Book I : Bala Kanda - The Youthful Majesties
Sage Vishvamitra curses his sons as they defy his orders and accords two esoteric hymns to Shunashepa, for chanting them in the Vedic-ritual of Ambariisha. Shunashepa gets longevity on chanting those hymns. Thus Vishvamitra not only creates another universe as in Trishanku's episode, he even accords longevity, or even deathlessness to mortals by his ascetic power. Such as he is, he is the mentor of Rama, and hence Sage Shataananda informs Rama about the capabilities of his own mentor, Vishvamitra, in these many episodes.
shunaHshepam narashreSTha gR^ihiitvaa tu mahaayashaaH |
vyashraamat puSkare raajaa madhyaahne raghuna.ndana || 1-62-1
1. narashreSTha= oh, best among men, Rama; raghuna.ndana= oh, Raghu's, legatee; mahaayashaaH raajaa = highly renowned one, that king Ambariisha; shunaHshepam gR^ihiitvaa= Shunashepa, on taking; madhya ahne= in mid, day - at noontime; puSkare vyashraamat= at holy lakeside, took rest.
"Oh, Rama, the best one among men and the legatee of Raghu, on taking Shunashepa that highly renowned king Ambariisha took rest at noontime on the lakeside of Holy Lake." Thus Sage Shataananda continued the legend of Shunashepa, as a part of Vishvamitra's legend. [1-62-1]
tasya vishramamaaNasya shunaHshepo mahaayashaaH |
puSkaram jyeSTham aagamya vishvaamitram dadarsha ha || 1-62-2
tapyantam R^iSibhiH saartham maatulam parama aaturaH |
2, 3a: tasya=his [Ambariisha]; vishramamaaNasya= while resting; mahaayashaaH shunaHshepaH = highly brilliant, Shunashepa; parama aaturaH= with high, anxiety; jyeSTham puSkaram aagamya= elder [main one,] holy lakeside, having come; R^iSibhiH saartham tapyantam =[other] sages, along with, performing ascesis; maatulam vishvaamitram dadarsha ha= maternal uncle, at Vishvamitra, he [Shunashepa] saw, indeed.
"While the king Ambariisha is taking rest that highly brilliant Shunashepa came to the lakeside of main Holy Lake with high anxiety, and there he indeed saw his maternal uncle Sage Vishvamitra who is performing ascesis along with other sages. [1-62-2, 3a]
viSaNNa vadano diinaH tR^iSNayaa ca shrameNa ca || 1-62-3
papaata anke mune raama vaakyam ca idam uvaaca ha |
3b, 4a. raama = oh, Rama; tR^iSNayaa ca shrameNa ca= by thirst, also, by strain, also; viSaNNa vadanaH= sulky, faced; diinaH= became pitiable; [aashu= immediately]; mune anke papaata = in saint Vishvamitra's, in flank [lap,] fell down; idam vaakyam uvaaca ha= this, sentence, said, indeed.
"Shunashepa became pitiable and sulky faced by strain and thirst, oh, Rama, and he immediately fell in the lap of saint Vishvamitra saying this sentence. [1-62-3b, 4a]
na me asti maataa na pitaa j~naatayo baandhavaaH kutaH || 1-62-4
traatum ar.hhasi maam saumya dharmeNa munipu.ngava |
4b, 5a. saumya munipungava = oh, peaceable, sage; me maataa na asti = to me, mother, not, is there; pita na= father, nor; j~naatayaH baandhavaaH kutaH = cousins, relatives, wherefore; maam dharmeNa traatum arhasi = me, according to saintliness, to protect, apt of you.
" 'I have no mother or a father to save me. Then wherefore cousins or relatives will be there to protect me. Oh, peaceable saint the eminent, it will be apt of you to protect me according to saintliness. [1-62-4b, 5a]
traataa tvam hi narashreSTha sarveSaam tvam hi bhaavanaH || 1-62-5
raajaa ca kR^itakaaryaH syaat aham diirgha aayuH avyayaH |
svarga lokam upaashniiyaam tapaH taptvaa hi anuttamam || 1-62-6
5b, 6. narashreSTha= oh, best one among men - illustrious sage; tvam sarveSaam traataa hi= you are, to each and every one, saviour, isn't it; tvam bhaavanaH hi = you are, apologist - upholder - guardian angel, isn't it; raajaa ca kR^ita kaaryaH syaat= king Ambariisha, also, achieved, [of his] purpose, let him be; aham diirgha aayuH= I, with long, life; a + vyayaH= not, spent on becoming imperishable; an + uttamam tapaH taptvaa hi = un, excelled, ascesis, on performing, indeed; svarga lokam upaashniiyaam= heavenly, worlds, I wish to enjoy.
