Book I : Bala Kanda - The Youthful Majesties
The legend of Trishanku is narrated to Rama, which forms a part of Vishvamitra's legend. When Brahma blesses Vishvamitra to be a kingly-saint, rather than a Brahman-saint, Vishvamitra continues his ascesis in southerly parts of country. In the meantime, one king named Trishanku desired to go to heaven with mortal body and approaches Vashishta who rejects that very suggestion. Then that king approaches the sons of the same Vashishta with the same idea.
tataH sa.ntapta hR^idayaH smaran nigraham aatmanaH |
viniHshvasya viniHshvasya kR^ita vairo mahaatmanaa || 1-57-1
sa dakSiNaam disham gatvaa mahiSyaa saha raaghava |
tataapa paramam ghoram vishvaamitro mahaatapaaH || 1-57-2
phala muula ashano daantaiH cacaara mahat tapaH |
1, 2, 3a: raaghava= oh, Raghava; tataH= then; kR^ita vairaH= on making, enemy; mahaatmanaa= with great-souled Vashishta; mahaatapaaH= that great-ascetic; saH vishvaamitraH= he, that Vishvamitra; santapta hR^idayaH= with seething, heart; aatmanaH nigraham smaran= his, subdual, [whenever] reminisced; viniHshvasya viniHshvasya= suspiring, suspiring; mahiSyaa saha= prime queen, along with; dakSiNaam disham gatvaa= to southern, quarter, on going; paramam ghoram= a highly, astounding; mahat tapaH tataapa= supreme, ascesis, practised; phala muula ashanaH= fruits, tubers, eating [subsisting on]; daantaiH= self-collectedly; [su mahat tapaH= very, high, ascesis]; cacaara= conducted.
"Oh, Raghava, on making that great-souled Vashishta an enemy, whenever Vishvamitra reminisced over his subdual by Vashishta, he is seethed at heart and heaved sighs repeatedly. Then on going to southern quarter with his prime queen, that great-ascetic Vishvamitra self-collectedly conducted a highly astounding ascesis subsisting only on fruits and tubers." Thus Sage Shataananda continued his narration of Vishvamitra's legend. [1-57-1, 2, 3a]
atha asya jaj~nire putraaH satya dharma paraayaNaaH || 1-57-3
haviSpando madhuSyando dR^iDhanetro mahaarathaH |
3b, 4a: atha asya= then, to him; haviSpandaH= Havispanda; madhuSpandaH= Madhuspanda; dR^iDhanetraH= Dhridhanetra; mahaarathaH= Mahaaratha; satya dharma paraayaNaaH= in candour, chivalry, conducting; putraaH jaj~nire= sons, birthed.
"Then Vishvamitra begot sons named Havispanda, Madhuspnada, Dhridhanetra and Mahaaratha, who conduct themselves in candour and chivalry. [1-57-3]
puurNe varSa sahasre tu brahmaa loka pitaamahaH || 1-57-4
abraviit madhuram vaakyam vishvaamitram tapo dhanam |
jitaa raajarSi lokaaH te tapasaa kushika aatmaja || 1-57-5
4b, 5. varSa sahasre puurNe= years, thousand, at the close of; loka pitaamahaH brahmaa= world's, grandparent, Brahma; tapaH dhanam vishvaamitram= ascesis, wealthy, to Vishvamitra; madhuram vaakyam abraviit= mellowly, words spoke; kushika aatmaja= oh, Kushika's, son; te tapasaa= your, by ascesis; raajarSi lokaaH jitaaH= kingly-sages', worlds, won over.
