Book I : Bala Kanda - The Youthful Majesties
Sage Vishwamitra's narration of Sagara's legend is continued. Sagara's sons dig out all the quarters of earth and when they enter northeast to find out the horse thief, there they find Sage Kapila, i.e., Vishnu in the semblance of a sage. When they wanted to attack that sage Kapila, he renders them to heaps of ashes by his yogic powers.
devataanaam vacaH shrutvaa bhagavaan vai pitaamahaH |
pratyuvaaca susa.mtrastaan kR^itaanta bala mohitaan || 1-40-1
1. bhagavaan pitaamahaH= esteemed one, Forefather - Brahma; devataanaam vacaH shrutvaa= of gods, words, on hearing; kR^ita anta bala= effectuating, end of [all beings,] by might [of Sagara's sons]; mohitaan= bewildered ones [gods]; su sam trastaan= very, highly, scared ones; prati vuvaaca= in turn, spoke to - replied= vai= indeed.
"On hearing the words of gods, the esteemed Forefather Brahma spoke to them, who are very highly scared, and bewildered by the might of Sagara's sons for they are effectuating the end of all beings." Vishvamitra thus continued his narration. [1-40-1]
yasya iyam vasudhaa kR^itsnaa vaasudevasya dhiimataH|
mahiShii maadhavasaya sa eShaa sa eva bhagavan prabhuH|| 1-40-2
kaapilam ruupam aasthaaya dhaarayatya anisham dharaam |
tasya kopaagninaa dagdhaa bhaviSya.nti nR^ipaatmajaa || 1-40-3
2, 3. kR^itsnaa iyam vasudhaa= entire, this, earth; eShaa maadhavasaya mahiShii= she is, the consort, of Maadhava; yasya dhiimataH vaasudevasya= whose [to which,] prescient, belongs to Vaasudeva; such Vaasudeva; saH eva bhagavan prabhuH= He, alone, reverential, lord [Vishnu]; anisham dharaam dhaarayatya= eternally, earth, he bears; kaapilam ruupam aasthaaya= sage Kapila's, semblance of, on donning; nR^ipa aatmajaa= king's, sons - of Sagara; tasya kopa agninaa dagdhaa= in his [Kapila's,] fury's, fire, burnt down; bhaviSyanti= they will be - burnt to ashes.
" 'To whom this Mother Earth belongs in all her entirety, he is that prescient Vasudeva, and she is also the consort of that Maadhava, and that Vishnu eternally props up Mother Earth. Hence, that reverential Vishnu donning the semblance of Sage Kapila will burn down the sons of emperor Sagara to ashes in a fire of fury. [1-40-2, 3]
The islands / continents on earth, dviipa-s, are 'jambu- plaksha - shaalmali- kusha - kraunca - shaaka - puSkara. And they are the seven continents. Some say the earth is having nine continents, yet some others prefer eighteen. However entire globe bhuu devi belongs to Vishnu as she is his another consort.
pR^ithivyaaH ca api nirbhedo dR^iSTa eva sanaatanaH |
sagarasya ca putraaNaam vinaasho diirgha darshinaam ||1-40-4
4. pR^ithivyaaH nir bhedaH ca api= earth's, complete, cleavage, also, even; sagarasya putraaNaam= Sagara's, as well as, son's; vi naashaH ca= complete, ruination, also; diirgha darsiniim= by far, sighted ones; sanaatanaH= by providential ancients; dR^iSTa eva= envisaged, thus.
'Even the complete cleavage of the earth, and the complete ruination of Sagara's sons as well, are envisaged by the providentially farsighted ancients." So said Brahma to gods. [1-40-4]
This is the cosmic routine. Every day of Brahma is one kalpa and in each kalpa Brahma starts to create the universe afresh. Though it is just like the bygone creation it is anew, but the presiding souls of each object of the universe will change. If one soul presides the Sun or the Moon in this era, in the next era they attain a higher step in the ladder of 'snakes and ladders' called vaikunTha paali and a soul-in-wait takes up the job of that Sun or Moon, just as good as the promotions of officials. In this cosmic destruction even the gods or godlike entities will be destroyed if they tend to cause unnecessary ruination to the living beings anena bahu praõi upadrava k˜riõ˜m dev˜ api vadha up˜yam abhŸpsanti - daiva hat˜n˜m ca teÿ˜m avic˜reõa n˜so bhavatya eveti s¨citam -dk This is the same even in the case of Indra. Vishnu in His Trivikrama incarnation blesses the demonic Emperor Bali with such Indra-hood in some era, when Bali's sin is counted down, and when merit accrues.
pitaamaha vacaH shrutvaa trayaH tri.mshat arindamaH |
devaaH parama sa.mhR^iSTaaH punar jagmur yathaa aagatam || 1-40-5
5. arimdamaH= oh, enemy-destroyer - Rama; pitaamaha vacaH shrutvaa= Forefather's, words, on hearing; trayaH trimshat devaaH= three, thirty, [thirty three,] gods; parama samhR^iSTaaH= with utmost, satisfaction; yathaa aagatam= as, they came; punaH jagmuH= again, went away.
