Divine sage Narada arrives at the hermitage of Sage Valmiki in order to enlighten him and keep him informed of his duty to author the epic poem Ramayana. In the dialogue between these two sages, Valmiki elicits from Narada about most virtuous person on earth, namely Rama. In this opening chapter, while eulogizing Rama Narada gives an outline of Ramayana, truly highlighting those aspects that are the keynotes in this epic, like virtuosity, generosity, morality, chastity and the like.
Valmiki Ramayana is said to have been composed basing on each of the twenty-four letters of Gayatri Hymn, and a thousand verses are arranged into one book under the caption of each letter. Though that classification, or dividing verses into thousand chapters is unavailable now, the twenty-four verses identified with the 24 letters of Gayatri hymn, called as Gayatri Ramayana, is available and it is given in the endnote of this page. In tune with the scheme of Gayatri, Ramayana starts the first verse with letter ta an auspicious letter.
tapaH svaadhyaaya nirataam tapasvii vaagvidaam varam |
naaradam paripapracCha vaalmiikiH muni puMgavam || 1-1-1
1. tapasvii = The ascetic; vaalmiikiH = (Poet) Valmiki;paripapracCha = inquired; naaradam = Naarada; tapaH-svaadhyaaya-niratam = deeply engaged in austerity and study of Vedas; varam = (and) best; vaagvidaam = among enunciators; muni-pungavam = (and) eminent among sages (as follows:);
The ascetic Valmiki inquired Naarada who engaged deeply in austerity and study of Vedas, best among the eloquent and eminent among sages (as follows:). [1-1-1]
The epic starts with the word auspicious word ta as said in ta kaaro vighna naashakaH, ta kaaro saukhya daayakaH...
kaH nu asmin saaMpratam loke guNavaan kaH ca viiryavaan |
dharmaj~naH ca kR^itaj~naH ca satya vaakyo dhR^iDha vrataH || 1-1-2
2. asmin loke = in this, world; saampratam = presently; guNavaan = virtuous person; kaH nu = who is, really; viiryavaan ca = vigorous, also; kaH = who is; dharmaj~naH ca = conscientious, also; kR^itaj~naH ca = one who is mindful of good deeds done to him also ; satya-vaakyaH = speaker of truth; dR^iDha-vrataH = determined in his deed.
"Who really is that person in this present world, who is virtuous and vigorous, a conscientious one, one who is mindful of good deeds done to him, and also a speaker of truth and who is determined in his deed... [1-1-2]
3. kaH chaaritreNa ca yuktaH = appropriate in disposition; kaH sarva-bhuuteSu hitaH = who is interested in welfare of all beings; kaH vidvaan = who is an adept one; samarthaH ca = an able one also; kaH ca eka-priya-darshanaH = who is also uniquely pleasant to look at.
"Who is appropriate in disposition... who is interested in welfare of all beings... who is adept and also an able one... also uniquely pleasant to look at... [1-1-3]
The adeptness of that person is in his knowing all the knowable aspects in this world, and he must be able to retain that knowledge to translate into his deeds, not just to sit back with his bookish knowledge, but with utmost practicality. His conduct-wise character shall be acceptable i.e., by his lineage he shall be noble, by his education he must be well-read, by his actions they must be conducive to norms laid down in Veda-s, and thus given any area, he should conduct himself properly. And he must be benign not only to higher-ups but to lowly subjects, like Guha, Shabari et al., and he should deal with wrongdoers and right-doers conscientiously. Further, he in his mien he shall be pleasant, but not an unsightly one. The word eka also means 'unique' and thus his complexion, facial, physical structures etc., shall be unique and shall differ from ordinary beings. kShaNe kShaNe yat navataam upaiti tadeva ruupam ramaNiiyataayaaH 'which / what / who gets newness moment by moment, that alone is pleasant...'
aatmavaan ko jitakrodho dyutimaan kaH anasuuyakaH |
kasya bibhyati devaaH ca jaata roShasya saMyuge || 1-1-4
4. aatmavaan = self-composed; kaH = who is; jita-krodhaH = one with controlled ire; dyutimaan = brilliant one; anasuuyakaH = not jealous; kaH = who is; jaata-roSasya = with anger born; kasya = of whom; saMyuge = in war; devaaH ca = gods even; bibhyati = are afraid.
"Who is that self-composed one, who controlled his ire, who is brilliant, non-jealous and whom do even the gods fear, when provoked to war... [1-1-4]
etat icChaami aham shrotum param kautuuhalam hi me |
maharShe tvam samartho.asi j~naatum evam vidham naram || 1-1-5
5. etat aham shrotum icChaami = all this I wish to listen; me kautuuhalam param hi = my inquisitiveness is immense indeed; maharShe= Oh! Great Sage - Narada; tvam = you; samarthaH asi = are competent; j~nnaatum = to know; evam vidham naram = [about] this kind of man.
"All this I wish to listen from you, oh! Great Sage, you are competent to know this kind of man, and indeed my inquisitiveness is immense..." Thus Valmiki enquired with Narada. [1-1-5]
Valmiki wanted to know about that man - a man with godly qualities. Valmiki's thinking aloud, about the qualities of his prospective hero of this epic, is the very opening questions put to an Omniscient Sage Narada. Both the sages know of Rama and his deeds. Even then Valmiki asks Narada, "who is that man with godly qualities?' If Narada tells that Rama is Vishnu Himself, there is nothing left for Valmiki to compose his epic, because there are numerous mythologies, puraaNa-s, that have already adored God Vishnu. If Narada tells that Rama is so-and-so king, again Valmiki need not attempt to author about some king, however great that king might be.
The attributes of the hero of Ramayana, as required by Valmiki, are 16; sixteen in number.1 1 - guNavaan 2 - viryavaan 3 - dharmaj~naH 4 - kR^itaj~naH 5 - satya vaakyaH 6 - dhR^iDha vrataH 7 - caaritra vaan 8 - sarva bhuuteShu hitaH 9 - vidvaan 10 - samarthaH - 11 - priyadarshana 12 - aatmavaan 13 - jita krodhaH 14 - dyutimaan 15 - anasuuyakaH 16 - bibhyatidevaaH These sixteen attributes are attributed to the sixteen phases of the Full Moon, and Valmiki is about to picture Rama to be as pleasant as a full-moon.
shrutvaa ca etat trilokaj~no vaalmiikeH naarado vacaH |
shruuyataam iti ca aamaMtrya prahR^iShTo vaakyam abraviit || 1-1-6
6. triloka-j~naH = familiar with the three worlds; naaradaH = Narada; etat vachaH shrutvaa = on listening to all those words; vaalmiikeH = of Valmiki; shruuyataam = let it be heard; iti = thus; aamantrya cha = beckoning [Valmiki,] also; prahR^iSTaH = being delighted; vaakyam abraviit = spoke (these) words.
On listening all those words of Valmiki, Narada, the knower of all the three worlds, said "let it be heard..." and beckoning at Sage Valmiki to listen attentively, he spoke these words very gladly. [1-1-6]
Narada is cognizant of three worlds, where the three worlds are bhuu loka, bhuvar loka, suvar loka this world, the intermediary heaven, the heavens themselves.
bahavo durlabhaaH ca eva ye tvayaa kiirtitaa guNaaH |
mune vaxShyaami aham buddhvaa taiH uktaH shruuyataam naraH || 1-1-7
7. mune = oh, sage Valmiki; bahavaH = many; ca durlabhaaH = and unattainable; eva = indeed; ye guNaaH = whichever merits; tvayaa kiirtitaaH = extolled by you; naraH = man; taiH yuktaH = who has these merits; aham buddhvaa = I, after knowing; vakshyaami = I will speak; shruuyataam = Let it be heard.
"Oh! Sage Valmiki, the merits which you have extolled are many, and unattainable. I, after having known from Brahma of such a man with all these merits, will speak on...Let it be heard." Thus Narada started to say. [1-1-7]
Narada came hither to impart the legend of Rama, as Brahma already imparted the same to him, and wanted him to impart these very attributes to Valmiki to compose Ramayana. It is a coincidence of interests Valmiki and those of Narada and Brahma.
ikShvaaku vaMsha prabhavo raamo naama janaiH shrutaH |
niyata aatmaa mahaaviiryo dyutimaan dhR^itimaan vashii || 1-1-8
8. ikshvaaku vamshaH prabhavaH = Born in Ikshvaku dynasty; raamaH naama = One named Rama; janaiH shrutaH = has been heard by people; niyataatmaa = with a controlled self; mahaa viiryaH = highly valorous one; dyutimaan = resplendent one; dhR^ithimaan = steadfast; vashii = controller [of vice and vile [or,] senses.]
"One emerged from Ikshvaku dynasty, known to people as Rama by name. He is with a controlled self, highly valorous, resplendent, steadfast and a controller of (vice and vile... or) his own senses. [1-1-8]
For the attributes explained by Narada there are some Vedanta imports. From niya aatma to vashii these are the attributes of the Supreme Being, Absolute of Brahman. swaruupa nirupaka lakshNaaH . This niyata aatmaa is 'immutable Absolute, this is the postulate of any Upanishad: ya aatmaa apahata paapmaa virajo vimR^ityur vishoko... 8-7-1, Chaandoj~na Upanishad. mahaa viiryaH = acintya vividha vicitra shaktivataH Absolute is Omnicompetent paraa asya shaktiH vividhaa iva shruuyate svaabhaavikii j~naana bala kriyaa ca 6-8, Shwetaashvatara Upanishad. The word dyutimaan is for the attribute of Self-Resplendent Absolute, or, Resplendence of Consciousness. tam eva bhaantam anubhaati sarvam tasya bhaasaa sarvam idam bhaati 2-11, Mundaka Upanishad. And the dhR^ithimaan is Sublime Bliss, according to Vyjanti dhR^itiH tu tuSTiH santoSaH and as said in aanando brahama - aanandaat eva khalu imaani bhuutaani jaayante 6, Taittariiya Upanishad. Next, vashii Absolute is the Omnipotent on the entire Universe. eko vahii sarva bhuuta antaraatmaa 2-5-12, Katha Upanishad and sarvasya vashii sarvasya iishaanaH and the like. The rest of the attributes of Rama as said by Narada are identifiable with the causative factors of that Absolute in Creation, and the process of Creation is the self-expression of the Absolute.
buddhimaan niitimaan vaa~Ngmii shriimaan shatru nibarhaNaH |
vipulaaMso mahaabaahuH kaMbu griivo mahaahanuH || 1-1-9
9. buddhimaan = wise; niitimaan = moralist; vaagmii = eloquent; shriimaan = glorious one; shatru nibharhaNaH = destroyer of enemies; vipula amsaH = broad shouldered; mahaa baahuH = with lengthy arms; kambugriivaH = with three lines in the neck [indicative of good fortune]; mahaa hanuH = high cheek bones.
"He is a wise one, moralist, eloquent, glorious, and a destroyer of enemies. His arms are lengthy, with three lines in the neck [indicative of good fortune], and cheekbones high... [1-1-9]
The Absolute is an adept one in creating the Creation yat sarvaj~naH sarva vit. He is niitimaan one who maintains the rhythm of universe as said at eSa setuH vidharaNa eSaam loka naama sambhedaaya... He is propitious because shriiH kaanti sampadoH lakshmyaam... gleaming, glistering richness of prosperity emanates from him. The following stanzas describe the physical qualities an Emperor should have by birth, as per saamudrika shaastra, the physiognomic treatise of astroloj~n.
mahorasko maheShvaaso guuDha jatruH arindamaH |
aajaanu baahuH sushiraaH sulalaaTaH suvikramaH || 1-1-10
10. mahaa uraskaH = broad chested; mahaa iShvaasaH = [one who handles] long bow; guuDha jatruH = with concealed collarbones [thick shouldered]; ariMdamaH = enemy subjugator; aajaanubaahuH = with long arms; su shiraaH = with a high [crowning] head; su lalaaTaH = with ample forehead; su vikramaH = with a good gait.
