Chapter [Sarga] 15


King Dasharatha commences the putrakaameSTi ritual aiming to beget progeny, under the aegis of Sage Rishyasringa. The celestial beings gather to receive the oblations offered in the Horse Ritual conducted by King Dasharatha. They are perturbed at the atrocities of Ravana, and request Brahma to think for a way to eliminate Ravana. Vishnu arrives there and pacifies Brahma and other celestials with an assurance that he will incarnate as human to eliminate Ravana.

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medhaavii tu tato dhyaatvaa sa ki~Ncit idam uttaram |
labdha sa~Nj~naH tataH tam tu vedaj~no nR^ipam abraviit || 1-15-1

1. tataH= then; medhaavii vedaj~naH= intellectual one Veda proficient in; saH= Rishyasringa; kimchit dhyaatvaa= a little, on thinking; tataH labdha sanj~naH= then, gaining, indication; tam nR^ipam abraviit= to him, to King, said.

That intellectual sage and one proficient in Veda-s Rishyasringa contemplated for a while, and gaining indications as to which ritual is to be performed, then said the king. [1-15-1]

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iSTim te.aham kariSyaami putriiyaam putra kaaraNaat |
atharva sirasi prok{}taiH mantraiH siddhaam vidhaanataH || 1-15-2

2. aham te putra kaaraNaat= I, to you [for your benefit,] for sons, for the reason [to beget]; adharva shirasi proktaiaH= adharva Veda's, preamble, said in [contained in]; mantraiH siddhaam= with hymns [of that Veda,] available; putriiyaam = one that bestows sons [called putrakaameSTi,] for begetting sons; iSTim vidhaanataH kariSyaami= ritual, procedurally, I will conduct.

"I will procedurally conduct the ritual contained in the preamble of adharva-veda with procedural hymns, called putra kaameSTi i.e., the ritual that bestows sons, for your benefit." [1-15-2]

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tataH praakramat idam iSTim taam putriiyaam putra kaaraNaat |
juhaava agnau ca tejasvii mantra dR^iSTena karmaNaa || 1-15-3

3. tataH= then; putra kaaraNaat= sons, for purpose of begetting; putriiyaam idam iSTim taam = son giving ritual, that one; praakramat= commenced; tejasvii= resplendent sage; mantra dR^iSTena karmaNaa= hymn-contained, with ritual-acts; agnou juhaava cha = in fire, oblated, also.

Then that resplendent Sage Rishyasringa commenced that putrakaameSTi ritual, offering oblations into sacred fire with ritual acts meticulously contained in hymns. [1-15-3]

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tato devaaH sa gandharvaaH siddhaaH ca parama R^iSayaH |
bhaaga pratigrahaartham vai samavetaa yathaavidhi || 1-15-4

4. tataH= then; sa gandharvaaH= with, celestials; devaaH siddhaaH cha parama R^iSayaH= then, deities, siddha-s, also, esteemed, saints; bhaaga pari grahaNaartham vai= their due [of oblations,] to receive, verily; samavetaa yathaa vidhi = assembled, as per, duty.

Then the deities along with celestial beings, siddha-s, i.e., the souls that obtained salvation, and also other esteemed sages who by now are the residents of Heavens have duteously assembled in the firmament to receive their part of the oblations. [1-15-4]

These celestial beings having attained salvation and living in their heavenly abodes do not re-enter these mortal worlds. They assemble in their cosmic zone, up above the Fire Altar of the Vedic ritual whenever a yajna is conducted on earth, to receive oblations.

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taaH sametya yathaa nyaayam tasmin sadasi devataaH |
abruvan loka kartaaram brahmaaNam vacanam tataH || 1-15-5

5. taaH devataaH= those, gods; yathaa nyaayam= as per, procedure; tasmin sadasi = in that, congregation; sametya= coming together; loka kartaaram= to worlds', creator; brahmaNam= to Brahma; vachanam abruvan= words, said.