"On hearing the words of the Forefather Brahma all the thirty three gods went away with utmost satisfaction, as they have came. [1-40-5]
The gods that have come to appeal to Brahma are said to be thirty-three in numbers. It is not that all the count of all the gods who have come. There are others besides the prominent groups of thirty-three god-groups. The thirty-three primary god-groups who have come here are aSTa vasu-s 'eight Vasu gods' ekaadasha rudraa-s 'eleven Rudra gods' ashvini dvaya twin brothers called 'ashvini-gods,' those that are mostly connected with the administration of earth.
sagarasya ca putraaNaam praadur aasiit mahaasvanaH |
pR^ithivyaam bhidyamaanaayaam nirghaata sama niHvanaH || 1-40-6
6. sagarasya putraaNaam= Sagara's, to sons; pR^ithivyaam bhidyamaanaayaam= of earth, while digging out; nirghaata samaH nisvanaH= thunder, similar, crashing; mahaa svanahaH= unbearable, noise; praaduraasiit= has emerged - they heard.
"When the sons of Sagara are digging the earth then there emerged an unbearable noise similar to the crashing of a thunder. [1-40-6]
tato bhittvaa mahiim sarvaam kR^itvaa ca api pradakSiNam |
sahitaaH sagaraaH sarve pitaram vaakyam abruvan || 1-40-7
7. tataH= then; sarvaam mahiim bhittvaa= entire, earth, on breaking asunder; pradakSiNam ca api kR^itvaa= round trips, also, even, on making; sarve sagaraaH= all of the, Sagara's sons; sahitaaH= coming together; pitaram vaakyam abruvan= to father, words, spoke.
"Then on hollowing the entire earth, and on making trips around her without finding the horse, all of the sons of Sagara have come together and on going to their father they spoke these words to him. [1-40-7]
parikraa.ntaa mahii sarvaa sattvavantaH ca suuditaaH |
deva daanava rakSaa.msi pishaaca uraga pannagaaH || 1-40-8
na ca pashyaamahe ashvam te ashva hartaaram eva ca |
kim kariSyaama bhadram te buddhiH atra vicaaryataam || 1-40-9
8, 9. sarvaa mahii pari kraantaa= entire, earth is, over, run - trekked; sattvavantaH ca= mighty ones, also; deva daanava rakSaamsi pishaaca uraga pannagaaH= gods, demons, monsters, evil-spirits, fiends, serpents, naga-s; suuditaaH= are eliminated; ashvam= horse; ashva hartaaram eva ca= horse, stealer, like that, also; na pashyaamahe ca= not, we have seen, even; kim kariSyaama= what is, to be done by us; te bhadram= let safe betide you; atra buddhiH vicaaryataam= in that matter, sagacity, be pondered on - give a thought to it.
" 'Entire earth is trekked and mighty beings like gods, demons, monsters, evil-spirits, fiends, serpents, naga-s are also eliminated, but we have not seen the ritual-horse or its stealer. What we have to do next. Let a thought be given in this matter. Let safeness betide you.' So said those princes to their father Sagara. [1-40-8, 9]
teSaam tat vacanam shrutvaa putraaNaam raaja sattamaH |
samanyuH abraviit vaakyam sagaro raghuna.ndana || 1-40-10
10. raghunandana= oh, Raghu's descendent; teSaam putraaNaam tat vacanam shrutvaa= their, of his sons, that, sentence, on hearing; raaja sattamaH sagaraH= king, exalted one, Sagara; sa manyuH vaakyam abraviit= with, fury [infuriated] spoke, words.
"On hearing that sentence of his sons, oh, Rama, descendent of Raghu, that exalted king Sagara infuriately spoke these words. [1-40-10]
bhuuyaH khanata bhadram vo vibhedya vasudhaa talam
ashva hartaaram aasaadya kR^itaarthaaH ca nivartata || 1-40-11
11. vasudhaa talam vi bhedya= earth's, surface, verily, splitting open; bhuuyaH khanata= further, it may be dug; ashva hartaaram aasaadya= horse's, thief, catch hold of; kR^ita arthaaH nivartata ca= on achieving, purposes, return [to me,] also; vaH bhadram= to you, let safety be.