"He is lion-chested, with concealed collarbones, knee-length are his arms, and his is a long bow, an enemy-subjugator, and his emperor's countenance is with a crowning-head and an ample forehead, and his gait is majestic like that of a lion... [1-1-10]
When his physique is extolled, suddenly a weapon is said, in saying that 'his is longbow...' this is called prakrama bhanga doSa 'jump-cut in narration...' It is not so, his lengthy arms are said firstly and those arms can wield a great bow that can eliminate enemies, both physical and psychological ones like ariSaD varga shatru like desire, ire, avarice, conceit etc., as detailed in verse 4 above.
samaH sama vibhakta aMgaH snigdha varNaH prataapavaan |
piina vakShaa vishaalaakSho lakShmiivaan shubha lakShaNaH || 1-1-11
11. samaH = Built in right proportion (physically); sama vibhakta aN^gaH = with symmetrically divided limbs; snigdha varNaH = charmingly coloured [complexioned]; prataapavaan = courageous one [or, resplendent one]; piina vakshaaH = sinew chested; vishaala akshaH = wide eyed; lakshmiivaan = prosperous one; shubha lakshaNaH = with auspicious features.
"He is built proportionately physically, with limbs poised symmetrically, sinew-chested, wide-eyed, complexioned charmingly... he is a prosperous one with all the auspicious features ... [1-1-11]
Up to here the godly physical aspect bhagavad vigraha is explained that which is perceptible by the adherents as said in Chaandoj~na Upanishad: ya eSo antaraaditye hiraNmayaH puruSo dR^ishyate... 1-6-6. From now on, the features that are reliable for the adherers are said.
dharmaj~naH satya sandhaH ca prajaanaam ca hite rataH |
yashasvii j~naana saMpannaH shuciH vashyaH samaadhimaan || 1-1-12
12. dharma j~naH = rectitude knower; satya sandhaH ca = truth bidden also; prajaanaam ca hiterataH = also concerned in welfare of subjects; yashasvii = famed one; j~naana sampannaH = with proficient prudence; suchiH = clean [in conduct]; vashyaH = self-controlled; samaadhimaan = attentive one.
"He is the knower of rectitude, bidden by the truth, also his concern is in the welfare of subjects, proficient in prudence, clean in his conduct, self-controlled and an attentive one... [1-1-12]
prajaapati samaH shriimaan dhaataa ripu niShUdanaH |
rakshitaa jiivalokasya dharmasya pari rakshitaa|| 1-1-13
13. prajaapatiH samaH = equals the Lord of creatures; dhaataa = Sustainer (Lord Vishnu); shriimaan = (together) with Sri Lakshmi ; ripuH niShuudanaH = Eliminator of enemies; jiivalokasya rakshitaa = Protector of the world of living creatures; dharmasya parirakshitaa = Guardian of probity.
"He equals Lord Vishnu, the Lord of all creatures, Sustainer of the Universe, together with Sri Lakshmi (shriimaan = lakShmiivaan), Eliminator of enemies, Protector of the world of living creatures and Guardian of probity... [1-1-13]
The word रक्षिता is the Nominative Singular of रक्षितृ and means Protector. Please note that prajaapatiH can be applied to Vedic Gods as well as to Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Maheswara.
Here we consider Rama as equalling the Supreme God Lord Vishnu who is the One with Goddess Sri Lakshmi and also the sustainer. prajaapatiH is thus being translated as Lord Vishnu. Please note that we are
deviating from traditional translations of prajaapatiH as Lord Brahma here and this is intentional.
'These features show the aspects of Rama's incarnation...' Govindaraja. 'These features are available only in the Supreme Person, but unobtainable in any other...' Maheshvara Tiirtha. These two, Govindaraja and Maheshvara Tiirtha are reputed commentators on Ramayana among many others.
rakShitaa svasya dharmasya sva janasya ca rakShitaa |
veda vedaa~Nga tattvaj~no dhanur vede ca niShThitaH || 1-1-14
14. svasya dharmasya rakshitaa = preserver of his own righteousness; svajanasya ca rakshitaa = champion of his own people also; tatvaj~naH = scholar in essence (of); vedavedaaN^ga = Veda-s and ancillaries; niSTitaH = an expert; dhanur vede ca = in the science of archery.
"He is the preserver of his own righteousness and also a champion for adherent's welfare in the same righteousness, and he is a scholar in the essence of Veda-s and their ancillaries, too. He is an expert in dhanur Veda, the Art of Archery... [1-1-14]
These are the ancillary subjects of Vedas called anga part and upa anga sub-part. The main parts of Veda-s are siksha ritual rigor vyakarana grammar chandas prosody jyotish astrology nirukta recital rules kalpa procedure rules. This apart, the dhanur veda science of archery, itself is treated as 'an exclusive Veda taught to warriors...' The danur Veda is not to be construed as simple bow and arrow and 'shooting the target' education. It is a 'scripture on missiles' that existed in those ages.
Down the memory lane, O. A.Vijayan, the eminent Indian journalist has reflected in The Illustrated Weekly of India, that the Soviet scholar Dr. A. A. Gorbovsky said in his article with heading Ancient India may have had N-arms , in the Statesman, with dateline Moscow, Sept. 8, 1986. Among other things, the scientist observes by the stanzas that describe the disaster caused by such astra-s, now loosely termed as a well crafted bow and sky rocketing arrows, as below:
'A blazing shaft which possessed all the effulgence of smokeless fire was let off... all directions were enveloped by darkness... the very elements seemed to be perturbed... the sun seemed to turn... the universe, scorched with heat, seemed to be in fever... the survivors lost their hair and nails... for years the sun and sky remained shrouded with clouds...'
Thus the narration goes on. This is the account of Brahma astra, as in Maha Bharata, the other Epic of India. Thus the Dhanur Veda may be taken as the canon of missile sciences, which fortunately has not been handed over to the successive generations, lest everything would have been annihilated by now. In Ramayana too, which is much earlier to Mahabharata, there are elaborate accounts of such astra-s in the coming chapters. Sage Vishvamitra, who is well-versed in warfare, gives many such weapons to Rama. For now, these bow and arrow references may not be taken as those of Robin Hood.
sarvashaastraarthatattvaj~no smR^itimaan pratibhaanavaan |
sarvaloka priyaH saadhuH adiinaaatmaa vicakShaNaH || 1-1-15
15. sarvashaastraarthaHtattvaj~naH = cognizant of the essence and meaning of all the scriptures; smR^itimaan = one with excellent memory; pratibhaanavaan = a brilliant one;sarva loka priyaH = dear to all worlds; saadhuH = gentle; adiinaatmaa = undepressed in spirit [level-headed even in severe trouble]; vichakSaNaH = clear-headed [in discriminating and distinguishing.]
"He is the knower of the meaning and essence of all the scriptures, excellent at memory, a brilliant one, and dear to all the worlds, gentle, level-headed and clear-headed in discriminating and distinguishing... [1-1-15]
sarvadaa abhigataH sadbhiH samudra iva sindhubhiH |
aryaH sarvasamaH ca eva sadaiva priya darshanaH || 1-1-16
16. samudra sindhubhiH iva = like an ocean by rivers; sarvadaa abhigataH = always accessible; sadbhiH = by clean-minded ones; aaryaH = noble one; sarvasamaH ca eva = and also treat all equally; sadaa eva priya darshanaH = indeed ever a feast to the eye.
"Like an ocean that is reached by rivers, that reverential one too is always accessible and reachable by clean-minded ones, and he treats all equally, and ever a feast to eye... [1-1-16]
Here it is said 'he is reachable by all clean-minded ones...' satpravartana, sadbudhhi... and those that approach him with a sacrilegious intent, will meet their end at his hand. sarva samaH means, that he does not discriminate people by their caste, creed, or by that individual's philosophy etc., like tribal boatman Guha, low-birthed Shabari, and nihilist Sage Jaabaali et al. jaati guNa vR^itti aadi bheda a+bhaavaat And the word eva in saa eva priya darshanaH indicates 'always...' 'unvarying in his demeanour with anyone...' Govindaraja. And by the simile of ocean to Rama, for rivers there is no other course except an ocean; thus, the living beings, may it be humans or birds like Jataayu, have no other recourse than Rama.
sa ca sarva guNopetaH kausalya aanaMda vardhanaH |
samudra iva gaambhiirye dhairyeNa himavaan iva || 1-1-17
17. kausalya aananda vardhanaH = One who betters Kausalya's [his mother's] happiness; saH ca = he (is) also; sarva guNa upetaH = embodied with all [noble] merits; gaambhiirye samudra iva = like an ocean in profundity - his inmost heart is unfathomable like an ocean; dhairyeNa himavaan iva = by fortitude Himavanta [Himalayan] mountain like.
"He who betters the happiness of his mother Kausalya is an embodiment of all noble merits, and in profundity he is like an unfathomable ocean, and by fortitude he is unalterable like the kingly Himalayan mountain... [1-1-17]
At times Rama is said to be 'the son of Kausalya...' than the son Dasharatha, because the word Kausalya does not signify his mother alone, the daughter of King of Kosala, but it has meanings like kshema, kushala, saamarthya, puNya, nipuNatva 'safeness, soundness, capability, merit, expertise...' and this also signifies Queen Kausalya's worshipping of Vishnu. When dynasty, valour, braveness etc., are said, Rama's name will be attached with Dasharatha. An ocean is not a bottomless one but an unfathomable one. So also Rama's heart has a reachable bottom, where pearls, gems, and other treasures of virtues are abounding, and it can be reached with a heartily approach. For a hard-hearted one Rama's heart becomes an unfathomable abyss and he will get lost in it. girayoH varSha dhaaraabhir haryamaanaa na vivyadhuH | abhibhuuya maanaa vyasanaiH yathaa adhokShaja cetasaa || 'true devotees do not get hassled though subjected to many problems, for they place their faith in the Supreme. Equally, mountains are unshaken though battered by storms or lightings...' So, like a mountain he is unalterable and constant for a true devotee. An icy-mountain is meltable by scorching sun, thus Rama also melts down when his adherents are scorched with their problems.
viShNunaa sadR^isho viirye somavat priya darshanaH |
kaala agni sadR^ishaH krodhe kShamayaa pR^ithvii samaH || 1-1-18
dhanadena samaH tyaage satye dharma iva aparaH |
18, 19a. viirye = in valour; vishNunaa sadR^ishaH = comparable to Vishnu; somavat priya darshanaH = attractive in look like the moon; krodhe = in anger; kaala agni sadR^ishaH = matchable to the world ending fire; kShamayaa pR^ithvii samaH = equals to the Earth in forgiveness; tyage = in benevolence; dhanadena samaH = equal to Kubera [God of Wealth]; satye = in candour; aparaH = with no rival; dharmaH iva = like Truth personified.
