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C. F. F
HOW RAJA RASÂLU
WENT OUT INTO THE WORLD
OUNG Rasâlu lived
on, far from the light of day, for eleven long years, growing tall and strong,
yet contented to remain playing with his colt and talking to his parrot; but
when the twelfth year began, the lad's heart leapt up with desire for change,
and he loved to listen to the sounds of life which came to him in his
palace-prison from the outside world.
'I must go and see where
the voices come from!' he said; and when his nurses told him he must not go for
one year more, he only laughed aloud, saying, 'Nay! I stay no longer here for
Then he saddled his horse
Irâqi, put on his shining
armour, and rode forth into the world; but–mindful of what his nurses had often
told him–when he came to the river, he dismounted, and going into the water, washed
himself and his clothes.
Then, clean of raiment,
fair of face, and brave of heart, he rode on his way until he reached his
father's city. There he sat down to rest a while by a well, where the women
were drawing water in earthen pitchers. Now, as they passed him, their full
pitchers poised upon their heads, the gay young Prince flung stones at the
earthen vessels, and broke them all. Then the women, drenched with water, went
weeping and wailing to the palace, complaining to the King that a mighty young
Prince in shining armour, with a parrot on his wrist and a gallant steed beside
him, sat by the well, and broke their pitchers.
Now, as soon as Raja
Sâlbâhan heard this, he guessed at once that it was Prince
Rasâlu come forth before the time, and, mindful of the Jôgis' words
that he would die if he looked on his son's face before twelve years were past,
he did not dare to send his guards to seize the offender and bring him to be
judged. So he bade the women be comforted, and for the future take pitchers of
iron and brass, and gave new ones from his treasury to those who did not
possess any of their own.
But when Prince
Rasâlu saw the women returning to the well with pitchers of iron and
brass, he laughed to himself, and drew his mighty bow till the sharp-pointed
arrows pierced the metal vessels as though they had been clay.
Yet still the King did
not send for him, and so he mounted his steed and set off in the pride of his
youth and strength to the palace. He strode into the audience hall, where his
father sat trembling, and saluted him with all reverence; but Raja
Sâlbâhan, in fear of his life, turned his back hastily and said
never a word in reply.
'I came to greet thee,
King, and not to harm thee!
What have I done that thou shouldst turn
Sceptre and empire have
no power to charm me–
I go to seek a worthier prize than they!'
Then he strode out of the hall, full of bitterness and anger; but, as he passed under the palace windows, he heard his mother weeping, and the sound softened his heart, so that his wrath died down, and a great loneliness fell upon him, because he was spurned by both father and mother. So he cried sorrowfully–
'O heart crown'd with grief,
hast thou naught
But tears for thy son?
mother of mine? Give one thought
To my life just begun!'
'Yea! mother am I, though I
So hold this word sure,–
reign king of all men, but keep
Thy heart good and pure!'
So Raja Rasâlu was
comforted, and began to make ready for fortune. He took with him his horse
Bhaunr Irâqi, and his parrot, both of whom had lived with him since he
was born; and besides these tried and trusted friends he had two others–a
carpenter lad, and a goldsmith lad, who were determined to follow the Prince
So they made a goodly company, and Queen Lonâ, when she saw them going, watched them from her window till she saw nothing but a cloud of dust on the horizon; then she bowed her head on her hands and wept, saying–
'O son who ne'er gladdened mine eyes,
Let the cloud
of thy going arise,
sunlight and darken the day;
mother whose son is away
Is as dust!'
 The name of Rasâlû's horse;
but the name probably should be Bhaunrî Râkhî, kept in the
underground cellar. 'Irâqî means Arabian.
 In the original these are–
âiâ thâ salâm nûn, tûn baithâ
Main nahîn terâ râj wandânundâ; main nûn nahîn râj te lor.
came to salute thee, and thou hast turned thy back on me!
I have no wish to share thy kingdom! I have no desire for empire.
de vich baithîe, tûn ro ro na sunâ!
Je tûn merî mâtâ hain, koî mat batlâ!
Matte dendî hai mân tain nûn, putar: gin gin jholî ghat!
Châre Khûntân tûn râj kare, par changâ rakhîn sat!
sitting in the palace, let me not hear thee weeping!
If thou be my mother give me some advice!
Thy mother doth advise thee, son: stow it carefully away in thy wallet!
Thou wilt reign in the Four Quarters, but keep thyself good and pure.
 In the original these are–
Thorâ thorâ, betâ,
tûn disîn, aur bahotî disî dhûr:
Putr jinân de tur chale, aur mâwân chiknâ chûr.
It is little I see of thee, my son, but I
see much dust.
The mother, whose son goes away on a journey, becomes as a powder (reduced to great misery).