" 'Let the earth be dug further, may safety be with you, and verily splitting open the surface of the earth you catch hold of the thief of the horse, and on achieving your purpose you may return to me.' In this way Sagara ordered his sons. [1-40-11]
pitur vacanam aasaadya sagarasya mahaatmanaH |
SaSTiH putra sahasraaNi rasaatalam abhidravan || 1-40-12
12. pituH= father's; maha atmanaH sagarasya= great-souled one, of Sagara; vacanam aasaadhya= words, on catching up; SaSTiH putra sahasraaNi= sixty, sons, thousand; rasaa talam abhi dravan=to netherworld's, surface, towards, rushed in.
"On catching up the words of their father, the great-souled Sagara, his sixty thousand sons rushed towards the surface of the rasaa tala, the netherworld. [1-40-12]
The last but one mantle of the earth from its crust to its inner core, is called rasaa tala, in the seven-tier planes called, atala, vitala, sutala, talaatala, rasstala, paataala.. These are not hells.
khanyamaane tataH tasmin dadR^ishuH parvata upamam |
dishaa gajam viruupaakSam dhaaraya.ntam mahiitalam || 1-40-13
13. tataH tasmin khanyamaane= then, there, while digging; parvata upamam= which is - mountain, similar; mahii talam dhaarayantam= [eastern side of] earth's, surface, which is bearing; viruupaakSam dishaa gajam= Viruupaaksa [named,] direction [easterly,] elephant; dadR^ishuH= they beheld.
"While digging the earth there they beheld a mountain similar easterly elephant named Viruupaaksha, which is bearing the eastern side of earth's surface on its head. [1-40-13]
sa parvata vanaam kR^itsnaam pR^ithiviim raghuna.ndana |
dhaarayaamaasa shirasaa viruupaakSo mahaagajaH || 1-40-14
14. raghunandana= oh, Raghu's delight - Rama; viruupaakSaH mahaa gajaH= by name Viruupaaksa, great elephant; sa parvata vanaam kR^itsnaam pR^ithiviim= with, mountains, forests, in its entirety, [eastern side of] earth; shirasaa dhaarayaamaasa= by its head, bearing.
"Oh, Rama, the legatee of Raghu, that great easterly elephant Viruupaaksha is bearing the entire eastern earth along with its mountains and forests on its head. [1-40-14]
yadaa parvaNi kaakutstha vishramaartham mahaagajaH |
khedaat caalayate shiirSam bhuumi kampaH tadaa bhavet || 1-40-15
15. kaakutstha= oh, Rama of Kakutstha; mahaa gajaH= great, elephant; parvaNi= on certain occasions; yadaa= when; vishrama artham= respite, for the purpose of -desiring; khedaat shiirSam caalayate= by tiresomeness, moves, its head; tadaa= then; bhuumi kampaH bhavet= earth, quack, occurs.
"On certain occasions, oh, Rama of Kakutstha, when that great-elephant moves its head desiring respite in tiresomeness then earthquakes will occur on earth. [1-40-15]
te tam pradakSiNam kR^itvaa dishaa paalam mahaagajam |
maanayanto hi te raama jagmur bhittvaa rasaatalam || 1-40-16
16. raama= oh, Rama; te tam= they, to it - elephant; dishaa paalam mahaa gajam= easterly direction, protector of, to great, elephant; pradakSiNam kR^itvaa= circumambulations, after making; maanayantaH= worshiping it; bhittvaa rasaatalam jagmuH= splitting [earth,] to netherworld, they proceeded.
"They circumambulated the great elephant in supplication, oh Rama, and on worshipping that elephant which is the protector of easterly direction they proceeded to netherworld duly splitting the earth. [1-40-16]
tataH puurvaam disham bhittvaa dakSiNaam bibhiduH punaH |
dakSiNasyaam api dishi dadR^ishuH te mahaagajam || 1-40-17
mahaa padmam mahaatmaanam sumahaa parvatopamam |
shirasaa dhaaraya.ntam gaam vismayam jagmur uttamam || 1-40-18
17, 18. tataH puurvaam disham bhittvaa= then, eastern, direction, on splitting; punaH= again - then; dakSiNaam bibhiduH= south, split open; te dakSiNasyaam dishi api= they, in the southern, direction, even in; su mahaa parvata upamam= very, great, mountain, similar to; shirasaa gaam dhaarayantam= by head, [southerly side of ] earth, one which is sustaining; mahaatmaanam= which has venerable character; mahaapadmam= at Mahapdama [southerly elephant]; mahaa gajam= mammoth, elephant; dadR^ishuH= they saw; [te] uttamam vismayam jagmuH= [they,] inordinate, astonishment, have undergone.