"In valour Rama is comparable to Vishnu, and in his looks he is attractive like the moon, he equals the earth in his forgiveness, but he is matchable to world ending fire in his wrath... and in benevolence he is identical to Kubera, God of Wealth, and in his candour he is like Dharma itself, the Truth personified, with none to rival him... [1-1-18, 19a]
Here the 'valour' is to cause harm to enemy, while remaining himself unharmed... svasya a-vikaara eva parasya vikaara aapadanam Rama Tilaka. 'Though Rama is Vishnu, but by nature of his incarnation as human, he is different from Vishnu upaadhi bheda... Hence Vishnu has become another entity than Rama... Or, his valour is selfsame to Vishnu's valour because he is selfsame Vishnu...' Govindaraja. 'As there is none other in similitude, he is compared Vishnu, insofar as valour is concerned...' Maheshvara Tiirtha. Earth personally does not grieve when people tread on it, trample, dig, cut, or whatever is done to her. Likewise Rama personally gets unaffected, whatever harm is done to him, but he becomes wrathful, if that harm is committed to dharma.
Thitherto, the Bala Kanda is narrated by these narrations of sparkled in Ikshvaku dynasty 'Rama's incarnation...' highly valorous, enemy subjugator... 'elimination of demoness Tataka, subdual of the vanity of Parashu Rama...' propitious 'marriage with Seetha, knows Art of Archery 'receiving missiles from Vishvamitra...' From now poet tells the Ayodhya Kanda, and a gist of this magnum opus is given here itself. This narration is known as baala raamayana - samskhepa raamyana meaning that it is aimed at youngsters as it has been told in an abridged version. In the endnote, details about this version and still abridged version, called Gayatri Ramayana, are given.
Readers may find an inordinate use of ellipses in translation of the epic. But they are 'a must.' Pt. Satya Vrat, the author of Ramayana - A Linguistic Study says: "Ellipsis is the peculiarity of the style of the older works like Ramayana... their writings, as they stood, yielded incomplete sense which has to be supplemented by adhyaadhaara, viz., supply of words, that would fit in the context... Indeed, in most cases the ellipsis could be readily understood and would suggest the word or words that would make it up...' We therefore request the readers to go by the meaning of the context, than by the order of words, for there is a saying... paaTha krame artha kramo baliiyaH... So, this adhyaadhaara, supply of words, may not be that faithful while rendering from Sanskrit to English.
tam evam guNa saMpannam raamam satya paraakramam || 1-1-19
jyeShTam shreShTa guNaiH yuktam priyam dasharathaH sutam |
prakR^itInaam hitaiH yuktam prakR^iti priya kaaMyayaa || 1-1-20
yauva raajyena saMyoktum aicChat priityaa mahiipatiH |
19b, 20, 21a. mahii patiH dasarathaH = Lord of the land King Dasaratha; evam guna sampannam = [Rama,] possessor of such like merits; satya parakramam = with true valour; shreSTa guNaiH yuktam = together with best of qualities; priyam = (is a) dear one [to Dasharatha]; prakR^itinaam hitaiH yuktam = doer of works for the welfare of the people; jyeSTham sutam = eldest, son; tam raamam = that Rama; prakR^iti priya kaamyayaa = with a desire for doing good to people; priityaa = affectionately; yauva raajyena = young [crown,] prince-hood; samyoktum = to endow with; aicChhat = intended to.
"Rama, being the possessor of suchlike merits, whose truthfulness is his courage, embodied with best of qualities, ever involved in the welfare of people, being the dear and eldest son of the King, King Dasharatha affectionately intended to endow such a Rama with crown prince-hood for people's welfare...[1-1-29b, 20, 21a]
tasya abhiSheka saMbhaaraan dR^iShTvaa bhaaryaa atha kaikayii || 1-1-21
puurvam datta varaa devii varam enam ayaacata |
vivaasanam ca raamasya bharatasya abhiShecanam || 1-1-22
21b, 22. atha = then; dR^iShTvaa = seeing; tasya = his - Rama's; abhishheka sambhaaraan = anointment [as crown prince] arrangements; bhaarya devi kaikeyi = (Dasaratha's) [dear] wife queen Kaikeyi; puurvam datta varaa = having been with previously given boons; ayaachata = solicited; raamasya vivaasanam = Rama's, exile; bharatasya abhiSechanam ca = and Bharata's, anointment; varam enam = (as) boons from him [Dasaratha].
"Then seeing the arrangements for the anointment of Rama as crown-prince, Kaikeyi, the dear wife and a queen of Dasaratha, solicited boons that were once accorded to her by Dasharatha, for the banishment of Rama and anointment of Bharata as boons. [1-1-21b 22]
sa satya vacanaat raajaa dharma paashena saMyataH |
vivaasayaamaasa sutam raamam dasharathaH priyam || 1-1-23
23. saH raajaa dasharathaH = That king Dasaratha; saMyataH = bound; dharma paashena = by noose of virtuousness; satya vacanaat = by his true (plighted) word; vivaasayaamaasa = exiled; priyam sutam raamam = dear son Rama; .
"Bound by his true plighted word and by the noose of righteousness that king Dasharatha exiled his dear son Rama to forests. [1-1-23]
sa jagaama vanam viiraH pratij~naam anupaalayan |
pitur vacana nirdeshaat kaikeyyaaH priya kaaraNaat || 1-1-24
24. saH viiraH = that warrior [Rama]; kaikeyyaaH priya kaaraNaat = by reason of pleasing Kaikeyi; anupaalayan = (and) to follow;pratij~naam = promise - his own pledge to adhere to his father's word, or, promise of his father to Kaikeyi; pituH vacana nirdeshaat = by father's directive; vanam jagaama = repaired to forest.
"That warrior Rama repaired to forest for pleasing Kaikeyi, as directed by his father, and to follow his father's word of honour. [1-1-24]
taM vrajantaM priyo bhraataa lakShmaNaH anujagaama ha |
snehaat vinaya saMpannaH sumitra aanaMda vardhanaH || 1-1-25
bhraataram dayito bhraatuH saubhraatram anu darshayan |
25, 26a. lakshmanaH = Lakshmana;vinaya sampannaH = endowed with humbleness; priya bhraataa = an endearing brother; bhraatuH dayitaH = (and) dear to brother [to Rama]; sumitra aananda vardhanaH = augmentor [of his mother] Sumitra's joy; saubhraatram anudarshayan = showing [brotherly] fraternity; snehaat anujagaama ha = followed [Rama] out of affection;vrajantam tam bhraataram = while that brother [Rama] was going [to forest].
"While that Rama was going on exile, Lakshmana, endowed with humbleness, and augmentor of his mother Sumitra's joy, and an endearing and dear brother to Rama, followed Rama out of affection, showing brotherly fraternity.[1-1-25, 26a]
व्रजन्तम् is an accusative case of व्रजत् with व्रज् as its root.
raamasya dayitaa bhaaryaa nityam praaNa samaa hitaa || 1-1-26
janakasya kule jaataa deva maayeva nir.hmitaa |
sarva lakShaNa saMpannaa naariiNaam uttamaa vadhuuH || 1-1-27
siitaapya anugataa raamam shashinam rohiNii yathaa |
26b, 27, 28a. siitaa api = Even Seetha; vadhuuH = daughter-in-law [of Dasharatha]; raamasya dayitaa bhaaryaa = (and) Rama' beloved wife; praaNa samaa = equal to life (of Rama); nityam hitaa = ever well disposed one; jankasya kule jaataa = born in the family of Janaka; nirmitaa deva maayeva = as though fashioned by divine marvel; sarva lakshaNa sampannaa = possessor of all characteristics [befitting to an ideal lady]; nariiNaam uttamaa = the best one among women; raamam anugataa = followed Rama; rohiNii shashinam yathaa = like Rohini with Moon.
"Even Seetha, daughter-in-law of Dasaratha, and Rama's beloved wife equalling to Rama's life, ever well disposed, born in the family of Janaka and one as though fashioned by a Divine marvel, endowed with all good characteristics and the best among women, followed Rama to forest, like Rohini following the Moon... [1-1-26b, 27, 28a]
Here deva maaya refers to many concepts. Vaishnavaite tenets tell that the word deva is ascribable only to Vishnu, but not to other gods. Thus, this is Vishnu maya, when He assumed an extraordinary female form called Mohini, when distributing amR^ita, the divine elixir, to gods and demons. Next is the form of Tilottama, a divine beauty to hoodwink demons called Sunda and Upasunda. The other is Vishnu's liilaa shakti, which is divinely fascinating. Yet another is grammatical connotation, maa yaa where, maa= Goddess Lakshmi; yaa= who that is; meaning yaa siitaa saa maa= 'who is Goddess Lakshmi... She is Seetha...' and this results in the saying: ati ruupavatii siitaa... ati muurkhaH cha raavaNa 'While Seetha is extraordinarily beautiful, Ravana is exceedingly stupid...
The deities have their wives always with them. Chandra, the Moon has Rohini, a conspicuous star, while Surya, Sun has Prabha, Sunshine. Minus these wives, their glow and glitter is void. So also, Rama has an inseparable wife. Though Seetha and Lakshmana were not exiled, they followed Rama out of concept of 'togetherness...'
pauraiH anugato duuram pitraa dasharathena ca || 1-1-28
shR^ingibera pure suutam gaMgaa kuule vyasarjayat |
guham aasaadya dharmaatmaa niShaada adhipatim priyam || 1-1-29
guheana sahito raamo lakshmaNena cha siitayaa |
28b, 29, 30a. anugataH = followed; pauraiH = by citizens; pitraa dasarathena ca = and by father Dasaratha; duuram = for a long distance; dharmaatmaa raamaH = virtuous Rama; aasaadya = reached;nishhaada adhipatim = tribal chief; guham = Guha; priyam = who liked him; gangaa kuule = on River Ganga's bank; sR^iN^giberapure = in [a town called] Sringaberapura; guhena lakshmaNena siitayaa ca sahitaH = together with Guha, Lakshmana and Seetha; vyasarjayat = (he) left off; suutam = the charioteer.
"The citizens of Ayodhya and his father Dasaratha followed virtuous Rama for a distance when he started on his exile. Later Rama reached the tribal chief named Guha, who liked Rama, on the bank of River Ganga in a town called Sringaberapura. Together with Guha, Lakshmana and Seetha, he left off the charioteer. [1-1-28b, 29, 30a]
te vanena vanam gatvaa nadiiH tiirtvaa bahu udakaaH || 1-1-30
citrakuuTam anupraapya bharadvaajasya shaasanaat |
raMyam aavasatham kR^itvaa ramamaaNaa vane trayaH || 1-1-31
deva gandharva saMkaashaaH tatra te nyavasan sukham |
30b, 31, 32a. te = they; vanena vanam gatvaa = going from forest to forest; bahu udakaan nadiiH tiirtva = crossed rivers with much waters; anu = (and) after that; bharadvaajasya shaasanaat = by ordainment of sage Bharadwaja; chitrakuuTam praapya = arriving at Chitrakuta; ramyam avasatham kR^itvaa = building (lit. manufacturing) a handsome habitation; te trayaH = they the trio; sukham nyavasan = happily lived; tatra = there [at Chitrakuta]; vane ramamaaNaa = in the woods delightfully; deva gandharva saMkaashaaH = like gods and gandharvas.