Those deities who procedurally assembled there in that congregation then spoke to Brahma, the creator of worlds. [1-15-5]

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bhagavan tvat prasaadena raavaNo naama raakSasaH |
sarvaan no baadhate viiryaat shaasitum tam na shaknumaH || 1-15-6

6. bhagavan= oh, god; raavanaH naama raakshasaH= Ravana, named, demon; tvat prasaadena= with your, blessings - as you have blessed him; viiryaat= by his intrepidity; naH sarvaan baadhate= us, all, is torturing; tam shaashitum na shaknumaH= him, to control, we are not, able to.

"Oh! God, the demon named Ravana is torturing all of us with his intrepidity, as you have blessed him, and we are unable to control him. [1-15-6]

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tvayaa tasmai varo dattaH priitena bhagavan tadaa |
maanayantaH ca tam nityam sarvam tasya kSamaamahe || 1-15-7

7. bhagavaan= Oh, god; priitena tvayaa= appreciating [his ascesis,] by you; tasmaiH varaH dattaH = to him - Ravana, boons, given by you; tam= that boon of yours; maanayantaH= keeping high regard for it; tadaa nityam= from then, always; tasya sarvam kshamaamahe= all [his cruel acts,] of his [Ravana,] we are tolerating.

"You have given boon to him appreciating his ascesis and oh, god, with high regard to that boon of yours we are tolerating all the cruel acts of Ravana from then onwards [1-15-7]

Hindu mythology has no devils, but has only raakshasa-s, who can hardly be called demons, either. Not all the raakshasa-s are evil-doers. Some of the raakshasa-s are the fallen angels who take birth as mortals. They have their Vedic education, and they perform Vedic rituals and penance etc., thereby they get the patronage of any one of the gods among the Hindu Trinity, viz., Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. On attaining the cherished boons, they suddenly revolt against their own patron deities and commence the atrocities only to conquer the Heavens, knowing well that they cannot be attained with a mortal body. In order to snub the upsurge of such violence or the unnatural ascension to Heaven, the deity who gave the boons seeks the help of any of the other two of the Trinity. Then one from the Trinity will take birth as mortal, as an incarnation of god on earth. Usually Vishnu incarnates himself to eradicate the evils created by the intrepid raakshasa-s.

Here the celestials bring in a preamble for Vishnu's incarnation as Rama and thus the topic of Ravana occurs in this chapter of Ramayana. Ravana need not be taken as an evil spirit, devil, hobgoblin or a monstrous being. He is said to be a Brahman well versed in all Vedas, musicologist, and a great king of Lanka, with unlimited riches, and very many of his clansmen with their vast dominions, and what not. Though Brahma and Shiva bless Ravana with boons, Ravana flouts all the norms in conquering Heavens in which course he did not hesitate to torture anyone who becomes his personal hurdle or hindrance. Hence it is inevitable for the Trinity to curb Ravana's atrocities, and Vishnu will now be requested by all the deities to incarnate himself on earth. As such, the expression of the word "DEMON" may not always be taken as an ugly and monstrous looking devil or Satan, as per the usual religious conceptualisation of evil.

In Hinduism evil is not a separate entity from humans, but available in the same personification and resides along with virtue, like the two sides of a coin. These raakshasa-s are also mortals, extraordinary beings with extraordinary powers like god incarnates. But, with wickedness in their will, monstrosity in mind and a conqueror's ambition in their heart, they are rendered themselves as demons.

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udvejayati lokaan triin ucChritaan dveSTi durmatiH |
shakram tridasha raajaanam pradharSayitum icChati || 1-15-8

8. dur mati= that evil, minded one - malevolent; triin lokaan udvejayati = three, worlds, he is tormenting; ucChritaan dveSTi= functionary deities of cosmos, he is hating; tridasha raajaanam shakram pradharSayitum icChati= celestial's, king of, Indra, to assail, desires to.

