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Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda in Prose Sarga 6


The riches and happiness enjoyed by the people, under the rein of Emperor Dasharatha, along with the details of its valiant heroes, elephants, horses and the town planning are narrated.



He who is well-versed in Veda-s, who is a gatherer of all scholars, riches and forces as well, a foreseer and a great resplendent one, also one who is esteemed by urbanites and countrymen alike, one who is a top-speeded chariot-warrior aamong the emperors of Ikshwaku kings, one who has performed many Vedic rituals, a virtuous one, a great controller, a saint-like kingly sage, one who he is renowned in all the three worlds, a mighty one with all his enemies eradicated, nevertheless who has friends, one who conquered all his senses, one who is similar to Indra, or Kubera on earth with his wealth, accumulations and other possessions, he that king Dasharatha while dwelling in the city of Ayodhya protected the world, like Manu, the foremost protector of mankind.

He that truth-abiding king, who adheres to the three-fold virtues rules the vast of that kingdom from that best city Ayodhya, as Indra rules heaven from his capital Amaravati. In that best city Ayodhya all are exuberant yet virtuous ones, and scholars are variously learned ones, people are satisfied with their own riches, they have no greed, and they advocate truthfulness alone.

None with meagre accumulations is there in that great city and no householder is there without unearned means, and without cows, horses, monies or cereals and who could not sustain his family.

An ordinary family kuTumba is an assemblage of the householder, his wife, two of his parents, two sons, two daughters-in-law, one daughter, and one guest, totalling to ten members.

None can see a lustful person, or a miser or a cruel one anywhere in that Ayodhya, along with nondescripts or non-believers, for there are no such persons. All the ladies and gentlemen in that city are virtuous in mind, self-controlled ones, they are all self-satisfied like great saints, and both in their conduct and character they are blameless.

In that city none is there without his earrings, headgear, or garlands, none is an enjoyer of lowly things, or misses his regular oil-baths, or with an un-creamed body with sandalwood paste or with other body cream, or with an un-perfumed physique.

Earrings are the indicators of scholarship, and there are grades in their make and design, on par with the education one receives. The headgears present their social status, while other decorations are to exhibit their lavishness.

There is none who is famsihed, an uncharitable one in his nature, one with an undecorated body with ornaments like bracelets or chest plates, and there is none without a heart. There is none someone who is without sacrificial fires, and none without performing sacrificial rituals, and none is low in living; neither an immoral, nor a bastard nor even a thief, can be found in Ayodhya. The sense-controlled scholarly Vedic Brahmans are always engaged in their rituals, and they donate the education of Vedas to their students, as well practice their own, and while receiving donations they are principle-minded.

The donations received by Vedic scholars are not alms to beggars or charities to the destitute. The Vedic scholars do not receive them from anybody or everybody. There are set rules to accept such donations like cows, gold coins, villages, temples etc., from a befitting hand. Otherwise, the recipient is destined to go to Hell for having received greedily. Thus, if ever somebody wants to donate to such a scholar he should first notify his bona fides, which are verifiable by the recipient. Another kind of donation is referred here as daana adhyana, meaning that these scholars while receiving donations from a righteous source, they also have to donate something to others. It is the education in Veda, which they have to impart to their students free of any charge and that too, to the befitting students only. Thus, the words, daana and pratigrahaNa mean all these rules to accept a donation or to accord it.

There is no atheist, no liar, and none is less learnt in Veda-s, and no one is found to be jealous, or disabled, or unscholarly person. None can be found anywhere in Ayodhya without the knowledge of the six ancillaries of Veda-s like astrology, prosody, grammar etc., none a non-performer of the prescribed rituals, and none a non-donor in thousands, thus none with a saddened heart, turmoil in mind or agonised in will is there.

Whoever it may be, either a gentleman or a lady, none is without wealth, even none without elegance or devoid of devotion to their king, and it is impossible to see suchlike person in Ayodhya. In the four-caste system, from the first caste to the last, everyone is a worshipper of deities and guests and everyone is also faithful, illustrious, valiant, and each one is a brave one.

Though the word 'caste - Spanish and Portuguese casta ‘lineage, race, breed’ is distasteful, it is used here for an easy communication. Latin classis ‘assembly’ or section of society would be more suitable.

Longevity is there for all of the people, all are with virtuosity and truthfulness, and they lived in that best city along with their sons, grandsons and their ladies.

The warrior class Kshatriya-s is turned towards the Brahmans, the scholarly class, for intellectual and religious support. The trading class, Vyasya-s, is the follower of the Kshatriya-s, the ruling class, for the state's economy is dependent on the rulership. And the fourth one, Shuudra-s, the working class, while performing its own duties, is always working for the other castes.