"That trio of Seetha, Rama and Lakshmana after going from forest to forest and crossing many a river with much waters, by the ordainment of Bharadwaja, arrived at Chitrakuta, and building a handsome cottage there, they lived happily and delightfully in the woods there, like gods and gandharvas... [1-1-30b, 31, 32a]
In another way the meaning is: te avane 'they, protecting each other...' te ramamaaNaaH ' those two Rama and Seetha, frolicsomely delighted, enjoyed the essence of forest dwelling...' saMkaashaa similar to Vishnu or Narayana's enjoyment of kriiDaa rasa 'the essence of His playful acts...' and Lakshmana enjoyed the essence of his servitude sevaa rasa and where deva = devii ca devaH ca devau 'either goddess or god... it but the Almighty...' gandharva = gaanam dhaarayati iti gandharva - jiivan muktaH attaining liberation while living, thus Lakshmana rejoiced with his singing of saama gaana of Sama Veda....' And they rejoiced without feeling any difference between city dwelling and forest dwelling... as every part of Universe is theirs.
In another way tevane vanam gatvaa 'playfully, to forests, they went...' It is a play for them to enter the forest to resolve the purpose of Ramayana and their incarnations.
citrakuuTam gate raame putra shoka aaturaH tathaa || 1-1-32
raajaa dasharathaH svargam jagaama vilapan sutam |
32b, 33a. gate raame = On gone Rama; chitrakuuTam = to Chitrakuta; tathaa = thus [tadaa = then]; raajaa dasharathaH = King Dasaratha;svargam jagaama = went to heavens [died]; putra shoka aaturaH = tormented by grief for his son; sutam vilapam = while weeping for his son;
"On Rama going to Chitrakuta thus, King Dasharatha tormented by the grief for son, went to heavens weeping for son... [1-1-32b, 33a]
The word 'thus' is according to the text of Govindaraja. Maheshvara Tiirtha's text will have 'then'.
mR^ite tu tasmin bharato vasiShTha pramukhaiH dvijaiH || 1-1-33
niyujyamaano raajyaaya na icChat raajyam mahaabalaH |
sa jagaama vanam viiro raama paada prasaadakaH || 1-1-34
33b, 34. tasmin mR^ite = On his (Dasaratha's) dying; bharataH tu = though Bharata; raajyaaya niyujyamaanaH = had been appointed for kingship; vasiSTha pramukhaiH dvijaiH = by Sage Vasishta and other prominent Brahmanas; mahaa balaH = (that) highly mighty one; raajyam na icChat = did not desire kingdom; saH viiraH = that warrior; vanam jagaama = went to forest; raama paada prasaadakaH = (to) propitiate the venerable Rama.
"On Dasaratha's dying, though Bharata had been appointed for kingship by Sage Vashishta and other Brahmanas, that highly mighty one did not desire kingdom. That warrior Bharata went to forest to propitiate the venerable Rama... [1-1-33b. 34]
gatvaa tu sa mahaatmaanam raamam satya paraakramam |
ayaachat bhraataram raamam aarya bhaava puraskR^itaH || 1-1-35
tvam eva raajaa dharmaj~na iti raamam vachaH abraviit |
35, 36a. saH = That Bharata; aarya bhaava puraskR^itaH = possessed of a worthy way of thinking [to get Rama installed as king]; gatvaa = on going;raamam = to Rama; bhraataram raamam ayaachat = begged [his] brother Rama;mahaa aatmaanam = to the great souled one; satya paraakramam = to truly courageous one; raamam = To [such] Rama; vachaH abraviit iti = [Bharata] spoke words in this manner; tvam eva = you alone; dharmaj~naH = the knower of probity; raajaa = [be the] king;
"That Bharata, possessed of a worthy way of thinking [to get Rama installed as king], on going to Rama, begged his brother Rama, a great souled one and a truly courageous one. Bharata spoke words in this manner to Rama - "You alone, the knower of probity, be the king." ... ' [1-1-35, 36a]
tu is omitted in the translation since it is there for the purpose of paada puurana.
raamo.api paramodaaraH sumukhaH sumahaayashaaH || 1-1-36
na cha icChat pitur aadeshaat raajyam raamo mahaabalaH |
36b, 37a. api = even though; raamaH = Rama; parama udaaraH = (was) very benevolent; sumukhaH api = gracious also; su mahaa yashaH = highly famed; mahaa balaH ca = and with great prowess; raamaH = Rama; pituH aadeshaat = due to father's injunction; na icChat = did not desire; raajyam = kingdom.
"Even though Rama was very benevolent, gracious also, highly famed and with great prowess, Rama did not desire kingdom due to father's injunction... [1-1-36b, 37a]
paaduke ca asya raajyaaya nyaasam dattvaa punaH punaH || 1-1-37
nivartayaamaasa tato bharatam bharata agrajaH |
37b, 38a. tataH = Thereafter; punaH punaH = repeatedly; bharatam nivartayaamaasa = turning Bharata back; bharataagrajaH = [Rama] the elder brother of Bharata; paaduke dattvaa= giving (the two) wooden shoes; asya = to him [to Bharata]; cha nyaasam = and intrusting [them]; raajyaaya = for (the sake of) kingdom.
"Thereafter, repeatedly turning Bharata back, the elder brother, Rama, gave his wooden shoes to Bharata and intrusting them to represent him for the sake of kingdom. [1-1-37b, 38a]
sa kaamam anavaapya eva raama paadaa upaspR^ishan || 1-1-38
nandi graame akarot raajyam raama aagamana kaaMkShayaa |
38b, 39a. saH = he that Bharata; kaamam an avaapaya eva = desire, not, fulfilled, thus; raama paadau upaspR^ishan = Rama's feet, on touching; raama aagamana kaankshayaa = Rama's, arrival, with an expectation; nandigraame akarot raajyam = from Nandigrama [a village,] carried on, kingdom;
"Unfulfilled is the desire of Bharata in taking back Rama to kingdom, hence on touching Rama's feet and taking sandals, he returned from Chitrakuta, and without ruling from capital Ayodhya, he carried on the kingdom from a village called Nandigrama, with an expectation of Rama's return... [1-1-38b, 39a]
gate tu bharate shriimaan satyasandho jitendriyaH || 1-1-39
raamaH tu punaH aalakShya naagarasya janasya ca |
tatra aagamanam ekaagro daNDakaan pravivesha ha |1-1-40
39b, 40. bharate gate tu = However, after Bharata left; raamaH = Rama; shriimaan = the splendid one;satya sandhaH = truth-bound one; jita indriyaH = one with conquered senses; aalakshya = on anticipating; punaH tatra aagamanam = re-arrival there [Chitrakoota]; naagarasya janasya ca = of citizens and (other) people; ekaagraH = (to be) undisturbed; pravivesha ha = [he] then entered; daNDakaan = Dandaka forests.
"On the departure of Bharata, that splendid Rama, truth-bound, and self-controlled, anticipated the repeated visits of citizens and other people. To be undisturbed, Rama then entered Dandaka forest... [1-1-39b, 40]
The translation of ekaagraH as "undisturbed" is done according to the context of Rama's anticipation that there might be repeated visits from various people to Chitrakuta and entreaties from them for Rama to return to Ayodhya. Normally ekaagraH is translated as "single-pointed attention". Govindaraja explains ekaagraH with respect to following father's injunction or being alert to increased presence of Rakshasas.
pravishya tu mahaaaraNyam raamo raajiiva lochanaH |
viraadham raakShasam hatvaa sharabhaMgam dadarsha ha || 1-1-41
sutiikShNam ca api agastyam ca agastya bhraataram tathaa |
41, 42a. raajiiva-lochanaH raamaH = Rama the lotus-eyed one; mahaa aranNyam pravishya = on entering the vast forest; viraadham raakshasam hatvaa = and on killing the demon Viradha; dadarsha ha = indeed beheldsharabhaN^gam sutiikshNam ca api = Sage Sharabhanga and also Sage Suteekshna; agastyam ca = and Sage Agastya; tathaa = likewise; agastya bhraataram = Agastya's brother.
"That lotus-eyed Rama, on his entering the vast Dandaka forest, killed the demon Viraadha, and indeed beheld Sage Sharabhanga and also Sage Suteekhsna, Sage Agastya and likewise Sage Agastya's brother... [1-1-41, 42a]
The name of Agastya's brother is Sudarshana, and he will never be called by his own name, but will be called as agatsya bhraata, brother of Agastya.
tu is omitted in the translation since it is there for the purpose of paada puurana.
agastya vacanaat ca eva jagraaha aindram sharaasanam || 1-1-42
khaDgam ca parama priitaH tuuNii ca akShaya saayakau |
42b, 43a. agastya vachanaat ca eva = And according to Sage Agastya's word alone; jagraaha = [Rama] received parama priitaH = greatly delighted; sharaasanam = a bow; khadgam ca = also a sword; tuuNii ca = (and) also two quivers; akshaya-saayakau = with ever replenishing arrows; aindram = of Indra.
"On Sage Agastya's word, Rama with great delight received from Agastya Indra's bow along with the sword and two quivers with ever replenishing arrows... [1-1-42b, 43a]
vasataH tasya raamasya vane vana caraiH saha || 1-1-43
R^iShayaH abhyaagaman sarve vadhaaya asura rakShasaam |
43b, 44a. vasataH = (During) the stay; tasya raamasya = of that Rama; vane = in the forest; sarve R^ishayaH = all sages; vana charai saha = together with [other] forest dwellers; abhyaagaman = approached [Rama]; asura rakshasaam vadhaaya = for the killing of ogres and demons; .
"During Rama's stay in the forest, all the sages together with other forest dwellers, approached him for the elimination of ogres and demons... [1-1-43b, 44a]
sa teShAm prati shushraava raaxasaanaam tathaa vane || 1-1-44
pratij~naataH cha raameNa vadhaH saMyati rakshasaam |
R^iShiiNaam agni kalpaanaam daMDakaaraNya vaasiinaam || 1-1-45
44b, 45. saH = he [that Rama]; pratishushraava = listened [or agreed]; tathaa = [to] that supplication; teSaam = of those [sages]; raakshasaanaam vane = in the forest of demons; pratij~naataH ca = A promise also [was made]; raameNa = by Rama; R^iShiiNaam = to the sages; agnikalpaanaam = who equalled the fire; daNDaka araNya vaasinaam [ca] = [and] living in the Dandaka forest; vadhaH ca = [about] killing also; rakShasaam = of the demons; samyati = in combat.
"He [Rama] agreed to that supplication of those sages dwelling in the forest of demons. A promise was also made by Rama to the sages who equalled the fire and who were living in that Dandaka forest about killing of the demons in combat... [1-1-44b, 45]
The word asura is as from asuuna raati iti asura: asu = life; ra= taker; i.e., life takers - demons, while the word sura is nectar consuming one, the divine. In later chapters of this canto, accounts are given as how these were created and named.
tena tatra eva vasataa janasthaana nivaasinii |
viruupitaa shuurpaNakhaa raakShasii kaama ruupiNii || 1-1-46
46. vasataa = while living by Rama; tatra eva = there [in that Dandaka forest] only; shuurpaNakhaa = Shuurpanakha; raakshasii = a demoness; kaama ruupiNi = [who can] assume desired form; janasthaana nivaasinii = a resident of Janasthana [a portion of Dandaka forest]; viruupitaa = was disfigured; tena = by him [Rama].
"While Rama was living there in the Dandaka forest, a guise-changing demoness named Shuurpanakha, who was a resident of Janasthana, a portion of Dandaka forest, was disfigured by him... [1-1-46]
Readers are referred to the verse 3-18-20 where Rama asks Lakshmana to deface Shuurpanakha who carries out the act of cutting the nose and ears of this demoness, which is the turning point of the story. From this verse it is clear that Rama is instrumental in the disfiguring of Shuurpanakha.