"At the close of one thousand years of ascesis Brahma, the Grandparent of all worlds, revealed Himself to Vishvamitra and spoke these words mellowly to ascetically wealthy Vishvamitra, 'oh, son of Kushika, Vishvamitra, you have won the worlds of kingly-sages by your ascesis. [1-57-4b, 5]
anena tapasaa tvaam hi raaja R^iSir iti vidmahe |
evam uktvaa mahaatejaa jagaama saha daivataiH || 1-57-6
triviSTapam brahma lokam lokaanaam parama iishvaraH |
6, 7a. anena tapasaa= by this, ascesis; tvaam= you; raaja R^iSiH iti vidmahe= kingly, sage, thus, [we] acquiesce [you]; mahaatejaaH= great resplendent [Brahma]; lokaanaam parama iishvaraH= for worlds, supreme, ruler [Brahma]; evam uktvaa= that way, on speaking; daivataiH saha= gods [in convoy,] along with; brahma lokam= to Brahma's, abode; triviSTapam= to Heaven; jagaama= went away.
" 'We indeed acquiesce you as a kingly-sage by your ascesis.' saying so that great resplendent Brahma, the Supreme Ruler of the Worlds, went away to his Abode of Brahma, while the gods in Brahma's convoy went to Indra's Heaven. [1-57-6, 7a]
vishvaamitro api tat shrutvaa hriyaa ki.ncit avaa~NmukhaH || 1-57-7
duHkhena mahataa aaviSTaH sa manyuH idam abraviit |
7b, 8a. vishvaamitraH api tat shrutvaa= Vishvamitra, even, that, on hearing; hriyaa kincit avaa~N mukhaH= by disgrace, down, faced; mahataa duHkhena aaviSTaH= with high, anguish, prevailing over; sa manyuH idam abraviit= with, rancour, this, spoke [soliloquised.]
"On hearing that Vishvamitra is down-faced with disgrace, and while high anguish prevailed over him, he rancorously soliloquised this. [1-57-7b, 8a]
tapaH ca sumahat taptam raaja R^iSir iti maam viduH || 1-57-8
devaaH sa R^iSi gaNaaH sarve na asti manye tapaH phalam |
8b, 9a. su mahat tapaH taptam= very, high, practised [even though]; maam raaja R^iSiH iti= me, kingly, sage, thus as; sa R^iSi gaNaaH sarve devaaH= with, hermits' observances, all, gods; viduH= are recognising; tapaH phalam na asti manye= of ascesis, fruition, not, is there, I deem.
" 'Even though I have practised a very high ascesis, the gods together with the observances of hermits are recognising me just as a 'kingly-sage.' Thereby I deem that there is no fruition to my ascesis.' Thus Vishvamitra thought. [8b, 9a]
evam nishcitya manasaa bhuuya eva mahaatapaaH || 1-57-9
tapaH cacaara kaakutstha paramam parama aatmavaan |
9b, 10a. kaakutstha= oh, Rama of Kakutstha; mahaatapaaH= great-ascetic; parama aatmavaan= obstinate, souled one - self-willed Vishvamitra; evam manasaa nishcitya= thus, in heart, on deciding; bhuuya eva= again, that way; paramam tapaH cacaara= supreme, ascesis, undertook.
"Oh, Rama of Kakutstha, deciding in this way in his heart of hearts that self-willed Vishvamitra again undertook a supreme ascesis as he is a great-ascetic. [1-57-9]
etasmin eva kaale tu satya vaadii jita indriyaH || 1-57-10
trisha.nkuH iti vikhyaata ikSvaaku kula vardhanaH |
10b, 11a. etasmin eva kaale tu= in this, only, time, but; satya vaadii= truth, advocate of - veracious one; jita indriyaH= conquered, senses; ikSvaaku kula vardhanaH= Ikshvaku, dynasty, enhancer; trishankuH iti vikhyaata= Trishanku, thus, renowned; such a king is there.
"In this meantime there is a veracious king named Trishanku, an enhancer of Ikshvaku dynasty, and one renowned for his self-conquest. [1-57-10b, 11a]
tasya buddhiH samutpannaa yajeyam iti raaghava || 1-57-11
gacCheyam sva shariireNa devaanaam paramaam gatim |
vasiSTham sa samaahuuya kathayaamaasa cintitam || 1-57-12
11b, 12. Raaghava= oh, Raghava; sva shariireNa= own, with body; devaanaam paramaam gatim= of god's, ultimate, course [to heaven]; gacCheyam= I will go; yajeyam= I perform ritual; iti= thus; tasya buddhiH sam utpannaa= to his, mind, well, cropped up [idea sprang in the mind of Trishanku]; saH= he [Trishanku]; vasiSTham sam aahuuya= Vashishta is, well [sincerely,] calling [inviting]; cintitam kathayaamaasa= what he thought [by Trishanku]; started to tell.