That city is well protected by that king from Ikshwaku dynasty namely Dasharatha, like Manu, the foremost king of mankind in earlier times. That city Ayodhya is replete with firebrand like skillful warriors that are intolerant of insults, and who have prosecuted their education in archery, chariot-wars, swordplay etc. and with them it is like a cave replete with lions.

That city is full with best horses born in countries like Kaambhoja, Baahlika, Vanaayu, and also in river-bed counties, which are like the horse of Indra namely ucChiashrava.

It is said that the horses born in the rivers [nadii+ja] are brought to the city Ayodhya. They are not water horses but horses born at the place where the historically prominent Seven Rivers of Indus Valley Rivers flow. Here again an account of countries is given as a glimpse. These countries Kambhoja, Bahlika, Vanayu may not be taken as the provincial countries within the present day India. Prior to the present-day peninsular India, the belt from Himalayas to Alps had a great rapport in cultural and trade exchanges without demarcations of east or west, which paved the way for Alexander, the Great, towards India. Sometime back, say during 1985-87, the National Geography magazine contained a beautiful article under the heading " IRAQ, the crucible of civilisation ," Merle Severy, as its Asst. Editor. In its carefully worded introduction, it is stated that Iraq is "the traditional birthplace of man for Jews, Christians and Muslims... " On the other hand, Hindus naturally believe that the Southward Himalayan region is the birthplace of man. In the same article, the regions around Euphrates and Tigris are said to be the "Fertile Crescent, the cradle of Western civilization ... in the third millennium BC ". Further that " To the east a similar florescence occurred in the Indus and Yellow River Valleys... " This florescence in Indus Valley and far eastward did not occur later to Mesopotamian or Babylonian civilisations but flourished much earlier, as per Hindu scripts and the dating of which is the eternal question like Aryan Question. However, Hindu scripts centre the present world, Bhuuloka, surrounding Meru Mountain and its geography includes the land unto Rome, Russia, China. We will refer to Meru mountain-oriented geography and its geographical account at the appropriate place. Since Ramayana dates back to Buddhism and Buddhism's westward spread is unto Afghanistan, the Kings of Ramayana must have had no problem to draft horses from Persian, Arabian or the other of Middle East countries. These countries are always famous for horse breeding, right from the days of Ramayana to Moses. Hence the accounts of horses and the countries from where they are brought may be treated as cross-continental culture. Since history believes only in the unearthed iconography and the epics or their content can not stand to the carbon-testing, the countries named here as Kambhoja, Baahlika may nearly mean Babylonian, Mesopotamian, Arabian or other unknown or unearthed historic countries of the crucible of Western civilisation, Iraq. Vanaayu, another country referred may nearly mean Roman, as Persians term Greeks as Unani in India, advent to the arrival of Alexander, the Great. We still have an herbal medication called Unani, a hybrid between Ayurveda, Greek and Persian herbal treatments.

Born in Vindhya Mountains, and also from Himalayan regions, mighty are the elephants fully vigorous and fattened ones, and most powerful in their strength and each in similitude is a huge mountain. High bred from the classes of Iravata, the Elephant of Lord Indra, and from Mahapadma, Anjana and Vamana, too...are the elephants of that city.

It is said that eight elephants from eight corners called aSTa diggaja support the Universe. And these eight elephants have their presiding deities. From those eight elephants, four are prominent. They are iravata , the Elephant of Indra, anjana , the Elephant of varuNa , the Rain-god, vaamana , the Elephant of Yama, the Lord of Death, and another is punDariika . Thus, the elephants of Ayodhya are termed as divine breed.

That city is always full with vigorous and mountain like elephants bred mainly from three classes viz., Bhadra, Mandra and Mriga. And inter-bred among these three main classes are Bhadra-Mandra, Mandra-Mriga, Bhadra-Mriga and the like.

The bhadra is the elephant class for King's ride, called bhadra gaja . It is a state elephant with high honors and for occasional or ceremonial use. mandra and mR^iga are classes of breed tamed and used in wars or for the ride of other nobility. These are the essential mammals used for other lifting and carrying works.

While residing in which city King Dasharatha ruled the world that city is further fortified up to two more yojana-s outside city, true to its name a yodhya , an un-assailable one. In which city the great resplendent and admirable king Dasharatha resided, he ruled the world from that city with silenced enemies, like the moon governing the stars.

With gorgeous arches, castle-door-bars and with amazingly built houses that city is magnificent and auspicious one, and full with thousands of provincial kings too, and king Dasharatha, a coequal of Indra, indeed ruled that city which is true to its name.



Thus, this is the 6th chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India. 

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© 1998, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised - March 04]