Shuurpanakha is so named because her fingernails are like winnowing fans, shuurpa tulya nakhaa iti shuurpanakha; shuurpa= winnowing fan; tulya = like; nakhaa = fingernails. She is the sister of Ravana the main antogonist of the epic, and she is the actual trouble creator in the epic.
tataH shUrpaNakhaa vaakyaat udyuktaan sarva raakShasaan |
kharam trishirasam ca eva duuShaNam ca eva raakShasam || 1-1-47
nijaghaana raNe raamaH teShaam ca eva pada anugaan |
47, 48a. tataH raamaH raNe nijaghaana = Then Rama in a battle killed; udyuktaan sarva raakshasaan = all zealously active demons; shuurpanakhaa vaakyaat = [incited] by Shuurpanakha's words; kharam = [including] Khara; trishirasam ca eva = and Trishira; duuSaNam raakshasam ca eva = and the demon Duushana; teSaam pada anugaan ca eva = and their foot followers.
"Then in a battle, Rama killed all demons who became zealously active incited by Suurphanakha's words, including the demons Khara, Trishira, Duushana together with all of their foot-followers... [1-1-47, 48a]
We are ignoring in translation the एव part of चैव and translating the word चैव as "and".
vane tasmin nivasataa janasthaana nivaasinaam || 1-1-48
rakShasaam nihataani asan sahasraaNi catur dasha |
48b, 49a. tasmin vane nivasataa = During his stay in that forest; caturdashasahasraaNi = fourteen thousand; janasthaana nivaasinaam rakshasaam = inhabitant demons of Janasthana; nihataanyaasan = became slain.
"During Rama's stay in that forest, fourteen thousand demon inhabitants of Janasthana became slain... [1-1-48b, 49a]
tato j~naati vadham shrutvaa raavaNaH krodha muurChitaH || 1-1-49
sahaayam varayaamaasa maariicam naama raakShasam |
49b, 50a tataH = Thereafter; raavaNaH = Ravana; j~naati vadham shrutvaa = on hearing the slaughter of [his] kinsmen; krodha muurChitaH = convulsed in anger; sahaayam varayaamaasa = [and] sought to get the help; maariicham naama raakshasam = [of] a demon named Maareecha.
"Then, on hearing the slaughter of his kinsmen, Ravana convulsed in anger and sought to get the help of a demon named Maareecha... [1-1-49b, 50a]
Ravana is the supremo of demons and the main antagonist in this epic. His name is Dashagriiva, meaning that he has ten heads. This name 'Ravana' obtains from the root ru - shabde raavayati iti raavaNaH 'one who makes people cry by his violent actions...' and it also means vishravasaH apatyam pumaan raavaNaH, vishravaso vishravaNa ravaNau 'the son of one named Vishravasa...' Govindaraja.
वरयामास is the लिट् लकार of of the root वर (see आत्मनेपदी form)
vaaryamaaNaH subahusho maariicena sa raavaNaH || 1-1-50
na virodho balavataa kShamo raavaNa tena te |
50b, 51a. saH raavaNaH = he that Ravana; vaaryamaaNaH = [was] restrained; subahushaH= very many times;mariichena = by Maareecha [thus:]; raavaNa = Oh! Ravana; virodhaH = rivalry; balavataa tena = with that formidable Rama; te na kshamaH = [is] not appropriate of you;
"But Maareecha restrained Ravana telling him many times, 'Oh, Ravana! Rivarly with that formidable Rama is not appropriate of you...' [1-1-50b, 51a]
"But Maareecha deterred Ravana telling him time and again, 'oh, Ravana, unpardonable will be your rivalry with that formidable Rama, formidable because fourteen thousand clansmen of ours could not triumph over him...' [1-1-50b, 51a]
anaadR^itya tu tat vaakyam raavaNaH kaala coditaH || 1-1-51
jagaama saha maariicaH tasya aashrama padam tadaa |
51b, 52a. anaadR^itya tu = but regardless; tat vaakyam = [of] that speech; raavaNaH kaala chodita = Ravana impelled by [his own] fate; tadaa = then; jagaama = went;tasya aashrama padam = [to] the place of Rama's hermitage; saha maariichaH = along with Maareecha;
"Then disregarding Maareecha's words and impelled by his own fate, Ravana advanced to the place of Rama's hermitage along with Maareecha... [1-1-51b, 52a]
"Then heedless of Maareecha's advice and ushered by the time of his own doom, Ravana advanced to the threshold of Rama's hermitage along with Maareecha... [1-1-51b, 52a]
tena maayaavinaa duuram apavaahya nR^ipa aatmajau || 1-1-52
jahaara bhaaryaam raamasya gR^idhram hatvaa jaTaayuSham |
52b, 53a. apa vaahya = after taking away; nR^ipa aatmajau = the sons of king; duuram = to a distance; tena mayaavinaa = by that trickster; raamasya bhaaryaam jahaara = [Ravana] stole Rama's, wifejaTaayuSam gR^idhram hatvaa = after killing Jatayu; .
"After taking away of Rama and Lakshmana to a distance by the trickster Maareecha, Ravana stole Rama's wife after killing Jatayu... [1-1-52b, 53a]
gR^idhram ca nihatam dR^iShTvaa hR^itaam shrutvaa ca maithiliim || 1-1-53
raaghavaH shoka saMtapto vilalaapa aakula indriyaH |
53b, 54a. raaghavaH = Raghava; nihatam gR^idhram dR^iSThvaa = on seeing the smitten vulture Jatayu; maithiliim hR^itaam shR^itvaa ca = and also on hearing about Mythili's [Seetha's] abduction; vilalaapa = wailed; akula indriyaH = with disturbed senses; shoka santaptaH = seething with angish.
"Raghava on seeing the smitten Jatayu and also on hearing about Seetha's abduction, wailed with disturbed senses, seething with anguish ... [1-1-53b, 54a]
tataH tena eva shokena gR^idhram dag.hdhvaa jaTaayuSham || 1-1-54
maargamaaNo vane siitaam raakShasam saMdadarsha ha |
kabaMdham naama ruupeNa vikR^itam ghora da.rshanam || 1-1-55
54b, 55. tataH = then; tena shokena eva = with that state of anguish; gR^idhram jaTaayushham dagdhvaa = after cremating the vulture Jatayu; vane siitaam maargamaaNaH = while searching [for] Seetha in that forest; samdadarsha ha = indeed saw; kabandham naama raakshasam = a demon named Kabandha; ruupeNa vikR^itam = deformed in looks; ghora darshanam = with a terrible appearance .
"Rama then cremated that vulture Jataayu with that state of anguish, and while searching for Seetha in forest, he indeed saw a demon named Kabandha, deformed in his looks and with a terrible appearance... [1-1-54b, 55]
tam nihatya mahaabaahuH dadaaha svargataH ca saH |
sa ca asya kathayaamaasa shabariim dharma caariNiim || 1-1-56
shramaNaam dharma nipuNaam abhigacCha iti raaghava |
56, 57a. mahaa baahuH = [Rama with] great arms; tam nihatya = after slaying Kabandha; dadaaH = cremated [Kabandha]; saH svargataH ca = and he [Kabandha] obtained the heaven; sa ca kathayaamaasa iti = he spoke thus;asya = to him [to Rama]; raaghava = Oh, Raghava!; abhigachchha = you proceed; shabariim = to Shabari; dharma caariNiim = a lady with righteous conduct; dharma nipuNaam = she who is an expert in probity; shramanaam = a devotee.
"That Rama with great arms after slaying Kabandha, cremated him and Kabandha obtanined heaven. Before going to heaven, he spoke thus to Rama: 'Oh Raghava! You proceed to Sabari, a lady with righteous conduct, an expert in probity and a devotee.'... [1-1-56, 57a]
saH abhya gacChan mahaatejaaH shabariim shatru suudanaH || 1-1-57
shaba.ryaa puujitaH saMyak raamo dasharatha aatmajaH |
57b, 58a. saH mahaa tejaaH = That great resplendent; dasaratha aatmajaH raamaH = Rama the son of Dasaratha; shatru suudanaH = an anhillator of enemies; shabariim abhiaagachchhat = approached Sabari; shabaryaaH samyak puujitaH = [and] was thorughly honoured by Sabari.
"That great resplendent Rama, the son of Dasaratha, an anhillator of enemies, approached Sabari and was thoroughly honoured by her... [1-1-57b, 58a]
Next verse onwards the episodes in Kishkindha are introduced. Now Rama meets Hanuma, the Vaanara. vanena= in forests, charati= moves about, iti= thus; therefore vaanara = 'forest-ranger' is the declination of the term Vaanara. Traditionally Hanuma is worshipped as a god.
paMpaa tiire hanumataa saMgato vaanareNa ha || 1-1-58
hanumat vacanaat ca eva sugriiveNa samaagataH |
58b, 59a. pampaa tiire = On the banks of Pampa; hanumataa vaanareNa sangataH ha = [Rama was] indeed united with the Vanara Hanuma; hanumat vachanaat ca eva = and upon Hanuma's word; samaagataH = met; sugriiveNa = with Sugreeva.
"Rama was united indeed with the Vanara Hanuma on the banks of Lake Pampa, and upon the word of Hanuma, Rama met with Sugreeva... [1-1-58b, 59b]
sugriivaaya ca tat sarvam shaMsat raamo mahaabalaH || 1-1-59
aaditaH tat yathaa vR^ittam siitaayaaH cha visheShataH |
59b, 60a. mahaa balaH raamaH = The highly powerful Rama; shamshat = detailed; aaditaH = from the beginning; tat sarvam = all that; yathaa vR^ittam = as had happened; visheshhataH siithaayaH ca = and in particular [the abduction] of Seetha; sugriivaaya ca = to Sugreeva [and to Hanuma] also.
"The highly powerful Rama detailed from the beginning all that happened, and in particular the abduction of Seetha, to Sugriva and to Hanuma also... [1-1-59b, 60a]
Here the use of 'highly powerful...' for Rama is to indicate that though he himself was capable enough to eliminate Ravana, but as a human, he needed some agency, since humans in such difficulties are usually in need of a helping hand. As such, Rama had to befriend Sugreeva and it was necessary to narrate all sad episodes to his friend.
sugriivaH cha api tat sarvam shrutvaa raamasya vaanaraH || 1-1-60
chakaara sakhyam raameNa priitaH cha eva agni saakshikam |
60b, 61a. vaanaraH sugriivaH ca api = The Vanara Sugreeva also; tat sarvam shrutvaa = after listening to all that [talk]; raamasya = of Rama; sakhyam chakaara = made friendship [with Rama]; priitaH = delighted; agni saakshikam ca eva = with fire [flaring auspicious fire] as witness also thus.
"The Vanara Sugreeva after listening to all that talk of Rama made friendship with Rama delightedly with sacred fire as witness... [1-1-60b, 61a]
tato vaanara raajena vaira anukathanam prati || 1-1-61
raamaaya aaveditam sarvam praNayaat duHkhitena ca |
61b, 62a. tataH = then; praNayaat = out of affection; aaveditam = [the incident] was related; vairaanukathanam prati = with regard to [Sugreeva's] enemity [with Vali]; sarvam = [in its] entirety; duHkhitena vaanara-raajena = by the Vanara King with grief; raamaaya = to Rama.
"Then out of affection, the incident was related with regard to Sugreeva's enemity with Vali in its entirety by the Vanara King with grief to Rama ... [1-1-61b, 62a]
pratij~naatam ca raameNa tadaa vaali vadham prati || 1-1-62
vaalinaH ca balam tatra kathayaamaasa vaanaraH |
62b, 63a. tadaa = then; pratij~naatam = a solemn promise; raameNa = [was made] by Rama; vaali vadham prati = with regards to killing of Vali; tatra = in that regard; vaanaraH = Vanara Sugreeva; kathayaamaasa = described; vaalinaH balam ca = Vali's strength also.
