A sketchbook Ramayana – 1

Edward Ernest, an American art student, has started a series of Ramayana sketches inspired by his love of the story.  This first one is of Rama and Hanuman, just after they first meet in Kishkinda, as told in Kishkinda Kanda (Book 4) chapters 3 and 4:

Edward Ernest Ramayana 1

Here’s a (very dated I’m afraid – from the 1870s) translation of their meeting, by Ralph T.H. Griffith.  Below this is a transliterated version taken from the Gretil site.

Chapter 3

The envoy in his faithful breast
Pondered Sugrivá’s high behest.
From Rishyamúka’s peak he hied
And placed him by the princes’ side.
The Wind-God’s son with cautious art
Had laid his Vánar form apart,
And wore, to cheat the strangers eyes,
A wandering mendicant’s disguise. 

Before the heroes’ feet he bent
And did obeisance reverent,
And spoke, the gloirious pair to praise,
His words of truth in courteous phrase,
High honour duly paid, the best
Of all the Vánar kind addressed,
With free accord and gentle grace,
Those glories of their warrior race:
   ‘O hermits, blest in vows, who shine
Like royal saints or Gods divine,
O best of young ascetics, say
How to this spot you found your way,
Scaring the troops of wandering deer
And silvan things that harbour here
Searching amid the trees that grow
Where Pampá’s gentle waters flow.
And lending from your brows a gleam
Of glory to the lovely stream.
Who are you, say, so brave and fair.
Clad in the bark which hermits wear?
I see you have the frequent sigh,
I see the deer before you fly.
While you, for strength and valour dread,
The earth, like lordly lions, tread,
Each bearing in his hand a bow,
Like Indra’s own, to slay the foe,
With the grand paces of bull,
So bright and young and beautiful
The mighty arms you raise appear
Like trunks which elephants uprear,
And as you move this mountain-king 
Is glorious with the light you bring.
How have you reached, like Gods in face,
Best lords of earth, this lonely place,

With tresses coiled in hermit guise, 
And splendours of those lotus eyes?
As God’s who leave their heavenly sphere,
Alike your beauteous forms appear.
Tne Lords of Day and Night might thus
Stray from the skies to visit us.
Heroic youth, so broad of chest,
Fair with the beauty of the Blest,
With lion shoulders, tall and strong,
Like bulls who lead the lowing throng.
Your arms, unmatched for grace and length,
With massive clubs may vie in strength.
Why do no gauds those limbs adorn
Where priceless gems were meetly worn?
Each noble youth is fit, I deem,
To guard this earth, as lord supreme,
With all her woods and seas, to reign
From Meru’s peak to Vindhya’s chain.
Your smooth bows decked with dyes and gold
Are glorious in their masters’ hold,
And with the arms of Indra  3 vie
Which diamond splendours beautify.
Your quivers glow with golden sheen,
Well stored with arrows fleet and keen,
Each gleaming like a flery snake
That joys the foeman’s life to take.
As serpents cast their sloughs away
And all their new born sheen display,
So flash your mighty swords inlaid
With burning gold on hilt and blade.
Why are you silent, heroes? Why
My questions hear nor deign reply?
Sugríva, lord of virtuous mind.
The foremost of the Vánar kind.
An exile from his royal state,
Roams through the land disconsolate.
I Hanumán, of Vánar race,
Sent by the king have sought this place,
For he, the pious, just, and true.
In friendly league would join with you.
Know, godlike youths, that I am one
Of his chief lords, the Wind-God’s son.
With course unchecked I roam will,
And now from Rishyamúka’s hill.
To please his heart, his hope to speed,
I came disguised in beggar’s weed.’
   Thus Hanumán, well trained in lore
Of language spoke, and said no more.
The son of Raghu joyed to hear
The envoy’s speech, and bright of cheer
He turned to Lakshman by his side,
And thus in words of transport cried:
   ‘The counselor we now behold
Of King Sugríva righteous souled. 