" 'Oh, illustrious sage, you alone are the saviour to each and every one, isn't it! You alone are the guardian angel, isn't it! Hence, let the purpose of the king Ambariisha be achieved, and let longevity come to me, and I on becoming imperishable and indeed on performing an unexcelled ascesis, I wish to enjoy in heavenly worlds. [1-62-5b, 6]
sa me naatho hi anaathasya bhava bhavyena cetasaa |
pitaa iva putram dharmaaatman traatum ar.hhasi kilbiSaat || 1-62-7
7. a + naathasya= for not, protected one; me= to me; saH= such as you are; [tvam= you]; bhavyena cetasaa hi = with providential, sentiment, indeed; naathaH bhaava= [my] providence, you become; dharmaaatman= oh, virtue-souled one; pitaa putram iva = father, for son, as with; kilbiSaat traatum arhasi = from misfortune, to protect, apt of you.
" You shall be my providence with a providential sentiment as I stand unprotected, and oh, virtue souled one, it will be apt of you to protect me from misfortune, like a father protecting his own son.' Thus Shunashepa appealed to Vishvamitra. [1-62-7]
tasya tat vacanam shrutvaa vishvaamitro mahaatapaaH |
saantvayitvaa bahu vidham putraan idam uvaaca ha || 1-62-8
8. mahaa tapaaH vishvaamitraH= of higher ascesis, Vishvamitra; tasya tat vacanam shrutvaa= his [of Shunashepa,] that, sentence, on hearing; bahu vidham saantvayitvaa = in many, a way, having pacified; putraan idam uvaaca ha= to [his] sons, this, said, indeed.
"On hearing that sentence of Shunashepa and on pacifying him in many ways, Vishvamitra of higher ascesis, indeed said this to his sons. [1-62-8]
yat kR^ite pitaraH putraan janayanti shubha arthinaH |
para loka hita arthaaya tasya kaalo ayam aagataH || 1-62-9
9. shubha arthinaH pitaraH = positivity, desirers of, parents; yat kR^ite= for what, reason; para loka hita arthaaya= in other, world, welfare, for the purpose of; putraan janayanti= sons, engender; tasya= its [that reason's]; ayam kaalaH aagataH= this [is that,] time, [that] has come.
" 'For what reason parents engender sons, desiring positivity and for the purpose of welfare in the other worlds, this is the time that has come for fulfilling that reason. [1-62-9]
Vividly: 'A father's ambition in begetting sons is to do something good and positive to the society in the present world and when departed a right place is acquired in heavens through these sons, by their yearly death-day rituals etc., and hence you do some good in saving this boy from premature death and earn an apt place for me in heavens...'
ayam muni suto baalo mattaH sharaNam icChati |
asya jiivita maatreNa priyam kuruta putrakaaH || 1-62-10
10. muni sutaH ayam baalaH= sage's, son, this, youngster; mattaH= from me; sharaNam icChati = shelter, aspires; putrakaaH= oh, sons; asya= to him; jiivita maatreNa= life, just [by giving]; priyam kuruta= satisfaction, be given.
" 'This youngster is the son of sage and he aspires shelter from me. Hence, oh, sons, give him satisfaction just by giving life to him. [1-62-10]
sarve sukR^ita karmaaNaH sarve dharma paraayaNaaH |
pashu bhuutaa narendrasya tR^iptim agneH prayacChata || 1-62-11
11. sarve= all of you; su kR^ita karmaaNaH= well, done, pious deeds; sarve dharma paraayaNaaH = you all, in probity, have abidance; narendrasya= of the king; pashu bhuutaa= [ritual] animal, on becoming; agneH tR^iptim prayacChata= to Fire-god, appeasement, you bestow.