"Then a solemn promise was made by Rama with regards to killing of Vali. In that regard Vanara Sugreeva also described Vali's strength... [1-1-62b, 63a]
Vali, the elder brother of Sugreeva, is another principle character of Ramayana. He is capable of rendering oblations to gods in the wee hours of a single day in four oceans on four sides of the globe, by his flying from one ocean to the other. He is mightier than Ravana, the chief villain of the epic, and Ravana iwas subdued by Vali's strength. As a preamble to the incident of eliminating mighty Ravana in the last book of the epic, this episode of eliminating a still mightier monkey is the stepping-stone for the climactic victory.
sugriivaH shaMkitaH ca aasiit nityam viiryeNa raaghave || 1-1-63
raaghavaH pratyayaartham tu duMdubheH kaayam uttamam |
darshayaamaasa sugriivaH mahaaparvata saMnibham || 1-1-64
63b, 64. tu = But; sugriivaH = Sugreeva; nityam shankitaH aasiit = remained ever doubtful; raaghave = with respect to Raghava; viiryeNa = about [Rama's] prowess; sugriivaH = Sugreeva; darshayaamaasa = showed; dundubheH = Dundubhi's; uttamam = big ; mahaa parvata sannibham = great mountain like; kaayam = body; raaghava-pratyaartham = to gain confidence in Raghava.
"But Sugreeva remained ever doubtful with respect to Raghava, about Raghava's prowess. Sugreeva showed Dundubhi's big and great mountain-like dead body to gain confidence in Raghava... [1-1-63b, 64]
Vali had at one time killed Dundubhi and kicked his body over a long distance.
utsmayitvaa mahaabaahuH prekshya ca asti mahaabalaH |
paada aMguShTena chikshepa saMpuurNam dasha yojanam || 1-1-65
65. mahaa-baahuH = Great armed; mahaa-balaH = [and] very powerful [Rama]; prekshya = after seeing; asti = the bone; utsmayitvaa = smiling ; ca paadaa anguSThena [anguSTa agreNa] = and by the big toe of his foot; chikshepa = threw [it];sampuurNam dasa yojanam = wholly for ten yojana-s length.
Great armed and very powerful Rama after seeing the bones of Dundubhi smiled and by the big toe of his foot threw it wholly for ten yojana-s length. [1-1-65]
Vali was able to throw that body, with whole of his foot, only up to two hundred bow-lengths, where the length of bow is said as six to seven feet. But Rama could kick that heap to ten yojana lengths, roughly ninety miles, only with a flip of his foot-toe's tip. But Sugreeva continued his grumbling, 'in those days this skeleton was with flesh and blood, now it became weight-less, thus show me more of your show of strength...' One Yojana is an ancient measure for distance, where that distance is covered in one yoking. Chambers dictionary puts it as five miles, and it is not agreeable for it was British-Indian revenue measure. Traditionally it is four krosha-s and thus each yojana is nine to ten miles.
Govindaraja cleaves the compound utsmayitvaa to ut smayitvaa and takes ut 'to up...' and fixes it to cikshepa to mean ut cikshepa 'up-heaved and hurled...' and smayitva comes to mean 'smiling self-assuredly, or smiling self-composedly...' And Maheshvara Tiirtha says that 'when all-wise-knowers are not able to know what I am, there is no surprise if a monkey in a remote forest doubts my capability... let him see a speck of it...' thus Rama smiled in aplomb...'
And the often repeated epithet to Rama mahaa baahuH means not just 'yards and yards of lengthy arms...dangling up to knees..' but 'one who does unimaginable deeds...' and his arms are the unusual instruments to perform such unusual tasks, hence ambidextrous, or omni-dextrous...
bibheda ca punaH saalaan sapta ekena mahaa iShuNaa |
girim rasaatalam caiva janayan pratyayam tathaa || 1-1-66
66. tadaa = Then; punaH = again; ekena mahaa ishuNaa = with one great arrow; bibheda = [Rama] ripped [through]; sapta saalaan = seven sala trees; girim ca = and a mountain; rasaatalam ca eva = and subterranean earth; pratyayam janayan = to create faith [in the mind of Sugreeva]
"Then again Rama ripped through seven massive Sala trees with only one great arrow, which not only went through the trees but also rent through a mountain, and to the nethermost subterranean of earth, in order to create faith in the mind of Sugreeva... [1-1-66]
The rasaatala is deepest subterranean plane, and it forms the base of other planes of earth called, atala, vitala, sutala, talaatala, mahaatala, rasaatala underneath the surface of earth up to its core.
tataH priita manaaH tena vishvastaH sa mahaakapiH |
kiShkiMdhaam raama sahito jagaama ca guhaam tadaa || 1-1-67
67. tataH = Thereafter; mahaa-kapiH = great monkey [Sugreeva]; priita manaaH = [with a] gladdened heart; tena = by it [that act of Rama]; guhaam kishhkindhaam jagaama ca = proceeded to cave-like Kishkindha; tadaa = then; raama sahitaH = along with Rama; vishvataH ca = and with confidence [in Rama's strength].
"Thereafter great monkey Sugreeva with a gladdened heart by that act of Rama, proceeded to cave-like Kishkindha then, along with Rama and with confidence in Rama's strength... [1-1-67]
tataH agarjat harivaraH sugriivo hema piMgalaH |
tena naadena mahataa nirjagaama hariishvaraH || 1-1-68
68. tataH = then; hari-varaH sugriivaH = [that] best among monkeys Sugreeva; hema piN^galaH = with a golden hue; agarjat = roared; tena mahataa naadena = By that loud sound; hariiishwara = king of monkeys[Vali]; nirjagaama = emerged out.
"Then that best monkey Sugreeva, with a golden hue, made a roaring sound. By that loud sound, the king of monkeys, Vali, emerged out... [1-1-68]
anumaanya tadaa taaraam sugriiveNa samaagataH |
nijaghaana ca tatra enam shareNa ekena raaghavaH || 1-1-69
69. tadaa = then; taaraam anumaanya = after Tara permitting; sugriiveNa samaagataH = [Vali] met with Sugreeva [in a combat]; raaghavaH ca = and Rama; ekena shareNa nijaghaana = with one arrow only killed;enam = this Vali; tatra = there.
"Then after Tara [wife of Vali] permitting, Vali met with Sugreeva in a combat. And Rama killed this Vali with a single arrow there... [1-1-69]
tataH sugriiva vacanaat hatvaa vaalinam aahave |
sugriivam eva tat raajye raaghavaH pratyapaadayat || 1-1-70
70. tataH = then; raaghavaH = Raghava; sugriiva-vachanaat = from Sugreeva's plea; aahave vaalinam hatvaa = after killing Vali in a combat; tat raajye = in that kingdom; pratyapaadayat = [Rama] installed; sugriivam eva = Sugreeva alone [as king].
"Then Raghava after killing Vali in a combat as per Sugreeva's plea, installed Sugreeva alone as the king of Vanaras.. [1-1-70]
sa ca sarvaan samaaniiya vaanaraan vaanararShabhaH |
dishaH prasthaapayaamaasa didR^ikShuH janaka aatmajaam || 1-1-71
71. saH vaanara R^iShabhaH = That best among monkeys; sarvaan vaanaraan samaaniiya = after summoning all Vanaras; dishaH prasthaapayaamaasa = dispatched [them] in different directions; didR^ikshuH = to behold; janaka-aatmajaam = Janaka's daughter.
"That best among monkeys, Sugreeva, after summoning all Vanaras, dispatched them in different directions to behold the daughter of Janaka... [1-1-71]
Sugreeva was acclaimed to be a strict disciplinarian, and his orders were inviolable by anyone. Even now the proverbial saying exists that a "command by elders is to be followed like sugreeva aaj~na 'Sugreeva's order'.
tato gR^idhrasya vacanaat saMpaateH hanumaan balii |
shata yojana vistiirNam pupluve lavaNa arNavam || 1-1-72
72. tataH = after that; balii hanumaan = the strong Hanuma; sampaateH gR^idhrasya vachanaat = upon the word of the vulture Sampati; pupluve = flew [across]; lavaNa aarNavam = the salty ocean; shata yojana vistiirNam = one hundred yojanas in breadth.
"After that, the strong Hanuma, upon the word of the vulture Sampati who was elder brother of Jatayu, flew across the salty ocean one hundred yojanas in breadth... [1-1-72]
tatra laMkaam samaasaadya puriim raavaNa paalitaam |
dadarsha siitaam dhyaayantiim ashoka vanikaam gataam || 1-1-73
73. lankaam puriim samaasaadya = After reaching the city Lanka; raavaNa paalitam = ruled by Ravana; dadarsha = [Hanuma] saw; siithaam = Seetha; gataam = situated; tatra = there; dhyaantiim = meditating [on Rama alone]; ashoka vanikaam = in Ashoka gardens.
"On reaching the city of Lanka ruled by Ravana, Hanuma saw Seetha situated in Ashoka gardens there and meditating on Rama alone... [1-1-73]
nivedayitvaa abhij~naanam pravR^ittim ca nivedya ca |
samaashvaasya ca vaidehiim mardayaamaasa toraNam || 1-1-74
74. nivedayitvaa = After delivering [to Seetha]; abhij~naanam = mark of identification [ring of Rama]; pravR^ittim ca nivedya ca = and also communicating [Rama's] disposition; vaidehiim samaashvaasya ca = and consoling Vaidehi; mardayaamaasa = [Hanuma] destroyed; thoraNam = the welcome-arch [of Ashoka gardens];.
"After delivering to Seetha the mark of identification in the form of a ring from Rama and also communicating Rama's disposition and consoling Vaidehi, Hanuma destroyed the welcome-arch of Ashoka gardens... [1-1-74]
paMca sena agragaan hatvaa sapta maMtri sutaan api |
shuuram akSham ca niShpiShya grahaNam samupaagamat || 1-1-75
75. hatvaa = After killing; pa~nca sena agragaan = five army chiefs; sapta mantri sutaan api = and seven minister's, sons; shuuram aksham ca niSpiSya = and crushing valiant Aksha; grahaNam samupaagamat = Hanuma got into state of captivity.
"After killing five army chiefs and seven minister's sons and crushing the valiant Aksha, Hanuma got into state of captivity... [1-1-75]
astreNa unmuktam aatmaanam j~naatvaa paitaamahaat varaat |
marShayan raakShasaan viiro yantriNaH taan yadR^icChayaa || 1-1-76
tato dagdhvaa puriim laMkaam R^ite siitaam ca maithiliim |
raamaaya priyam aakhyaatum punaH aayaat mahaakapiH || 1-1-77
76,77. j~natvaa = Knowing; aatmanam = himself; astreNa unmuktam = to be free from the [captivity of] weapon; paitaamahaat varaat = from Brahma's, boon; viiraH = the valiant; mahaa kapiH = great monkey [Hanuma]; taan raakshasaan marSayan = enduring those demons; yadR^ichchhayaa = with self-will; yantriNaH = who tied [ his tail with ropes]; tataH = there after; lankaam puriim dagdhvaa = burning the city of Lanka; R^ite ca = and leaving; maithiliim siithaam = the Seetha of Mithila; punaH aayaat = got back again; raamaya priyam aakhyaatum = to convey the pleasant [news] to Rama.