His face I long have yearned to see,
And now his envoy comes to me
With sweetest words in courteous phrase
Answer this mighty lord who slays
His foemen, by Sugríva sent.
This Vánar chief most eloquent.
For one whose words so sweetly flow
The whole Rig-veda needs must know,
And in his well-trained memory store
The Yajush and the Sáman’s lore.
He must have bent his faithful ear
All grammar’s varied rules to hear.
For his long speech how well he spoke!
In all its length no rule he broke.
In eye, on brow, in all his face
The keenest look no guile could trace.
No change of hue, no pose of limb
Gave sign that aught was false in him.
Concise, unfaltering, sweet and clear,
Without a word to pain the ear.
From chest to throat, nor high nor low,
His accents came in measured flow.
How well he spoke with perfect art
That wondrous speech that charmed the heart,
With finest skill and order graced
In words that knew nor pause nor haste!
That speech, with consonants that spring
From the three seats of uttering, 
Would charm the spirit of a foe
Whose sword is raised for mortal blow.
How may a ruler’s plan succeed
Who lacks such envoy good at need?
How fail, if one whose mind is stored
With gifts so rare assist his lord?
What plans can fail, with wisest speech
Of envoy’s lips to further each?’
   Thus Ráma spoke: and Lakshman, taught
In all the art that utters thought,
To King Súgríva’s learned spy
Thus made his eloquent reply:
‘Full well we know the gifts that grace
Sugríva, lord of Vánar race,
And hither turn our wandering feet
That we that high-souled king may meet
So now our pleasant task shall be
To do the words he speaks by thee.’

vaco vijñāya hanumān sugrīvasya mahātmanaḥ
parvatād ṛśyamūkāt tu pupluve yatra rāghavau
sa tatra gatvā hanumān balavān vānarottamaḥ
upacakrāma tau vāgbhir mṛdvībhiḥ satyavikramaḥ
svakaṃ rūpaṃ parityajya bhikṣurūpeṇa vānaraḥ
ābabhāṣe ca tau vīrau yathāvat praśaśaṃsa ca
rājarṣidevapratimau tāpasau saṃśitavratau
deśaṃ katham imaṃ prāptau bhavantau varavarṇinau
trāsayantau mṛgagaṇān anyāṃś ca vanacāriṇaḥ
pampātīraruhān vṛkṣān vīkṣamāṇau samantataḥ
imāṃ nadīṃ śubhajalāṃ śobhayantau tarasvinau
dhairyavantau suvarṇābhau kau yuvāṃ cīravāsasau
siṃhaviprekṣitau vīrau siṃhātibalavikramau
śakracāpanibhe cāpe pragṛhya vipulair bhujaiḥ
śrīmantau rūpasaṃpannau vṛṣabhaśreṣṭhavikramau
hastihastopamabhujau dyutimantau nararṣabhau
prabhayā parvatendro ‘yaṃ yuvayor avabhāsitaḥ
rājyārhāv amaraprakhyau kathaṃ deśam ihāgatau
padmapatrekṣaṇau vīrau jaṭāmaṇḍaladhāriṇau
anyonyasadṛśau vīrau devalokād ivāgatau
yadṛcchayeva saṃprāptau candrasūryau vasuṃdharām
viśālavakṣasau vīrau mānuṣau devarūpiṇau
siṃhaskandhau mahāsattvau samadāv iva govṛṣau
āyatāś ca suvṛttāś ca bāhavaḥ parighottamāḥ
sarvabhūṣaṇabhūṣārhāḥ kim arthaṃ na vibhūṣitaḥ
ubhau yogyāv ahaṃ manye rakṣituṃ pṛthivīm imām
sasāgaravanāṃ kṛtsnāṃ vindhyameruvibhūṣitām
ime ca dhanuṣī citre ślakṣṇe citrānulepane
prakāśete yathendrasya vajre hemavibhūṣite
saṃpūrṇā niśitair bāṇair tūṇāś ca śubhadarśanāḥ
jīvitāntakarair ghorair jvaladbhir iva pannagaiḥ
mahāpramāṇau vipulau taptahāṭakabhūṣitau
khaḍgāv etau virājete nirmuktabhujagāv iva
evaṃ māṃ paribhāṣantaṃ kasmād vai nābhibhāṣathaḥ
sugrīvo nāma dharmātmā kaś cid vānarayūthapaḥ
vīro vinikṛto bhrātrā jagad bhramati duḥkhitaḥ
prāpto ‘haṃ preṣitas tena sugrīveṇa mahātmanā
rājñā vānaramukhyānāṃ hanumān nāma vānaraḥ
yuvābhyāṃ saha dharmātmā sugrīvaḥ sakhyam icchati
tasya māṃ sacivaṃ vittaṃ vānaraṃ pavanātmajam
bhikṣurūpapraticchannaṃ sugrīvapriyakāmyayā
ṛśyamūkād iha prāptaṃ kāmagaṃ kāmarūpiṇam
evam uktvā tu hanumāṃs tau vīrau rāmalakṣmaṇau
vākyajñau vākyakuśalaḥ punar novāca kiṃ cana
etac chrutvā vacas tasya rāmo lakṣmaṇam abravīt
prahṛṣṭavadanaḥ śrīmān bhrātaraṃ pārśvataḥ sthitam
sacivo ‘yaṃ kapīndrasya sugrīvasya mahātmanaḥ
tam eva kāṅkṣamāṇasya mamāntikam upāgataḥ
tam abhyabhāṣa saumitre sugrīvasacivaṃ kapim
vākyajñaṃ madhurair vākyaiḥ snehayuktam ariṃdamam