"That malevolent Ravana is tormenting all the three worlds, hating the functionary deities of cosmos, and always desires to assail Indra, the king of all the functionary deities of universe. [1-15-8]

There are eight functionary gods for cosmos in Hindu mythology that keep the cycle of natural law going. Each one is assigned with each of the eight sides of the universe along with a natural function. They are: 1] Indra, Heaven : East, 2] agni Fire-god : southeast, 3] yama Death-god : South, 4] naiR^iti Demon-god : southwest, 5] varuNa Rain-god : west, 6] vaayu Air-god : Northwest, 7] kubera god of wealth management : North, 8] iieshaana god of bliss : Northeast. The governance of all these deities is Indra's function, since he is the presiding deity of Heaven.

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R^iSiin yakSaan sa gandharvaan asuraan braahmaNaan tathaa |
atikraamati durdharSo vara daanena mohitaH || 1-15-9

9. durdharsha= invincible one; vara daanena mohitaH= by boon, given [by you,] becoming self-conceited he; R^ishiin yakshaan sa gandharvaan asuraan = sages, yaksha-celestials, with, gandharva-celestials, demons; tathaa braahmaNaan = like that, Brahmans are also; atikraamati= overbearingly [torturing.]

"That invincible one is further self-conceited by the boons you have accorded, and he is overbearingly torturing the sages, celestial beings like yaksha-s, gandharva-s, asura-s, and like that even the Brahmans. [1-15-9]

The sura and a-sura nomenclature is the one that is commonly found in Vedic literature. sura is a celestial being and asura is its antonym, usually referred as a demon. Here it is not so because there are many asura-s who made their abode in heaven, like Rahu, Ketu, and others who attain salvation in this mortal life. Even Ravana came from Heaven, and returns there only at the end of the war with Rama. Thus a-sura-s are not earthly demons but celestial beings of a kind like other demi-gods, namely yaksha, gandharva, kinnara, kimpurusha etc.

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nainam suuryaH pratapati paarshve vaati na maarutaH |
calor.hmimaalii tam dR^iSTvaa samudro.api na kampate || 1-15-10

10. enam suuryaH na pratapati= him, sun, will not, parch; maaruthaH parshve na vaati = Air-god, at his sides, will not, puff; chala uurmi maali= undulating, waves', husband; samudraH api= ocean, even; tam dR^istvaa na kampate = him [Ravana,] on seeing, will not, pulsate.

"The Sun-god will not verily parch Ravana, the Air-god will not puff at his sides, and on seeing Ravana, the lord of the undulating waves, namly the ocean will not pulsate either. [1-15-10]

And ocean hides those undulating waves from Ravana for the waves are his wives whom Ravana may abduct as in the case of Seetha.

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tan mahanno bhayam tasmaat raakSasaat ghora darshanaat |
vadhaartham tasya bhagavan upaayam kartum arhasi || 1-15-11

11. tat= by that reason; ghora darshanaat tasmaat raakshasaat = one awesome, for sight, from that, demon; naH mahat bhayam = to us, great, panic; bhagavan= oh, god; tasya vadha artham = for his, elimination, for purpose of; upaayam kartum arhasi= idea, to make, apt of you.

"Thereby, there is a great panic for all of us from that demon with an awesome look, hence oh, god, it will be apt of you to give a thought for his elimination. [1-15-11]

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evam uk{}taH suraiH sarvaiH cintayitvaa tato.abraviit |
hantaa ayam viditaH tasya vadhopaayo duraatmanaH || 1-15-12

12. sarvaiH suraiH evam uktaH= by all, gods, this way, one who is spoken Brahma; chintayitvaa tataH abraviit= on thinking, then, said; tasya dura aatmanaH= that, evil minded one's; ayam vadha upaaya= this is the, elimination, idea for; viditaH hanta= known, aha.