"Knowing himself to be free from the captivity of the weapon according to Brahma's boon, the valiant great monkey Hanuma enduring those demons with self-will who tied his tail with ropes with the intention of burning it, there after burning the city of Lanka while leaving from fire the Seetha of Mithila, got back again to convey the pleasant news to Rama ... [1-1-76, 77]
This is in sundara kaanDa. Hanuma sees Ravana and others in the court, and as a show of his strength burns down Lanka except the place where Seetha is stationed, only to prove that the riches and wealth enjoyed at the cost others will burn down to ashes some day, besides Vibheeshana's place, for Vibheeshana is the adherer of Dharma. This episode is to relegate the false pride of Ravana, and as a symbolic suggestion that pomp and effluence without virtue are short lived.
saH abhigaMya mahaatmaanam kR^itvaa raamam pradakShiNam |
nyavedayat ameyaatmaa dR^iShTaa siitaa iti tattvataH || 1-1-78
78. abhigamya = Approaching; mahaa-aatmaanam raamam = the great Rama; pradakshiNam kR^itvaa = performing circumambulation [around Rama]; saH = he [Hanuma]; ameyaatmaa = having an inestimable intelligence; nyavedayat = submitted; tattvataH = in essence; iti = thus; siithaa dR^iShTaa = seen Seetha.
"Approaching the great Rama and peforming circumambulation around Rama, Hanuma having an inestimable intelligence, submitted in essence thus: 'Seen Seetha...' [1-1-78]
tataH sugriiva sahito gatvaa tiiram mahaa udadheH |
samudram kShobhayaamaasa sharaiH aaditya sannibhaiH || 1-1-79
79. mahodadheH tiiram gatvaa = On going to the Ocean's shore; tataH sugriiva-sahitaH = there-after together with Sugreeva; samudram kshobhayaamaasa = [Rama] put the Ocean-god to turmoil; aaditya-sannibhaiH sharaiH = with arrows comparable to the Sun.
"There-after, Rama along with Sugreeva and other monkeys went to the shore of Great Ocean, and put the Ocean-god to turmoil with his arrows comparable to the Sun... [1-1-79]
Rama became angry at the ocean for not yielding way to Lanka. In order to make way through the Ocean, Rama starts depleting its waters with arrows.
darshayaamaasa ca aatmaanam samudraH saritaam patiH |
samudra vacanaat ca eva nalam setum akaarayat || 1-1-80
80. saritaam patiH samudraH = Ocean-god the lord of the rivers; aatmaanam darshayaamaasa = revealed himself; samudra-vachanaat ca eva = and upon the words of the Ocean-God; nalam setum akaarayat = Nala built the bridge [across the ocean].
"The Ocean-god revealed himself and upon his word, Nala built the bridge across the ocean... [1-1-80]
Nala, a Vanara engineer, had a boon from his mother. In his childhood he used to throw playthings into water wanting them to float. But they were all submerged. His mother then gave a boon to him saying that whatever article he throws in waters will float, may they be toys or stones or boulders. Here that boon is taken advantage of, and a boulder bridge is built on ocean waters.
tena gatvaa puriim laMkaam hatvaa raavaNam aahave |
raamaH siitaam anupraapya paraam vriiDaam upaagamat || 1-1-81
81. raamaH = Rama; lankaam puriim gatvaa = having gone to the city of Lanka;tena = by that [bridge]; aahave raavaNam hatvaa = killing Ravana in a battle; siitaam anupraapya = on getting Seetha back; paraam vriiDaam upaagamat = experienced great shame.
"Rama, having gone to the city of Lanka by that bridge, killing Ravana in a battle, experienced great shame on getting Seetha back... [1-1-81]
taam uvaaca tataH raamaH paruSham jana saMsadi |
amR^iShyamaaNaa saa siitaa vivesha jvalanam satii || 1-1-82
82. tataH = there-after; raamaH = Rama; jana-saMsadi = in the assembly of the people; paruSam uvaaca = spoke harshly; taam = to her; saa siitaa = that Seetha; satii = [being] devoted to her husband; amR^ishhyamaaNaa = intolerant [of the harsh words of Rama]; jvalanam vivesha = entered into burning fire.
"There-after, Rama spoke harshly to Seetha in the assembly of the people. Being devoted to her husband, that Seetha, intolerant of the harsh words of Rama, entered into burning fire... [1-1-82]
tataH agni vachanaat siitaam j~naatvaa vigata kalmaShaam |
karmaNaa tena mahataa trailokyam sa charaacharam || 1-1-83
sa devarShi gaNam tuShTam raaghavasya mahaatmanaH ||
babhau raamaH saMprahR^iShTaH puujitaH sarva devataiH || 1-1-84
83. tataH agni-vachanaat = Then upon the word of the Fire-god; j~natva = having known; siitaam = Seetha; vigata-kalmaSaam = to be sinless; raamaH = Rama; samprahR^isTaH = became extremely glad; puujitaH = worshipped;sarva devataiH = by all gods; babhau = became resplendent; mahataa tena karmaNaa = by that great accomplishment - of eliminating Ravana; mahaatmanaH raaghavasya = of the great Raghava; trailokyam = the three worlds; sacharaacharam = together with all beings; sa-devarShi-gaNam = with groups of gods and sages; tuSTham = [became] exultant.
"Then, upon the word of Fire-god, having known Seetha to be sinless, Rama became extremely glad. Worshipped by all gods he became resplendent. By that accomplishment of the great Raghava the three worlds together with mobile and immobile beings, and with groups of gods and sages became exultant... [1-1-83, 84]
abhyaShicya ca laMkaayaam raakShasa indram vibhiiShaNam |
kR^itakR^ityaH tadaa raamo vijvaraH pramumoda ha || 1-1-85
85. raamaH = Rama; la~Nkaayaam abhishhichya = anointing in Lanka; vibhiishhaNam = Vibheeshana; raakshasendram = as demons' chieftain; tadaa = then; kR^ita-kR^ityaH = [Rama] with a done deed; pramumoda = [became] highly rejoiced; vijvaraH= free from distress; ha = indeed.
"Enthroning Vibheeshana as the chieftain of demons in Lanka, and with a done deed, Rama then rejoiced highly indeed free from distress... [1-1-85]
devataabhyo varaam praapya samutthaapya ca vaanaraan |
ayodhyaam prasthitaH raamaH puShpakeNa suhR^it vR^itaH || 1-1-86
86. devataabhyaH varam praapya = after obtaining a boon from the gods;raamaH = Rama; samutthaapya ca = raised [up from death]; vaanaraan = monkeys; ayodhyaam prasthitaH = [he] travelled to Ayodhya; pushhpakeNa = by Pushpaka aircraft; suhR^it-vR^itaH = surrounded by good hearted ones.
"After obtaining a boon from the gods, Rama raised up monkeys from death. He then travelled to Ayodhya by Pushpaka aircraft surrounded by good hearted ones... [1-1-86]
bharadvaaja aashramam gatvaa raamaH satyaparaakramaH |
bharatasya aMtikam raamo hanuumaMtam vyasarjayat || 1-1-87
87. raamaH = Rama; satya-paraakramaH = with true valour; bharadvaaja-aashramam gatvaa = on going to Sage Bharadwaja's hermitage; hanuumantam vyasarjayat = sent Hanuma; bharatasya antikam = to the presence of Bharata.
"Rama, with true valour, on going to sage Bharadwaja's hermitage, sent Hanuma to the presence of Bharata... [1-1-87]
punaH aakhyaayikaam jalpan sugriiva sahitaH tadaa |
puShpakam tat samaaruuhya naMdigraamam yayau tadaa || 1-1-88
88. sugriiva-sahitaH = Together with Sugreeva; saH = He [Rama]; aakhyaayikaam jalpan = narrating past history; punaH = again;tat pushhpakam samaaruuhya = having boarded that Pushpaka aircraft; nandigraamam yayau = went to Nandigrama; tadaa = then.
"Then, having boarded Pushpaka aircraft again after leaving the hermitage of Bharadwaja, and narrating past history to Sugreeva and others about the events in the days of his exile in forests, while flying overhead of the very same places, Rama went to Nandigrama... [1-1-88]
naMdigraame jaTaam hitvaa bhraatR^ibhiH sahito anaghaH |
raamaH siitaam anupraapya raajyam punaH avaaptavaan || 1-1-89
89. anaghaH raamaH = sinless Rama; bhraatR^ibhiH sahitaH = together with brothers; nandigrame = in Nandigrama; jaTaam hitvaa = removing matted-hair; siitaam anupraapya = after getting back Seetha; punaH raajyam avaaptavaan = regained the kingdom again.
"That sinless Rama rejoining with all of his brothers in the village Nandigrama removed his matted hair. Thus he, on regaining Seetha and on discarding hermit's role again became a householder, and he regained his kingdom also... [1-1-89]
prahR^iShTo mudito lokaH tuShTaH puShTaH sudhaarmikaH |
niraamayo hi arogaH ca dur.hbhikSha bhaya varjitaH || 1-1-90
90. [tataH = then, when Rama is enthroned]; lokaH = world will be; prahR^isTa-muditaH = highly rejoiced and happy; tuSThaH = satisfied; puSThaH = abundant; su-dhaarmikaH = very righteous; niraamayaH = wholesome; arogaH = without diseases; durbhiksha-bhaya-varjitaH = free from fear of famine.
"When Rama is ruling the world will be highly rejoiced and happy, satisfied and abundant, also very righteous, wholesome, disease-free, and free from fear of famine..." Thus Narada is foreseeing the future and telling Valmiki. [1-1-90]
na putra maraNam kechit drakShyanti puruShaaH kvacit |
naaryaH ca avidhavaa nityam bhaviShyanti pati vrataaH || 1-1-91
91. puruShaaH = men; na drakshkyanti = will not see; putra-maraNam = son's, death; kvachit = anywhere; kimchit = in the least; naaryaH ca = ladies also; a-vidhavaaH = without being widowed; nityam bhavishhyanti = [will] always become; pativrataaH = devoted to husband.
"While Rama is on the throne men will not see the deaths of their children anywhere in their lifetime, and the ladies will remain husband-devouted and unwidowed during their lifetime... [1-1-91]
na ca agnijam bhayam kinchit na apsu majjanti jantavaH |
na vaatajam bhayam kincit na api jvara kR^itam tathaa || 1-1-92
na cha api kshut bhayam tatra na taskara bhayam tathaa |
92, 93a. tatra = there - in his kingdom; agnijam bhayam = fear caused by fire; na = will not be there; kimchit = in the least; jantavaH apsu na majjanti = cattle will not drown in water; na vaatajam bhayam = no fear caused by wind; kiMchit = in the least; tathaa = likewise; jvara-kR^itam api = even [fear] caused by fever; na = will not be there; na kshudbhayam api = not even fear caused by hunger; tathaa = likewise; taskara-bhayam = fear from thieves; na = will not be there.
"In the kingdom of Rama, there will be no fear for his subjects from wildfires, gale-storms or from diseases, and there will be no fear from hunger or thieves, nor the cattle will be drowned in floodwaters as well... [1-1-92, 93a]
nagaraaNi cha raaShTraaNi dhana dhaanya yutaani ca || 1-1-93
nityam pramuditaaH sarve yathaa kR^ita yuge tathaa |
93b, 94a. nagaraaNi raasTraNi ca = cities and states as well; dhana-dhaanya-yutaani = [will be replete with] wealth and grains; tathaa = likewise; nityaM pramuditaaH = [all his subjects will be] highly glad always sarve kR^itayuge yathaa = like in Krita yuga .
