Translated by William Buck
Never fear to love well.Purchase this book
I bow to Lord Narayana,
To Lady Lakshmi of Good Fortune,
To Hanuman the best of monkeys,
And to Saraswati,
The Goddess of words and stories:
Born as a Man
Sauti the story teller told this tale to his friend Saunaka in Naimisha Forest. Bending with humility he finished the wonderful Mahabharata in the evening, and the next morning Saunaka asked, "Lotus-eyed Sauti, who was that monkey Hanuman who met Bhima in the Hills, and who stayed in Arjuna's war-flag while he fought? What is that story of Rama, which keeps Hanuman alive so long as it is told by men on Earth?"
Sauti answered, "That story is Ramayana, a tale of romance and love and of wild adventure, the very crest-jewel of poetry and legend of the times and worlds of old. Arjuna the Pandava is gone, and Fire took away his bow, but somewhere Time waits to rearm him. So Time is beyond Fire, but Ramayana is beyond Time. Rama's days have long gone past; I do not believe there ever existed before, or will ever exist again such days in the world we know ...."
Saunaka said, "Tell me again an old story."