"Oh, Raghava, an idea sprang up in the mind of Trishanku to perform a ritual by which he will go to heaven with his own body. Then he sincerely invited Vashishta and told him what his thinking is. [1-57-11b, 12]
ashakyam iti ca api ukto vasiSThena mahaatmanaa |
pratyaakhyaato vasiSThena sa yayau dakSiNaam disham || 1-57-13
tataH tat karma siddhi artham putraan tasya gato nR^ipaH |
13, 14a. mahaatmanaa vasiSThena= by great-souled one, Vashishta; a+shakyam itiuktaH= not, possible, thus, said [to Trishanku]; vasiSThena= by Vashishta; prati aakhyaataH= contra, dictum - contradicted, repudiated; saH= he [Trishanku]; dakSiNaam disham yayau= to southern, quarter, journeyed; tataH= then; nR^ipaH= king; tat karma siddhi artham= that, task, realising, purpose of; tasya= his [Vashishta's]; putraan= to sons; gataH= gone to.
"But the great-souled Vashishta said it as impossible. Thus repudiated Trishanku went to southerly direction in search of orchestrators for the purpose of realising that task, such a phantasmal ritual that enables him to go to heaven with his body, and that king hjas gone to the sons of Vashishta. [1-57-13, 14a]
vaasiSThaa diirgha tapasaH tapo yatra hi tepire || 1-57-14
trisha.nkuH sumahaatejaaH shatam parama bhaasvaram |
vasiSTha putraan dadR^ishe tapyamaanaan yashasvinaH || 1-57-15
14b, 15. diirgha tapasaH= protractedly, expiating; vaasiSThaa= sons of Vashishta; yatra= where; su mahaa tejaaH= very, greatly [supremely,] luminescent ones; parama bhaasvaram= highly [superbly,] refulgent ones; tapaH tepire hi= ascesis, practising, indeed; shatam manasvinaH= hundred, noble-souled ones; tapyamaanaan= while expiating; vasiSTha putraan= Vashishta's, sons; trishankuH [gatvaa]= Trishanku [having gone to that place]; dadR^ishe= he has seen [visited.]
"Trishanku has indeed gone to the place where the sons of Vashishta are protractedly expiating, and there he visited the hundred noble-souled sons of Vashishta, who are supremely self-luminescent and superbly self-refulgent by their ascesis. [1-57-14b, 15]
so abhigamya mahaatmaanaH sarvaan eva guroH sutaan |
abhivaadya aanupuurvyeNa hriyaa ki.mcit avaa~NmukhaH || 1-57-16
abraviit sa mahaatmanaH sarvaan eva kR^itaa.njaliH |
16, 17a: saH= he Trishanku; mahaatmaanaH= of noble-souled ones; sarvaan eva= all, thus; guroH sutaan= indoctrinator's, at sons; abhi gamya= to near, on reaching; aanu puurvyeNa= later, earlier - on observing - observing eldership and younger-hood, sequentially]; abhivaadya= reverenced; hriyaa kimcit avaa~N mukhaH= with abashment, a little, down, faced; kR^ita anjaliH= on making, palm-fold; sarvaan eva mahaatmanaH= to all of them, thus, to great-souled ones; saH abraviit= he, spoke.