When all the deities spoke to Brahma thus, he thought for a while and then said "Aha! The idea to kill that evil-minded Ravana is discerned. [1-15-12]

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tena gandharva yakSaaNaam devataanaam cha rakSasaam |
avadhyo.asmi iti vaaguk{}taa tatheti uk{}tam ca tan mayaa || 1-15-13

13. tena= by him [Ravana]; gandhava yakshaanaam= for gandharva-s and for yaksha-s; devataanam ca raakshasaam= by gods, also, by other demons; a + vadhya asmi iti= not, killable, I shall be, thus; vaak uktaa= words, were uttered [by Ravana]; mayaa cha tat thata iti uktam = by me, also, that, that way, thus, said.

"Ravana said while seeking boon that, 'I shall not be killed by gandharva-s, yaksha-s, or by gods, or by other demons...' and I also said 'so be it..." [1-15-13]

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na akiirtayat avaj~naanaat tat rakSo maanuSaam tadaa |
tasmaat sa maanuSaat vadhyo mR^ityuH na anyo.asya vidyate || 1-15-14

14. tat rakshaH= that, demon; ava j~nanaat= with disrespect; tataH= then; maanushaanm na akiirtayat= about humans, not, articulated; tasmaat= therefore; saH maanuSaat vadhyaH= he, by human, can be killed; [asya= his] mR^ityuH na anyaH vidyate= death, not, otherwise, evident.

"That demon did not express about humans then with his disrespect to them, and evidently his death does not occur otherwise." So said Brahma to gods. [1-15-14]

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etat shrutvaa priyam vaakyam brahmaNaa samudaahR^itam |
devaa maharSayaH sarve prahR^iSTaaH te abhavan tadaa ||1-15-15

15. brahmaNaa sam udaahR^itam= by Brahma, well, explained; etat priyam vaakyam= this, pleasant, word; shrutvaa= having heard; tataH= then; te devaaH maha R^iSayaH= those, gods, great sages; sarve prahR^iSTaa abhavan= all, delighted, became.

On hearing Brahmathe explaining himself , then all those gods and great sages became adequately happy. [1-15-15]

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etasmin anantare viSNuH upayaato mahaadyutiH |
sh~Nkha cakra gadaa paaNiH piita vaasaa jagatpatiH || 1-115-16
vainateyam samaaruuhya bhaaskara toyadam yathaa |
tapta haaTaka keyuuro vandyamaanaH surottamaiH || 1-15-17

16, 17. etasmin anantare= in the mean while; mahaa dyutiH= great, resplendent god; sankha= [with] conch; chakra= disc; gada= mace; paaaNiH= in his [four] hands; piita vaasaa= [with] yellow, robes; jagat patiH= Universe, Lord of; vainateyam samaaruuhya= Lady Vinata's son, GaruDa, mounted on; bhaaskara toya dam yathaa = Sun, on water giver [sun on black cloud,] like; tapta haaTaka keyuuraH= burnt [refined,] gold, bracelets; vandyamaanaH sura uttamaiH= while eulogised, by gods, the best; vishNuH= Vishnu; upayaataH = arrived.

In the meanwhile the great resplendent Vishnu, the Lord of the Universe, arrived there mounted on his Eagle-vehicle Garuda, handling conch-shell, disc, and mace in his three of four hands, clad in yellow-ochre robes, wearing golden bracelets, and while best gods eulogised him, and his arrival there is like the arrival of sun mounted on black cloud to accord the gratuitous gift called the rain. [1-15-16, 17]

Vishnu is a four handed deity. He handles a Divine Lotus suggesting that he is the creator sR^iSTi karta. An ever-cycling disc called sudarshana chakra is handled symbolising his ever-lasting dynamism. He is the maintainer of that continuous dynamism of already created Universe sthithi karta. A mace called kaumodakii for bludgeoning enemies as he is the eradicator of evil samhaara karta, and a conch-shell called paanchajanya which produces the sound of Om, listening to which salvation, mukti, is achieved by the true devotee. The sound of the same conch shell gives out an unbearable sound in respect of enemies. He is entered here without a lotus in hand. That means there is no need for a creation afresh. The other items he is handling are enough to deal with Ravana. If the Lotus is not handled that hand is taken as a blessing hand, abhaya hasta. And now he is giving that a + bhaya no fear, an assurance, to all gods.