" 'You all have done very good pious deeds and you all abide by probity. Hence, you bestow appeasement to Fire-god on your becoming the ritual-animals of king Ambariisha in lieu of this boy Shunashepa. [1-62-11]
naathanaan ca shunaHshepo yaj~naH ca avighnato bhavet |
devataaH tarpitaaH ca syuH mama ca api kR^itam vacaH || 1-62-12
12. shunaHshepaH naathanaan ca = Shunashepa will be, with protectors, also; yaj~naH ca a+vighnataH bhavet= Vedic-ritual, also, un, impeded, it will become; devataaH tarpitaaH ca syuH = gods, oblated, also, they will be; mama vacaH ca api kR^itam = mine, word, also, even, actualised.
" 'As a result, Shunashepa will have protectors, Vedic-ritual will be unimpeded, gods will be oblated, and my word too will be actualised.' Thus Vishvamitra said to his sons. [1-62-12]
muneH tu vacanam shrutvaa madhuSyanda aadayaH sutaaH |
sa abhimaanam narashreSTha sa liilam idam abruvan || 1-62-13
13. nara shreSTha= oh, man the best, Rama; madhuSyanda aadayaH sutaaH tu= Madhu syanda, and other, sons - of Vishvamitra, on their part; muneH vacanam shrutvaa= sage's, saying, on hearing; sa abhimaanam= with, haughtiness; sa liilam= with, disparage; idam abruvan= this, said.
"But on hearing the saying of the sage, oh, Rama, the best of men, Madhushyanda and the other sons of Vishvamitra said this, haughtily and disparagingly. [1-62-13]
katham aatma sutaan hitvaa traayase anya sutam vibho |
akaaryam iva pashyaamaH shva maa.msam iva bhojane || 1-62-14
14. vibho= oh, lordly [father]; aatma sutaan hitvaa= your own, sons, on leaving off [sacrificing]; anya sutam katham traayase = other's, son, how, you save; bhojane shva maamsam iva = in dinner, dog's, meat, as [good as]; a + kaaryam iva pashyaamaH= wrong, doing, we see [we deem.]
" 'On sacrificing your own sons how can you save another's son, oh, lordly father, we deem this as a wrongdoing and as good as dog's meat in a dinner.' Thus the sons of Vishvamitra replied their father. [1-62-14]
Vishvamitra will be nagged by almost all, including his sons, on this 'dog-meat-eating.' There is a parable in Maha Bharata that Vishvamitra once tried to eat dog's meat when he did not get any food, but caught red-handedly. Later this has become the curse-theme to Vishvamitra when he cursed Vashishta's sons. At the present juncture also he curses his own sons with the same theme.
teSaam tat vacanam shrutvaa putraaNaam munipu.ngavaH |
krodha sa.mrakta nayano vyaahartum upacakrame || 1-62-15
15. muni pungavaH= sage, the eminent; teSaam putraaNaam tat vacanam shrutvaa= their, of sons, that, saying, on listening; krodha samrakta nayanaH= with fury, reddening, eyes; vyaahartum upacakrame= to speak [to curse,] started to.
"On listening that saying of his sons that eminent sage Vishvamitra started to curse them while fury reddened his eyes. [1-62-15]
niHsaadhvasam idam proktam dharmaat api vigarhitam |
atikramya tu mat vaakyam daaruNam roma harSaNam || 1-62-16
16. mat vaakyam ati kramya= my, word, [you all] on over, stepping - on transgressing; dharmaat api = according to probity, even; vi garhitam= verily, recriminatory; daaruNam= abhorrent; roma harSaNam= hair-raising; idam= this - in this way; niHsaadhvasam= impudently; pra uktam= verily, said - pertly replied me.
" 'You all have not only transgressed my word, but pertly replied me in an impudent manner which is abhorrent and hair-raising, and recriminatory according to probity. [1-62-16]
shva maa.msa bhojinaH sarve vaasiSThaa iva jaatiSu |
puurNam varSa sahasram tu pR^ithivyaam anuvatsyatha || 1-62-17
17. sarve= you all; shva maamsa bhojinaH= dog's, meat, while subsisting on; puurNam varSa sahasram tu= complete, for years, thousand, but; pR^ithivyaam= on earth; vaasiSThaa iva= Vashishta's [sons,] like; jaatiSu= in race of [Mustika-s]; anuvatsyatha = whirl around.