"After splitting the eastern direction then they split opened the southern direction, and even in southern direction they beheld an elephant that is similar to a very great mountain, and that is sustaining southerly side of earth on its head, and on seeing that mammoth elephant of venerable character, namely Mahapadma, they went into an inordinate astonishment. [1-40-17, 18]
te tam pradakSiNam kR^itvaa sagarasya mahaatmanaH |
SaSTiH putra sahasraaNi pashcimaam bibhidur disham || 1-40-19
19. maha aatmanaH sagarasya= great souled, Sagara's; SaSTiH putra sahasraaNi= sixty, sons, thousand; tam pradakSiNam kR^itvaa= to it - to elephant, circumambulations, on making; te= they; pashcimaam disham bibhiduH= westerly, direction, scooped out.
"On circumabulating that elephant Mahaapada in supplication, they the sixty thousand sons of great-souled Sagara scooped out the westerly direction. [1-40-19]
pashcimaayaam api dishi mahaa.ntam acalopamam |
dishaa gajam saumanasam dadR^ishuH te mahaa balaaH || 1-40-20
20. mahaabalaaH= great mighty ones; te= they; pashcimaayaam dishi api= in western, direction, even in; mahaantam acala upamam= endless, mountain, similar to; saumanasam= Saumanasa - named elephant; dishaa gajam= [western] direction, elephant; dadR^ishuH= beheld.
"Even in the westerly direction those great mighty sons of Sagara beheld an infinite and mountain similar elephant of western direction, called Sumanasa. [1-40-20]
te tam pradakSiNam kR^itvaa pR^iSTvaa ca api niraamayam |
khana.ntaH samupakraa.ntaa disham somavatiim tadaa || 1-40-21
21. te tam pradakSiNam kR^itvaa= they, to it, circumambulations, on performing; niraamayam pR^iSTvaa ca api= its well-being, on asking, also, even; khanantaH= on digging - the earth; tadaa= then; [tataH= from there]; soma vatiim disham= nectar, which has, that direction, or, which has more Soma juice because rituals are performed there; [or, haima vatiim= snow, which has] northern direction; sam upa kraantaa= well, nearby, treated - reached.
"Circumabulating that elephant namely Sumanasa in western side, and even on asking about its well-being, then they reached the northern direction duly digging the earth. [1-40-21]
uttarasyaam raghushreSTha dadR^ishur hima paaNDuram |
bhadram bhadreNa vapuSaa dhaaraya.ntam mahiim imaam || 1-40-22
22. raghu shreSTha= oh, Rahu dynasty's, best one - Rama; uttarasyaam= in the northern direction; hima paaNDuram= which elephant is - snow, white; bhadreNa vapuSaa= with an auspicious, body; imaam mahiim dhaarayantam= this, earth, which is bearing; bhadram= Bhadra - named elephant; dadR^ishuH= they beheld.
"In the northern direction, oh, Rama, they beheld Bhadra, a snow-white elephant with an auspicious body bearing northern side of this earth. [1-40-22]
samaalabhya tataH sarve kR^itvaa ca enam pradakSiNam |
SaSTiH putra sahasraaNi bibhidur vasudhaa talam || 1-40-23
23. tataH sarve= then, all; SaSTiH putra sahasraaNi= sixty, sons, thousand; enam= it - elephant; samaalabhya= on touching [reverently]; pradakSiNam kR^itvaa ca= circumambulations [to elephant,] on making, also; vasudhaa talam bibhiduH= earth's, surface, burrowed.
"On touching that elephant reverently and also circumambulating it, those sixty thousands sons of Sagara further burrowed to the surface of the earth. [1-40-23]
tataH praak uttaraam gatvaa saagaraaH prathitaam disham |
roSaat abhyakhanan sarve pR^ithiviim sagara aatmajaaH || 1-40-24
24. tataH= then; saagaraaH= sons of Sagara; prathitaam praak uttaraam disham gatvaa= auspicious, east, north, to direction, on going; sarve sagara aatmajaaH= all, Sagara's, sons; roSaat pR^ithiviim abhyakhanan= rancorously, earth, they tunnelled.