"On reaching nigh of those noble-souled sons of the indoctrinator, namely Vashishta, Trishanku reverenced all of them sequentially according to their age, but with a little down- faced owing to abashment, and spoke to all of those great-souled ones making palm-fold in supplication. [1-57-16]
sharaNam vaH prapadye aham sharaNyaan sharaNaagataH || 1-57-17
pratyaakhyaato asmi bhadram vo vasiSThena mahaatmanaa |
17b, 18a. sharaNa aagataH= shelter, came; aham= I; sharaNyaan= you shelterers - of the needy; vaH= you; sharaNam prapadye= shelter, I seek; vaH bhadram= to you, let safety be there; mahaatmanaa vasiSThena pratyaakhyaataH asmi= by great-souled, Vashishta, repudiated, I am.
" 'I have come as a shelter-seeker seeking the shelter of yours as you are the shelterers of the needy, you all be safe, as the great-souled Vashishta has repudiated me. [1-57-17b, 18a]
yaSTu kaamo mahaayaj~nam tat anuj~naatum arthatha || 1-57-18
guru putraan aham sarvaan namas kR^itya prasaadaye |
18b, 19. mahaa yaj~nam yaSTu kaamaH= a great [unusual,] ritual, to perform, I long to; tat= therefore; anuj~naatum arthatha= to give assent, apt of you; aham guru putraan sarvaan= I am, to mentor's, sons, to all; namaH kR^itya prasaadaye= reverence, on making, I am proposing;.
" 'I am longing to perform an unusual ritual and it will be apt of you to give assent to it. Reverencing all of the sons of my mentor Vashishta I am proposing this to you. [1-57-18b, 19]
shirasaa praNato yaace braahmaNaan tapasi sthitaan || 1-57-19
te maam bhavantaH siddhi artham yaajaya.ntu samaahitaaH |
sa shariiro yathaa aham vai deva lokam avaapnuyaam || 1-57-20
19b, 20. shirasaa praNataH= with head, I salute - I truckle to reverence; tapasi sthitaan braahmaNaan= in ascesis, abiding, Brahmans; yaace= I beg of you; te= such as you are; bhavantaH= you all; samaahitaaH= assiduously; maam= me; siddhi artham= achievement, for the purpose of; yaajayantu= get ritual performed through me; aham sa shariiraH= I, with, my body; yathaa= as to how; deva lokam= god's, abode [heaven]; avaapnuyaam= I can get to.
" 'With reverence I truckle before you all Brahmans who are abiding in ascesis. Such as you are I beg you to assiduously get a ritual performed through me, as to how I can get to heaven with my body. [1-57-19b, 20]
pratyaakhyaato vasiSThena gatim anyaam tapo dhanaaH |
guru putraan R^ite sarvaan na aham pashyaami kaa.mcana || 1-57-21
21. tapaH dhanaaH= by ascesis, oh, wealthy ones; vasiSThena pratyaakhyaataH= by Vashishta, repudiated; aham= I; sarvaan guru putraan R^ite= all of you, mentor's, sons, except; anyaam gatim= another, recourse; kaamcana= in any way; na pashyaami= not, I am perceiving.
" 'Oh, ascetically wealthy Brahmans, as I am repudiated by Vashishta, I do not perceive another recourse excepting you, who are all the sons of mentor Vashishta. [1-57-21]
ikSvaakuuNaam hi sarveSaam purodhaaH paramaa gatiH |
tasmaat ana.ntaram sarve bhavanto daivatam mama || 1-57-22
22. sarveSaam ikSvaakuuNaam= for all, of Ikshvaku-s [kings]; purodhaaH paramaa gatiH hi= Priest, is ultimate, recourse, isn't it; tasmaat= than him [Vashishta;] anantaram= next-best; sarve bhavantaH= all, you; daivatam mama= gods, to me.
" 'The Priest is the ultimate recourse for all of the kings in Ikshvaku dynasty, isn't it. Therefore, next to Vashishta you are all the next-best gods to me.' Thus Trishanku entreated the hundred sons of Sage Vashishta." Sage Shataananda thus continued narration. [1-57-22]
iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadi kaavye baala kaaNDe sapta pa.ncaashaH sargaH
Thus, this is the 57th chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.
© Jan, 2003, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : December 04]