 

 

Chapter 4
His prudent speech the Vánar heard,
And all his heart with joy was stirred.
And hope that league with them would bring
Redress and triumph to his king.

Cheered by the words that Ráma spoke,
Joy in the Vánar’s breast awoke,
And, as his friendly mood he knew,
His thoughts to King Sugriva flew:
‘ Again,’ he mused,’my high-sou’ed lord
Shall rule, to kingly state restored;
Since one so mighty comes to save,
And freely gives the help we crave.”
Then joyous Hanumán, the best
Of all the Vánar kind, addressed
These words to Ráma, trained of yore
In all the arts of speakers’ lore:  
‘Why do your feet this forest tread
By silvan life inhabited,
This awful maze of tree and thorn
Which Pampá’s flowering groves adorn?
   He spoke: obedient to the eye
Of Ráma Lakshman made reply,
The name and fortune to unfold
Of Raghu’s son the lofty-souled:
‘True to the law, of fame unstained,
The glorious Das’aratha reigned.
And, steadfast in his duty, long
Kept the four castes from scathe and wrong.
Through his wide realm his will was done,
And, loved by all, he hated none.
Just to each creature great and small,
Like the Good Sire he cared for all.
The Agnishtom, as priests advised,

And various rites he solemnized.
Where ample largess ever paid
The Brahmans for their holy aid.
Here Ráma stands, his heir by birth,
Whose name is glorious in the earth:
Sure refuge he of all oppressed,
Most faithful to his sire’s behest.
He, Das’aratha’s eldest born
Whom gifts above the rest adorn,
Lord of each high imperial sign,  1b
The glory of his kingly line,
Reft of his right, expelled from home,
Came forth with me the woods to roam,
And Sitá too, his faithful dame,
Forth with her virtuous husband came,
Like the sweet light when day is done
Still cleaving to her lord the sun.
And me his sweet perfections drew
To follow as his servant true.
Named Lakshman, brother of my lord
Of grateful heart with knowledge stored
Most meet is he all bliss to share,
Who makes the good of all his care.
While, power and lordship caat away,
In the wild wood he chose to stay,
A giant came,–his name unknown,–
And stole the princess left alone.
Then Dití’s son  who, cursed of yore.
The semblance of a Rakshas wore,
To King Sugríva bade us turn
The robber’s name and home to learn.
For he, the Vánar chief, would know
The dwelling of our secret foe.
Such words of hope spake Dití’s son,
And sought the heaven his deeds had won.
Thou hast my tale. From first to last
Thine ears have heard whate’er has past.
Rama the mighty lord and I
For refuge to Sugríva fly.
The prince whose arm bright glory gained.
O’er the whole earth as monarch reigned,
And richest gifts to others gave,
Is come Sugríva’s help to crave;
Son of a king the surest friend
Of virtue, him who loved to lend
His succour to the suffering weak,
Is come Sugríva’s aid to seek.
Yes, Raghu’s son whose matchless hand
Protected all this sea-girt land,
The virtuous prince, my holy guide,
For refuge seeks Sugríva’s side.
His favour sent on great and small
Should ever save and prosper all.
He now to win Sugríva’s grace
Has sought his woodland dwelling-place.

