Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Ramayana VI.XVIII

And can I, Vánar King, forget The great, the universal debt, Ever to aid and welcome those Who pray for shelter, friends or foes? Hast thou not heard the deathless praise Won by the dove in olden days, Who conquering his fear and hate Welcomed the slayer of his mate, And gave a banquet, to refresh The weary fowler, of his flesh? Now hear me, Vánar King, rehearse What Kandu spoke in ancient verse, Saint Kanva's son who loved the truth And clave to virtue from his youth: 'Strike not the suppliant when he stands And asks thee with beseeching hands For shelter: strike him not although He were thy father's mortal foe. No, yield him, be he proud or meek, The shelter which he comes to seek, And save thy foeman, if the deed Should cost thy life, in desperate need.'

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