"Cities and states as well will be replete with wealth and grains likewise. All his subjects will be highly glad always, like in Krita yuga... [1-1-93b, 94a]
ashvamedha shataiH iShTvaa tathaa bahu suva.rNakaiH || 1-1-94
gavaam koTyayutam dattvaa vidvabhyo vidhi puurvakam |
asaMkhyeyam dhanam dattvaa braahmaNebho mahaayashaaH || 1-1-95
94b, 95a. tathaa = like-wise; mahaa-yashaaH = highly illustrious one [Rama]; iSThvaa = having performed; ashvamedha-shataiH = hundreds of Horse Rituals; dattvaa = [and] having donated; bahu-suvarNakaiH = plentiful gold; gavaam koTyayutam = [and] crores of cows; dhanam = [and] wealth; asankhyeyam = [that] cannot be counted; braahmaNebhyaH = to Brahmanas; vidvabhyaH = [and] to scholars; vidhi puurvakam = according to custom.
"Like-wise the highly illustrious Rama having performed hundreds of horse rituals and having donated plentiful gold and crores of cows and wealth that cannot be counted to Brahmanas and to scholars according to custom... [1-1-94b, 95a]
raaja vaMshaan shata guNaan sthaapa iShyati raaghavaH |
caatur varNyam ca loke asmin sve sve dharme niyokShyati || 1-1-96
96. raaghavaH = Raghava; chaaturvarNyam niyokshyati = will direct the four caste-system; sve sve dharme = to their respective duties; sthaapayiShyati ca = and will establish; raaja-vamshaan = royal dynasties; asmin loke = in this world; shata-guNaan = in hundred folds.
"In this world Raghava will establish kingly dynasties in hundredfold and he will be maintaining the four-caste system positing each in his own duty, may it be caste-bound or provincial-kingdom-bound duty, in order to achieve a perfect social harmony... [1-1-96]
dasha varSha sahasraaNi dasha varSha shataani ca |
raamo raajyam upaasitvaa brahma lokam prayaasyati || 1-1-97
97. raamaH = Rama; raajyam upaasitvaa = having served the kingdom dasha-varSa-sahasraaNi = for ten thousand years; dasha-varsha-shataani ca = and also for thousand years; brahma lokam gamishhyati = will go to the abode of Brahma.
"Having served the kingdom for ten thousand years and another one thousand years, i.e. for a total of eleven thousand years, Rama will go to the abode of Brahma... [1-1-97]
In rama raajyam upaasitvaa... the word used is upaasana is not ruling by sceptre but it is 'reverentially serving the kingdom...' as one would regard or treat his personal god with reverence. Rama thus served his kingdom as a devotee of his subjects and this is the concept of raama raajya. The brahma loka is not the abode of four-faced Brahma, but still higher abode, rather VaikunTha itself.<
idam pavitram paapaghnam puNyam vedaiH ca saMmitam |
yaH paThet raama caritam sarva paapaiH pramucyate || 1-1-98
98. idam = this; raama-charitam = Rama's, legend; pavitram = is holy; paapaghnam = sin-eradicating; puNyam = merit-endowing; vedaiH sammitam ca = and consisting of [teachings of] Vedas; yaH = whoever; paThet = studies [this Ramayana]; sarva-paapaiH pramucchyate = is truly liberated of all sins.
"This Ramayana is holy, sin-eradicating, merit-endowing, and conformable with the teachings of Vedas. Whoever reads this Legend of Rama, will be verily liberated of all sins... [1-1-98]
etat aakhyaanam aayuShyam paThan raamaayaNam naraH |
sa putra pautraH sa gaNaH pretya svarge mahiiyate || 1-1-99
99. etat = this; raamaayaNam = Rama's, peregrination; aayuSyam = is long-life giving; aakhyaanam = a narrative; paThan = [by] reading [which]; naraH = a human; saputra-pautraH = [will be] with sons and grandsons; on enjoying worldly comforts; sa-gaNaH = with attendants; pretya = [and] after demise; svarge mahiiyate = will be adored in heaven.
"This Ramayana is long-life giving. A narrative by reading which a human will be blessed with sons and grandsons, and after enjoying worldly comforts with attendants, will be adored in heaven after demise... [1-1-99]
paThan dvijo vaak R^iShabhatvam iiyaat |
syaat kShatriyo bhuumi patitvam iiyaat ||
vaNik janaH paNya phalatvam iiyaat |
janaH ca shuudro api mahattvam iiyaat || 1-1-100
100. paThan = By reading [this Ramayana]; janaH = [that] person; dvijaH syaat = if a Brahmana; vaagR^ishhabhatvam iiyaat = obtains excellency in speech; kshatriyaH [syaat] = if Kshatriya; bhuumi-patitvam iiyaat = obtains land-lordship; vaNigjanaH = if Vysya; paNya-phalatvam iiyaat = attains profit in trade; shuudraH api ca = if even a Sudra; mahatvam iiyaat = attains excellence.
"By reading this Ramayana, that person if a Brahmana obtains excellency in speech, if a Kshatriya obtains land-lordship, if Vaisya attains profit in trade and even if a Sudra attains excellence." Thus Sage Narada gave a gist of Ramayana to Sage-poet Valmiki. [1-1-100]
In the first chapter of Bala Kanda the gist of Ramayana is imbibed and it is called saMkshepa raamaayaNa, or also called baala raamaayaNa . The youngsters are asked to recite these stanzas daily for longevity and a perfect personality like that of Rama. The summarised stanzas reflected here are from the main epic. The canto-wise summarisation is as below:
1. Bala Kanda [Book I] verses I-1-8 to 18
2. Ayodhya Kanda [Book II ] verses I-1-18 to 28
3. Aranya Kanda [Book III] verses I-1-29 to 57
4. Kishkindha Kanda [Book IV] I-1-58 to 71
5. Sundar Kanda [Book V] I-1-72 to 78
6. Yuddha Kanda [Book VI] I-1-79 to 90
7. Uttara Ramayana [Book VII] I-1-91 to 97
8. Phala Shruti [Results of Recitation] I-1-98 to 100
Valmiki composed Ramayana according to the letters of Gayatri Hymn and they are identified with the following verses in all cantos:
shlokena prati sAhasraM prathame kramAt |
gAyatri akSharam ekaikam sthApayAmAsa vai muniH ||
1. ta -
tapaH svaadhyaaya nirataam tapasvii vaagvidaam varam |
naaradam pari papracCha vaalmiikir muni puMgavam || 1-1-1
2. sa -
sa hatvaa raakShasaan sarvaan yaj~na ghnaan raghunaMdanaH |
R^iShibhiH puujitaH tatra yathaa indro vijaye puraa || 1-30-24
3. vi -
vishvAmitraH sa raamaastu shrutvaa janaka bhaaShitam |
vatsa raama dhanuH pashya iti raaghavam abravIt || 1-67-12 - baalakaaNDam
4. tu -
tuShTaava asya tadaa vaMsham pravishya sa vishaam pateH |
shayaniiyam narendrasya tat aasaadya vyatiShTata || 2-15-19
5. va -
vanavaasam hi saMkhyaaya vaasaaMsi aabharaNaani ca |
bhartaaram anugacChaMtyai siitaayai shvashuro dadau || 2-40-14
6. raa -
raajaa satyam ca dharmaH ca raajaa kulavataam kulam |
raajaa maataa pita caiva raajaa hitakaro nR^iNaam || 2-67-34
7. ni -
niriikshya sa muhuurtam tu dadarsha bharato gurum |
uTaje raamam aasiinam jaTaa maNdala dhaariNam || 2-99-25 - ayodhyaakaaNDam
8. ya -
yadi buddhiH kR^itaa draShTum agastyam tam mahaamunim |
adya eva gamane rocayasva mahaayashaH || 3-11-44
9. bha -
bharatasya aarya putrasya shvashruuNaam mama ca prabho |
mR^iga rupam idam vyaktam vismayam janayiShyati || 3-43-18
10. ga -
gacCha shiighram ito raama sugriivam tam mahaabalam |
vayasyam tam kuru kshipram ito gatvaa adya raaghava || 3-72-17 - araNyakaaNDam
11. de -
desha kaalau pratiikshasva kshamamaaNaH priya apriye |
sukha duHkha sahaH kale sugriiva vashago bhava || 4-22-20
12. va -
vaMdyaaH te tu tapaH siddha saptasaa viita kalmaShaaH |
praShTavyaaH te api siitaayaaH pravR^ittim vinaya anvitaiH || 4-43-33 - kiShkindhaakaaNDam
13. sa -
sa nirjitya purim shreShTaam laMkaam taam kaama ruupiNiim |
vikrameNa mahatejaa hanumaan maaruta aatmaja || 5-4-1
14. dha -
dhanyaa devaaH sa gandharvaa siddhaaH ca parama R^iShayaH |
mama pashyanti ye naatham raamam raajiiva locanam || 5-26-41
15. ma -
maMgalaabhimukhii tasya saa tadaa aasit mahaakapeH |
upatasthe vishaalaakshii prayataa havyavaahanam || 5-53-28 - sundarakaaNDam
16. hi -
hitam mahaartham mR^idu hetu saMhitam
vyatiita kaalaayati saMprati kshamam |
nishaMya tad vaakyam upasthita jvaraH
prasaMgavaan uttaram etat abraviit || 6-10-27
17. dha -
dharmaatmaa rakshasaam shreShTaH saMpraapto ayam vibhiiShaNaH |
laMkaishvaryam dhruvam shriimaan ayam praapnoti akaNTakam || 6-41-67
18. yo -
yo vajra paataa ashani sannipaataan
na cukshubhe vaa api cacaala raajaa |
sa raama baaNaa abhihato bhR^isha aartaH
cacaala caapam ca mumoca viiraH || 6-59-141
19. ya -
yasya vikramam aasaadya raakshasa nidhanam gataaH |
tam manye raaghavam viiram naaraayaNam anaamayam || 6-72-11
20. na -
na te dadR^ishire raamam dahaMtam ari vaahiniim |
mohitaaH parama astreNa gaandharveNa mahaatmanaa || 6-93-26
21. pra -
praNaMya devataabhyaH ca braahmaNebhyaH ca maithilii |
baddha aMjalii puTaa ca idam uvaaca agni samiipataH || 6-116-24 - yuddhakaaNDam
22. ca -
calanaat parvata indrasya gaNaa devaaH ca kaMpitaaH |
cacaala paarvatii ca api tadaa aashliShTaa maheshvaram || 7-16-26
23. da -
daaraaH putraa puram raaShTram bhoga aacChaadana bhaajanam |
sarvam eva avibhaktam no bhaviShyati hari iishvaraH || 7-34-41
24. ya -
yaam eva raatrim shatrughnaH parNa shaalaam samaavishat |
taam eva raatrim siitaa api prasuutaa daakara dvayam || 7-66-1 - uttarakaaNDam
idam raamaayaNam kR^itsnam gaayatrii biija saMyutam |
tri saMdhyam yaH paThet nityam sarva paapaiH pramucyate ||
yaavat aavartate cakram yaavati ca vasuMdharaa |
taavat varSha sahasraaNi svaamitvam avadhaaraya ||
maMgalam kosalendraaya mahaniiya guNaatmane |
cakravarti tanuujaaya saarvabhaumaaya maMgalam ||
iti gaayatrii raamaayaNam saMpuurNam
iti vaalmiiki raamaayaNe aadi kaavye baala kaaNDe prathamH sargaH ||
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© 1998, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised: July, 2005]