The expression that Vishnu has come on his eagle-vehicle has a cross-reference to the previous chapter's garuDa yajna vedi , Eagle-shaped Altar of Fire that is laid by priests of Dasharatha. It will be laid so with assumption that Garuda, also called suparNa, the Divine Eagle will fly in to transport oblations. The Vedic ritual is also called su parNa, the golden winged, or great winged vehicle to conduct oblations. And the eagle-vehicle of Vishnu is the quickest carrier of oblations to the deities specified in Vedic hymn. Here this Garuda has already carried the oblations offered by King Dasharatha to the chanting of Vedic hymns by Sage Rishyasringa to Vishnu. So Vishnu is now coming mounted on the same meritorious carrier, namely Garuda. Secondly the simile of Sun's coming mounted on a black cloud has some thing to do with yajna. A silver cloud is no value in giving rains. The rain has got an inseparable combination with Vedic ritual. Since the ritual of Dasharatha is going to fructify the rainfall is due on earth. Hence, the sun on collecting all the merits called the rituals of Dasharatha, in the form waters is coming riding on a black cloud to shower rains. Hence Vishnu and Sun both are ready now shower their graces. Vishnu will shower grace by eradicating the evil called Ravana, and the sun by showering the gratuitous and cooling rains.

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brahmaNaa ca samaagamya tatra tasthau samaahitaH |
tam abruvan suraaH sarve samabhiSTuuya sa.mnataaH || 1-15-18

18. brahmaNaa samaagamya= with Brahma, having met; tatra tasthau samaahitaH= there, he stood, contemplating; suraaH sarve sannataaH= gods, all, bowing down; tam samabhiSTuuya abruvan= him, on offering prayers, said to him.

Vishnu having met Brahma stood there contemplating, and then all of the gods on bowing down and offering prayers addressed Vishnu. [1-15-18]

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tvaam niyokSyaamahe viSNo lokaanaam hita kaamyayaa |
raaj~no dasharathasya tvam ayodhya adhipateH vibhoH || 1-15-19
dharmaj~nasya vadaanyasya maharSi sama tejasaH |
asya bhaaryaasu tisR^iSu hrii shrii kiirti upamaasu ca || 1-15-20
viSNo putratvam aagacCha kR^itvaa aatmaanam caturvidham |

19, 20, 21a. viSNo= oh, Vishnu; lokaanaam hita kaamyaya= in all worlds, prosperity, desiring; tvaam niyokshyaamahe you, we nominate; viSNo= oh, Vishnu; tvam ayodhya adhipatiH vibhoH = you, to Ayodhya's, ruler, lord of; dharmaj~nasya vadaanyasya= of that virtuous one, renowned one; maharSi sama tejasaH= sage, equalling, in resplendence; asya dasarathasya raaj~naH = such a, Dasharatha's, the king; hriii= virtue; srii= affluence; kiirti= glory; upamaasu= having similitude with; tri sR^iSu= in three of them; bhaaryaasu= in his wives; aatmaanam chatur vidham kR^itvaa = yourself, four, fold, on making [on transforming yourself]; putratvam aagacCha= childhood [take birth,] you get.

"Oh! Vishnu, desiring prosperity in all the worlds we nominate you to become the son of the ruler and lord of Ayodhya, namely Dasharatha, who is a virtuous one, renowned one and one whose resplendence equals that of the sages, and oh, Vishnu, through the wives of such a king Dasharatha, who are in similitude with the hrii, the virtue, shrii, the affluence, and kiirti, the glory, you have a fourfold transformation and take birth as their son. [1-15-19, 20, 21a]

These three hrii, shrii, kiirti are the daughters of Daksha Prajapati in their earlier births. The hrii is hR^illekha , virtuous disposition - which Queen Kausalya has, and who begot Rama. The shrii is shriikaara , the affluence of everything, which Queen Sumitra has, by which alone she magnificently and unhesitatingly advises her son Lakshmana to go along with Rama to woods. And the third, kiirti, the glory, and the glory of Kaika is well known. The position of this epic minus Kaika can be imagined, thereby her glory, may it be negative, that may be imagined.