" 'You all will be whirling around the earth totally for a thousand years taking birth in the race that subsists on dog's meat, like the sons of Vashishta.' Thus Vishvamitra cursed his sons. [1-62-17]
kR^itvaa shaapa samaayuktaan putraan munivaraH tadaa |
shunaHshepam uvaaca aartam kR^itvaa rakSaam niraamayaam || 1-62-18
18. muni varaH= saint, the best; putraan shaapa samaayuktaan= sons, curse, bounden by; kR^itvaa = on making - on cursing; tadaa= then; niraamayaam rakSaam kR^itvaa = unharmed, invulnerability, on making; aartam shunaHshepam uvaaca= pitiable one, to Shunashepa, spoke.
"On making his sons bounden by curse, then that best saint spoke to the pitiable Shunashepa, on making unharmed invulnerability to him with sanctifying hymns. [1-62-18]
pavitra paashair baddho rakta maalya anulepanaH |
vaiSNavam yuupam aasaadya vaagbhiH agnim udaahara || 1-62-19
19. vaiSNavam yuupam aasaadya= Vishnu's, sacrificial post, on attaining [when you are fastened]; pavitra paashaiH baddhaH= by sacred, fastener, when fastened; rakta maalya anulepanaH= with red, garlands, smeared with [red] paste; such as you are you; vaagbhiH= with word [with hymns I am going to tell]; agnim udaahara= to Fire-god, you address [you praise him.]
" 'When you are fastened with sacred fastener to the sacrificial post of Vishnu, smeared with red paste and garlanded with red garlands, you praisefully address the Fire-god with the words I going to impart to you in Vedic hymns. [1-62-19]
ime ca gaathe dve divye gaayethaa muni putraka |
a.mbariiSasya yaj~ne asmin tataH siddhim avaapsyasi || 1-62-20
20. muni putraka= oh, saint's, son; ambariiSasya asmin yaj~ne = in of Ambariisha, in that, Vedic-ritual; ime dve divye gaathe = these, two, divine, songs [hymns]; gaayethaa= be sung [ chanted]; tataH siddhim avaapsyasi= then, aspiration, you will obtain.
" 'These two divine hymns, oh, son of saint, shall be chanted in the Vedic-ritual of Ambariisha, then you will obtain your aspiration.' Thus Vishvamitra taught two Vedic hymns to the boy. [1-62-20]
shunaHshepo gR^ihiitvaa te dve gaathe susamaahitaH |
tvarayaa raaja si.mham tam a.mbariiSam uvaaca ha || 1-62-21
21. shunaHshepaH= Shunashepa; su samaahitaH= very, attentively; te dve gaathe gR^ihiitvaa= those, two, hymns, having taken; raaja simham= to king, the lion; tam ambariiSam= to him, to Ambariisha; tvarayaa [gatvaa]= instantly [on going to]; uvaaca ha= spoke, indeed.
"Shunashepa having taken those two hymns from Vishvamitra very attentively has instantly gone to that lion-king Ambariisha and indeed spoke to him. [1-62-21]
raaja si.mha mahaabuddhe shiighram gacChaavahe vayam |
nivartayasva raajendra diikSaam ca samudaahara || 1-62-22
22. mahaabuddhe= oh, highly intellectual one; raaja simha= king, the lion; [sadaH= to your ritual place]; vayam shiighram gacChaavahe = we, promptly, go to; raajendra= oh, king the best; diikSaam nivartayasva = pledge, apply yourself to; [iti= this way]; samudaahara= said.
" 'Oh, king the lion, let us go promptly to your ritual place, oh, best king, you may apply yourself to your pledge in completing the ritual, with me as its sacrificial animal,' thus the boy said. [1-62-22]
tat vaakyam R^iSi putrasya shrutvaa harSa samanvitaH |
jagaama nR^ipatiH shiighram yaj~na vaaTam atandritaH || 1-62-23
23. nR^ipatiH= king; R^iSi putrasya tat vaakyam shrutvaa= of sage, son's, that, sentence, on listening; harSa samanvitaH=, gladness, along with [gladdened]; a+tandritaH= not, lazily - spiritedly; yaj~na vaaTam= to ritual, shed [hall]; shiighram jagaama = immediately, proceeded.
