you apply sandal to your forehead, do you think of it as merely a production of wood ? Though a cow be black, its milk is pure and wholesome and all men drink it ; and so, though my speech is

% A Chhand is generally a somewhat enthusiastic outburst, in which the oft-re- peated rhyme is a little apt to run away with the sense. Whenever one occurs, I shall indicate its special character by giving it a metrical version. Its first line always re- peats some word that occurred in the last line of the preceding stanza.

et SFY ween: at Pe ieSese gat oe AS FS

1876.| F.8. Growse—The Prologue to the Rimayana of Tulsi Dés. 11

rough, it tells the glory of Sita and Rama, and will therefore be heard and repeated with pleasure by sensible people. Chaupat.

A diamond in a serpent’s head, a ruby on a mountain top, a pearl in an elephant’s head are all without beauty; but in a king’s diadem or on a lovely woman they are lustrous in the extreme. Similarly, as wise men tell, poetry is born below, but inspired from above; for it is in answer to pious prayer that the muse leaves her heavenly abode and speeds to earth ; without immersion in the fountain of Réma’s deeds, all labour and trouble count for nothing. A sensible poet understands this, and sings only of Hari, the redeemer, and his virtues. To recount the doings of common peopleis mere idle beating of the head, which the muse loaths. Genius is as 1b were a shell in the sea of the soul, waiting for the October rain of Inspiration ; if a gracious shower falls, each drop is a pearl of poetry :

Doha 16.

Then dexterously pierced and strung together on the thread of Rama’s adventures, they form a beautiful chain to be worn on a good man’s breast.

Chaupa.

Men born in ‘this grim iron age are outwardly swans, but inwardly as black as crows ; walking in evil paths, abandoning the Veda, embodiments of falsehood, vessels of impurity, hypocrites, professing devotion to Rama, but slaves of gold, of passion and of lust. Among them I give the first place to myself, a hypocrite alas! of the very first rank ; but were I to tell all my vices, the list would so grow that it would have no end. I have therefore said but very little, but a word is enough for the wise. Let none of my hearers blame me for offering so many apologies ; whoever is trou- bled in mind by them is more stupid and dull of wit than I am myself. Though I am no poet and have no pretensions to cleverness, I sing as best 1 can the virtues of Rama. How unfathomable his actions, how shallow my poor world-entangled intellect! Before the strong wind that could uproot mount Meru, of what account is such a mere flock of cotton as I am? When I think of R4ma’s infinite majesty, I tremble as I write.

Doha 17. |

For Sarasvati, Sesh-nag, Siva and Brahma, the Shastras, the Veda, the

Puranas, all are unceasingly singing his perfection, yet fail to declare it. Chaupat. All know the greatness of the Lord, yet none can refrain from repeat-

ing it. For this reason the Veda also has declared many different modes of effectual worship. There is one Gop, passionless, formless, wncreated, the

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