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tatra tvam maanuSo bhuutvaa pravR^iddham loka kaNTakam || 1-15-21
avadhyam daivataiH viSNo samare jahi raavaNam |

21b, 22a. viSNo= oh, Vishnu; tvam= you; tatra= in them [the wombs of queens]; maanuSaH bhuutva = as human, on becoming, taking birth; pravR^iddham= who is exacerbating; loka kanTakam= to worlds, one who is thorny; daivataiH a+vdhyam = by gods, not, killable one; ravaNam samare jahi = Ravana, in war, be killed.

"Oh! Vishnu, on your taking birth as human through the wives of Dasharatha you eliminate Ravana in war, who has become exacerbating and thorny to all worlds, and who is otherwise not eliminable for gods. [1-15-21b, 22a]

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sa hi devaan sa gandharvaan siddhaan ca R^iSi sattamaan || 1-15-22
raakSaso raavaNo muurkho viirya udrekeNa baadhate |

22b, 23a. saH muurkhaH raakshasaH= he, preposterous, demon; Ravana; devaan= gods; sa gandharvaan siddhaam cha R^iSi sattamaan= with, gandharva celestials, souls of salvation, hermits, eminent ones; viirya udrekeNa baadhate= with his invigorated doggedness, torturing.

"He that preposterous demon Ravana with his invigorated doggedness is torturing gods along with eminent saints, gandharva-s, and siddha-s. [1-15-22b, 23a]

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R^iSayaH ca tataH tena gandharvaa apsarasaH tathaa || 1-15-23
kriiDayanto nandana vane raiudreNa vinipaatitaaH |

23b, 24a. tataH= by his insolence; tena raudreNa= by him, the furious one; R^iSayaH cha= sages, also; tathaa= like that; nandana vane kriiDantaH= in Nandana, gardens[Heavenly gardens,] those that are delighting; gandharvaa apsaraaH= gandharva-s, apsara-s; vinipatitaH [ vi ni paatitaH completely, down, thrown]= are knocked down [from heavens.]

"He that furious one with his insolence is knocking down sages from their celestial abodes, and like that he is knocking down the gandharva-s and apsara celestials too from the heavenly gardens Nandana, where they will be taking delight. [1-15-23b, 24a]

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vadhaartham vayam aayaataaH tasya vai munibhiH saha || 1-15-24
siddha gandharva yaxaaH ca tataH tvaam shraraNam gataaH |

24b, 25a. vayam= we; siddha gandharva yakshaaH= siddha-s, gandharva-s, yaksha-s the celestial beings; saha munibhiH= with, sages; tasya vadha artham aayaataaH vai = for his, elimination, for purpose of, we have come, actually; tataH tvaam sharanam gataaH= thereby, [we all] in you, shelter, we have gone in.

"We the celestial beings like siddha-s, gandharva-s, yaksha-s along with sages have actually come for his elimination, and thereby we seek shelter in you. [1-15-24b, 25a]

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tvam gatiH paramaa deva sarveSaam naH para.ntapaH || 1-15-25
vadhaaya deva shatR^INaam nR^iNaam loke manaH kuru |

25b, 26a. param tapaH= oh, others [enemies], tormentor; deva= oh, Vishnu; tvam naH parama gatiH = you are, our, ultimate, course; deva shatR^iNaam vdhaaya= divinity's, enemies, to eliminate; nR^iNaam loke= in human's, world; manaH kuru= mind, make [give a thought.]