"On listening that sentence of the son of sage, the king Ambariisha is gladdened and proceeded to the ritual hall immediately and spiritedly. [1-62-23]
sadasya anumate raajaa pavitra kR^ita lakSaNam |
pashum rakta a.mbaram kR^itvaa yuupe tam samabandhayat || 1-62-24
24. raajaa= king; sadasya anumate= officiators', by permission of; tam= him [Shunashepa]; pavitra kR^ita lakSaNam= sanctity, prepared, with features [got the boy is prepared with bodily features of sanctity]; rakta ambaram pashum= with red, cloth, as ritual animal; kR^itvaa= made [clad him in red clothes]; yuupe sam abandhayat= to sacrificial post, securely fastened.
"The king with the permission of officiators of ritual got the boy prepared as a ritual animal with sanctified bodily features and clad him in red clothes and got him securely fastened to the sacrificial post. [1-62-24]
sa baddho vaagbhiH agryaabhiH abhituSTaava vai surau |
indram indra anujam caiva yathaavat muni putrakaH || 1-62-25
25. baddhaH saH muni putrakaH= when tied, he, saint's, son - Shunashepa; indram= Indra; indra anujam caiva= Indra's, brother [Upendra,] as well as; surau= these two gods; agryaabhiH= with superior ones; vaagbhiH= with words [two hymns]; yathaavat= as per [scriptures]; abhituSTaava vai= highly pleased, indeed.
"When Shunashepa is tied to ritual post he immensely pleased two gods, namely Indra and Upendra as well, with those two hymns he got from Vishvamitra. [1-62-25]
tataH priitaH sahasra akSo rahasya stuti toSitaH |
diirgham aayuH tadaa praadaat shunaHshepaaya raaghava || 1-62-26
26. raaghava= oh, Raghava; tataH= then; rahasya stuti toSitaH= esoteric, by laudation, who is satisfied; sahasra akSaH= thousand, eyed god Indra; priitaH= is gladdened; tadaa= then; shunaHshepaaya= for Shunashepa; diirgham aayuH praadaat= long, life [longevity,] bestowed.
"Then the Thousand-eyed Indra who is satisfied with esoteric laudation is gladdened, and oh, Raghava, then he bestowed longevity to Shunashepa. [1-62-26]
sa ca raajaa narashreSTha yaj~nasya ca samaaptavaan |
phalam bahu guNam raama sahasraakSa prasaadajam || 1-62-27
27. narashreSTha= oh, best one among men, Rama; raama= oh, Rama; saH raajaa ca = he, that king, also; sahasraakSa prasaada jam= Thousand-eyed Indra's, grace, caused by; bahu guNam= many, fold; yaj~nasya phalam ca sam aaptavaan= Vedic-ritual, fruits of, also, well, obtained.
"Oh, Rama, the best one among men, he that king Ambariisha also obtained the fruits of that Vedic-ritual in manyfold, resulted from the grace of Thousand-eyed Indra. [1-62-27]
vishvaamitro api dharmaatmaa bhuuyaH tepe mahaatapaaH |
puSkareSu narashreSTha dasha varSa shataani ca || 1-62-28
28. narashreSTha= oh, best one among men Rama; dharmaatmaa= virtue-soled sage; mahaa tapaaH= great ascetic; vishvaamitraH api = Vishvamitra, even; puSkareSu= at Holy place; dasha varSa shataani ca= ten, years, hundred, also; bhuuyaH tepe = again, performed ascesis.
"Oh, Rama, the best among men, even the virtue-souled great ascetic Vishvamitra again performed ascesis at the same Holy lakeside for another thousand years." Thus Sage Shataananda continued the narration of Vishvamitra's legend. [1-62-28]
iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadi kaavye baala kaaNDe dvi SaSTitamaH sargaH
Thus, this is the 62nd chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.
© Mar, 2003, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : December 04]