Son of a king of glorious fame;–
Who knows not Das’aratha’s name?–
From whom all princes of the earth
Received each honour due to worth;–
Heir of that best of earthly kings,
Ráma the prince whose glory rings
Through realms below and earth and skies,
For refuge to Sugríva flies.
Nor should the Vánar king refuse
The boon for which the suppliant sues,
But with his forest legions speed
To save him in his utmost need.
   Sumitrá’s son, his eyes bedewed
With piteous tears, thus sighed and sued.
Then, trained in all the arts that guide
The speaker, Hanumán replied:
   ‘Yea, lords like you of wisest thought,
Whom happy fate has hither brought,
Who vanquish ire and rule each sense,
Must of our lord have audience.
Reft of his kingdom, sad, forlorn,
Once Báli’s hate now Báli’s scorn,
Defeated, severed from his spouse,
Wandering under forest boughs,
Child of the Sun, our lord and king
Sugríva will his succours bring,
And all our Vánar hosts combined
Will trace the dame you long to find.’
   With gentle tone and winning grace
Thus spake the chief of Vánar race,
And then to Raghu’s son he cried:
‘Come, haste we to Sugrivá’s side.’
   He spoke, and for his words so sweet
Good Lakshman’ paid all honour meet;
Then turned and cried to Raghu’s son:
‘Now deem thy task already done,
Because this chief of Vánar kind,
Son of the God who rules the wind,
Declares Sugríva’s self would be
Assisted in his need by thee.
Bright gleams of joy his cheek o’erspread
As each glad word of hope he said;
And ne’er will one so valiant deign
To cheer our hearts with hope in vain.’
   He spoke, and Hanúmán the wise
Cast off his mendicant disguise,
And took again his Vánar form,
Son of the God of wind and storm.
High on his ample back in haste
Baghu’s heroic sons he placed.
And turned with rapid steps to find
The sovereign of the Vánar kind.