"Oh, enemy tormentor, oh, Vishnu, you are the ultimate recourse for all us in eliminating enemies of divinity, hence you make up your mind to take birth in human world." The gods appealed to Vishnu that way. [1-15-25b, 26a]

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evam stutastu devesho viSNuH tridashaH pu.ngavaH || 1-15-26
pitaamaha purogaan taan sarva loka namaskR^itaH
abraviit tridashaan sarvaan sametaan dharma sa.mhitaan || 1-15-27

26b, 27. tridasha pungavaH= among divinities, the Supreme one; sarva loka namaskR^itaH= by all, worlds, revered one; deva iishaH= gods', god of; viSNuH= Vishnu; evam stutastu= this way, when eulogised; sametaan= to those that are in assemblage; dharma samhitaan= in righteousness, abiding ones; pitaa maha purogaan= Forefather Brahma, keeping ahead at helm of affairs; taan sarvaan tridashaan abraviit= them, all, celestials, spoke to.

When the god of gods Vishnu, the supreme one among deities, one who is revered by all worlds is eulogised this way, then he spoke to all of those celestials that abide in the righteousness and that are in the assemblage, keeping the Forefather Brahma at their helm. [1-15-26a, 27]

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bhayam tyajata bhadram vo hitaartham yudhi raavaNam |
sa putra pautram sa amaatyam sa mitra j~naati baandhavam || 1-15-28
hatvaa kruuram duraadharSam deva R^iSINaam bhayaavaham |
dasha varSa sahasraaNi dasha varSa shataani ca || 1-15-29
vatsyaami maanuSe loke paalayan pR^idhvIm imaam |

28, 29, 30a. bhayam tyajata = fear, get rid off; bhadram vaH= safety, be upon you; vaH hitaartham= your, for welfare's sake; sa putra poutram= along with his, sons, grandsons; sa amaatyam= along with, his ministers; sa mitra j~naati baandhavaan= along with, his friends, cousins, and relatives; kruuram duraatmaanam= cruel, evil minded one; deva R^iSiiNaam bhayaavaham = for deities, and sages, dreadful one; raavaNam yudhi hatvaa= Ravana, in war, on eliminating; imam pR^itviim paalayan= this, earth, while ruling; dasa varsha shasraaNi = ten, years, thousand; dasha varsha shataani cha= ten, years, hundred, also; maanuSe loke vatsyaami = in human, world, I will reside.

"Get rid off the fear, let safety be upon you, on eliminating that cruel and evil-minded Ravana who became dreadful to deities and sages, along with his sons, grandsons, friends, cousins and relatives, ministers and forces too in war for your welfare, I will then reside in human world ruling this earth for eleven thousand years." Thus Vishnu assured the gods. [1-15-28, 29, 30a]

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evam datvaa varam devo devaanaam viSNuH aatmavaan || 1-15-30
maanuSe chintayaamaasa janmabhUmim atha aatmanaH |

30b, 31a. aatmavaan viSNuH devaH = kind-hearted, Vishnu, the god; devaanaam evam varam datvaa = to gods, this way, boon, on giving; atha aatmanaH maanuSe = then, for himself, in human [world]; janma bhuumim chintayaamaasa= birth, base [instituting point,] started to think of.

On giving boon to all gods in that way the kind-hearted god Vishnu started to think about the instituting base for his birth in human world. [1-15-30b, 31a]

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tataH padma palaashaaxaH kR^itvaa aatmaanam catu.rvidham || 1-15-31
pitaram rocayaamaasa tadaa dasharatham nR^ipam |

31b, 32a. tataH= afterwards; padma palaasa akshaH= lotus, petal, eyed one [ Vishnu]; tadaa= then; aatmaanam chatur vidham kR^itvaa= himself, into four-fold, on making [agreeing to make]; dasharatham nR^ipam= Dasharatha, King; pitaram rochayaamaasa= as his father, predisposed to select.