"The sons of Sagara have then gone to the auspicious northeast direction, iishaana digbhaaga, Shiva sthaana, and all those sons of Sagara have tunnelled the earth rancorously. [1-40-24]
te tu sarve mahatmaano bhimavega mahabalaaH |
dadR^ishuH kapilam tatra vaasudevam sanaatanam || 1-40-25
hayam ca tasya devasya carantam aviduurataH |
praharSam atulam praptaH sarve te raghuna.ndana || 1-40-26
25, 26. mahatmaanaH bhimavega mahabalaha= great-souled ones, of terrible dash, great mighty ones; te sarve tu= they, all of them, but; tatra= there - northeast; kapilam= in sage Kapila's form; sanaatanam vaasudevam= the Infinite one, Vaasudeva - Vishnu; tasya devasya= from that, god's; a +vi+ duurataH= not, very, far - nearby; carantam hayam ca= moving, horse, also; dadR^ishuH= they saw; raghunandana= oh, decedent of Raghu; then; te sarve= they, all; atulam praharSam praptaH= matchless, delight, they obtained.
"But all those great-souled and great-mighty ones with terrible dash have seen the Infinite Vasudeva in the form of sage Kapila there in the northeast, and oh, descendant of Raghu, they have also seen the ritual-horse moving nearby that sage Kapila, thus all of the sons of Sagara obtained a matchless delight. [1-40-25, 26]
te tam haya haram j~naatvaa krodha paryaakula iikSaNaaH |
khanitra laa.ngalaa dhara naanaa vR^iksha shilaa dharaaH || 1-40-27
abhyadhaavanta sa.mkruddhaaH tiSTha tiSTha iti ca abruvan |
27, 28a. te= they - princes; tam= him - sage Kapila; haya haram= as horse, stealer; [yaj~na hanam= ritual-destroyer]; j~naatvaa= on construing; krodha paryaakula iikSaNaaH= with fury, agitating, eyes; khanitra laangalaa dharaa= crowbars, ploughs, handlers - wielding; naanaa vR^iksha shilaa dharaaH= various, trees, boulders, handlers - wielding; sam kruddhaaH abhya dhaavanta= very furiously, towards [sage,] dashed; tiSTha tiSTha iti abruvan ca= stay, stay, thus, they said - shouted, also.
"The eyes of the princes are agitated in fury in construing the sage Kapila as the stealer of ritual-horse, and they furiously dashed towards him wielding crowbars, ploughs, and various trees and boulders, and shouting at him, 'stay, stay.' [1-40-27, 28a]
asmaakam tvam hi turagam yaj~niyam hR^itavaan asi || 1-40-28
durmedhaH tvam hi sa.mpraaptaan viddhi naH sagaraatmajaan |
28b, 29a. dur medhaH= oh, evil, minded - malicious one; tvam= you; asmaakam= ours; yaj~niiyam= pertaining to Vedic ritual; turagam hR^itavaan asi hi= horse, you have stolen, you are, indeed; sampraaptaan naH= to here who have come, us; sagara aatmajaan= as Sagara's, sons; tvam viddhi hi= you, know, in fact.
"You the malicious one, you have indeed stolen our ritual-horse, and in fact, you should know that we who arrived here are the sons of Sagara.' Thus Sagara's sons shouted at sage Kapila. [1-40-28b, 29a]
shrutvaa tat vacanam teSaam kapilo raghuna.ndana || 1-40-29
roSeNa mahataa aaviSTo hum kaaram akarot tadaa |
29b, 30a. raghunandana= oh, descendant of Raghu; kapilaH teSaam tat vacanam shrutvaa= Kapila, their, that, sentence, on listening; tadaa= then; mahataa roSeNa aaviSTaH= with high, anger, beset with; hum kaaram akarot= hum [in dissent,] sound, he made - sage made the sound.
"On hearing their words, oh, Rama, the descendant of Raghu, then sage Kapila is beset with high wrath, and he boomed a 'hum' sound at them. [1-40-29b, 30a]
tataH tena aprameyeNa kapilena mahaatmanaa |
bhasma raashii kR^itaaH sarve kaakutstha sagaraatmajaaH || 1-40-30
30b, c. kaakutstha= oh, Rama of Kakutstha; tataH= then; a+prameyeNa= of unimaginable power maha atmanaa= by that great-souled one; tena kapilena= by him, by Kapila; sarve sagara aatmajaaH= all of the, Sagara's, sons; bhasma raashii kR^itaaH= to ashes, heaps of, rendered as.
"Oh, Rama of Kakutstha, then that great-souled sage Kapila, rather Vishnu with unimaginable power, has rendered all of those sons of Sagara as heaps of ashes by virtue of his 'hum' sound." Thus Sage Vishvamitra is narrating the legend of Sagara to Rama and others. [1-40-30b, c]
iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadi kaavye baala kaaNDe catvaarimshaH sargaH
Thus, this is the 40th chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.
© July, 2002, Desiraju Kumari [Revised : September 04]