tataḥ prahṛṣṭo hanumān kṛtyavān iti tad vacaḥ
śrutvā madhurasaṃbhāṣaṃ sugrīvaṃ manasā gataḥ
bhavyo rājyāgamas tasya sugrīvasya mahātmanaḥ
yad ayaṃ kṛtyavān prāptaḥ kṛtyaṃ caitad upāgatam
tataḥ paramasaṃhṛṣṭo hanūmān plavagarṣabhaḥ
pratyuvāca tato vākyaṃ rāmaṃ vākyaviśāradaḥ
kimarthaṃ tvaṃ vanaṃ ghoraṃ pampākānanamaṇḍitam
āgataḥ sānujo durgaṃ nānāvyālamṛgāyutam
tasya tadvacanaṃ śrutvā lakṣmaṇo rāmacoditaḥ
ācacakṣe mahātmānaṃ rāmaṃ daśarathātmajam
rājā daśaratho nāma dyutimān dharmavatsalaḥ
tasyāyaṃ pūrvajaḥ putro rāmo nāma janaiḥ śrutaḥ
śaraṇyaḥ sarvabhūtānāṃ pitur nirdeśapāragaḥ
vīro daśarathasyāyaṃ putrāṇāṃ guṇavattaraḥ
rājyād bhraṣṭo vane vastuṃ mayā sārdham ihāgataḥ
bhāryayā ca mahātejāḥ sītayānugato vaśī
dinakṣaye mahātejāḥ prabhayeva divākaraḥ
aham asyāvaro bhrātā guṇair dāsyam upāgataḥ
kṛtajñasya bahujñasya lakṣmaṇo nāma nāmataḥ
sukhārhasya mahārhasya sarvabhūtahitātmanaḥ
aiśvaryeṇa vihīnasya vanavāsāśritasya ca
rakṣasāpahṛtā bhāryā rahite kāmarūpiṇā
tac ca na jñāyate rakṣaḥ patnī yenāsya sā hṛtā
danur nāma śriyaḥ putraḥ śāpād rākṣasatāṃ gataḥ
ākhyātas tena sugrīvaḥ samartho vānarādhipaḥ
sa jñāsyati mahāvīryas tava bhāryāpahāriṇam
evam uktvā danuḥ svargaṃ bhrājamāno gataḥ sukham
etat te sarvam ākhyātaṃ yāthātathyena pṛcchataḥ
ahaṃ caiva hi rāmaś ca sugrīvaṃ śaraṇaṃ gatau
eṣa dattvā ca vittāni prāpya cānuttamaṃ yaśaḥ
lokanāthaḥ purā bhūtvā sugrīvaṃ nātham icchati
śokābhibhūte rāme tu śokārte śaraṇaṃ gate
kartum arhati sugrīvaḥ prasādaṃ saha yūthapaiḥ
evaṃ bruvāṇaṃ saumitriṃ karuṇaṃ sāśrupātanam
hanūmān pratyuvācedaṃ vākyaṃ vākyaviśāradaḥ
īdṛśā buddhisaṃpannā jitakrodhā jitendriyāḥ
draṣṭavyā vānarendreṇa diṣṭyā darśanam āgatāḥ
sa hi rājyāc ca vibhraṣṭaḥ kṛtavairaś ca vālinā
hṛtadāro vane trasto bhrātrā vinikṛto bhṛśam
kariṣyati sa sāhāyyaṃ yuvayor bhāskarātmajaḥ
sugrīvaḥ saha cāsmābhiḥ sītāyāḥ parimārgaṇe
ity evam uktvā hanumāñ ślakṣṇaṃ madhurayā girā
babhāṣe so ‘bhigacchāmaḥ sugrīvam iti rāghavam
evaṃ bruvāṇaṃ dharmātmā hanūmantaṃ sa lakṣmaṇaḥ
pratipūjya yathānyāyam idaṃ provāca rāghavam
kapiḥ kathayate hṛṣṭo yathāyaṃ mārutātmajaḥ
kṛtyavān so ‘pi saṃprāptaḥ kṛtakṛtyo ‘si rāghava
prasannamukhavarṇaś ca vyaktaṃ hṛṣṭaś ca bhāṣate
nānṛtaṃ vakṣyate vīro hanūmān mārutātmajaḥ
tataḥ sa tu mahāprājño hanūmān mārutātmajaḥ
jagāmādāya tau vīrau harirājāya rāghavau
sa tu vipula yaśāḥ kapipravīraḥ; pavanasutaḥ kṛtakṛtyavat prahṛṣṭaḥ
girivaram uruvikramaḥ prayātaḥ; sa śubhamatiḥ saha rāmalakṣmaṇābhyām

2 Responses to “A sketchbook Ramayana – 1”


  1. 1 shishir naik October 14, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Nice sketches here.
    The point with the sketch of Hanuman. It looks like an ordinary monkey. The character had tremendous strength to destroy the demon army by himself and have worshiped by wrestlers, muscle building professionals in India.


  1. 1 ravana falls, sri lanka | Venerata Noce di Cocco Trackback on September 24, 2009 at 1:56 am

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