And then that lotus-petal-eyed one agreeing to manifest himself in fourfold way is predisposed towards Dasharatha to be his father. [1-15-31b, 32a]

There is a great lot of discussion whether Vishnu made himself fourfold as Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata an Shatrughna, or he himself incarnated along with his main ingredients like conch shell, disc, mace as those three brothers. This verse says that he 'made himself, or agreed to make himself as fourfold.' Even then, there are discussions that Rama is a 'full incarnation' puurNa avataara as the Supreme is indivisible - on one account. And his brothers cannot be reckoned as his incarnation as they become parts of the whole but not the 'whole' itself he did not divide himself on the other account. And the tradition believes that Vishnu did not divide himself but incarnated in one piece, where his brothers are his paraphernalia. There is no unanimity on this, as yet.

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tadaa deva R^iSi gandharvaaH sa rudraaH sa apsaro gaNaaH |
stutibhiH divya rUpaabhiH tuSTuvuH madhusUdanam || 1-15-32

32b, c. tadaa= then; devaaH= gods; R^iSi gandharvaaH sa rudraaH sa apsarasaaH ganaaH= with sages, with gandharva-s, with rudra-s, apsara-s, groups of; divya ruupaabhiH stutibhiH = divine, in form [in exposition,] with prayers; madhu suudanam= Madhu [the demon,] killer of Vishnu is; tuSTuvuH = extolled.

Then all the groups of gods, sages, gandharva-s, with rudraa-s, and apsarasa-s, extolled Vishnu with prayers of divine exposition. [1-15-32b, c]

Vishnu in early times killed a ghastly demon called Madhu and his brother Kaitabha, hence He is also called Madhusuudana. This is one the thousand names of Vishnu.

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tam uddhatam raavaNam ugra tejasam
pravR^iddha darpam tridasheshvara vara dviSam |
viraavaNam saadhu tapasvi kaNTakam
tapasvinaam uddhara tam bhayaaavaham || 1-15-33

33. uddhatam ugra tejasam= uprising, furiously, fiery one; pra vR^iddha darpam= one with heightened, arrogance; tridasha iiswara dviSam= gods, lord - Indra, hater of; tapasvi kanTakam= to sages, thorny; tapasvinaam bhayaavaham= for hermits, a fright; tam= that particular one; tam raavaNam saadhu uddhara= him, that Ravana, [give final emancipation, deliver,] eliminate.

"Oh! Vishnu, he that fiery one is uprising furiously with his heightened arrogance, and he is a fright to sages and a thorn in the side of hermits, and he is the hater of Indra, hence we pray you to redeem that Ravana." [1-15-33]

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tameva hatvaa sa balam sa baandhavam
viraavaNam raavaNam ugra pauruSam |
svar lokam aagacCha gata jvaraH ciram
surendra guptam gata doSa kalmaSam || 1-15-34

34. sa balam sa baandhavam= with all his forces, with all his kinsmen; vi raavaNam [kR^itvaa]= without, pandemonium [on making worlds]; ugra pauruSam= furiously, vainglorious; tam raavaNam eva hatvaa = him, Ravana, thus, having killed; chiram= for a long time to come; gata jwara= rid of, febrility; sura indra guptam= for gods, lord by Indra, made inaccessible, safeguarded; gata doSa kalmaSam= [and one which is] rid of, flaws and blemishes; swar lokam aagacCha= [your] heavenly, abode [Vaikuntha,] return to.

"On eliminating that furiously vainglorious Ravana with all his forces and with all his kinsmen neutralise the pandemonium created by him in all the worlds, and for a long time to come you get rid of your febrility, and you please return to your heavenly abode, namely your blameless and faultless Vaikuntha. [1-15-34]


iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadi kaavye baala kaaNDe pa~Ncha dashaH sargaH ||

Thus, this is the 15th chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Verse Locator for Book I : Bala Kanda - Book Of Youthful Majesties : Chapter 15


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Sarga 15 in English Prose


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1999, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised: April 04]