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.
We have taken every care to present this translation truthfully, but when working with machines, they start to exhibit their talents on the very first key-stroke, like 'Auto Correct, Auto Complete, Auto Insert etc.,' and thus start correcting words like 'high souled one' to 'high-soled one...' and the like. So taking the maxim pramaado api dhiimataam 'even the diligent may make mistakes...' we appeal to the readers to kindly inform us if anything has gone wrong any where, typos, and 'is' becoming 'was', 'are' becoming 'were' and the like, so that they will be corrected, true to the text and spirit of Ramayana.
तपः स्वाध्याय निरताम् तपस्वी वाग्विदाम् वरम् |
नारदम् परिपप्रच्छ वाल्मीकिः मुनि पुंगवम् || १-१-१
1. anvaya / parsing: tapasvii vaalmiikiH tapaH svaadhyaaya niratam vaagvidaam varam muni pumgavam naaradam pari papracCha
1. tapasvii = sagacious thinker; vaalmikiH = Sage [Poet] Valmiki; tapaH = in thoughtful-meditation; and; sva adhyaaya = in self, study [of scriptures]; niratam = always - who is eternally studious in scriptures; and; vaak= in speaking [in enunciation]; vidaam = among expert enunciators; varam = sublime one - with Narada; muni pungavam = with sage, paragon, with such a paragon sage Naarada; naaradam = with [such a sage] Naarada; pari papracCha = verily [inquisitively,] inquired about; [ellipt. sarva guNa samiSTi ruupam puruSam = all, merited endowments, composite, in form - about such a man.]
A thoughtful-meditator, an eternally studious sage in scriptures about the Truth and Untruth, a sagacious thinker, and a sublime enunciator among all expert enunciators is Narada, and with such a Divine Sage Narada, the Sage-Poet Valmiki is inquisitively enquiring about a man who is a composite for all merited endowments in his form and calibre. [1-1-1]
The very opening word tapaH has diverse meanings. In a way it means j~naana acuity, and it is 'thinking' tap aalocane 'thinking on the Absolute, where that Absolute's thinking itself is tapaH - yasya j~naanam tapaH thus Narada is one who is a constant thinker of the Absolute. Or, he who always practises kR^icChrandraaayaNaadi vrataH - nitya naimittika karma anuSTHaana paraH the rigorous practises enshrined in Veda-s. It means the Absolute itself tapaH para brahma shabda vaca, brahmai tad upaastvai tat tapaH 'that which is contemplated upon that is tapaH, meaning Vedanta , Upanishads. Let many Veda-s are learnt and recited mechanically it becomes a rote learning, unless, a thought is given as for what it is being recited, an on whom. Thus Narada has no rote learning, but still trying to get full picture of that Absolute. And the swaadhyaya is Veda, and its regular practise, tapo hi svaadhyaayaH. Veda itself is the Knowledge, that is why it is said svadhyaan na pramiditavyam - taittariiya upaniSad Then, it also means as the Absolute. Thus Narada being a complete embodiment of Veda-s, is the proper sage to clear the doubts of Valmiki
The Divine Sage Narada is the brainchild of god Brahma brahma maanasa putra. His name has meanings like naara =knowledge; da= awarder; naarada= the rain cloud. Any cloud rains on its own without any requisition from Mother Earth. So Narada is naaram dadaati iti naarada 'one who accords knowledge concerning the humans...' or, naaram dyati - khaNdati - iti naarada 'one who annihilates the ignorance...' or, 'one who accords knowledge about the Absolute, or Supreme Person. Though a Divine Sage, having all these attributes, Narada has no conclusive information about hari liilaa vibhuuti 'Supreme Person's playful acts...' hence he continuously and constantly ponders over that Absolute to get the real essence of that Absolute, or Supreme Person. This is for himself, and not in respect of his reacting with others.
Then this word vaak means: enunciator - as given above; This word also means Veda - anaadi nidhano hi eSaa vaak utshR^iSTaa Veda-s emerged from that Absolute, hence vaak is identifiable with that Absolute; and this is grammar - vaak yoga viddduSyati ca apashabde as such vaak is identifiable with grammar. And vaak vid vareNya is 'one who has complete information derived from Veda-s, or, one who elucidates and enunciates what he has learned from Veda-s to others...'
There are four epithets of Narada here: atha naaradasya catvaari visheShaNaani | tathaa - tapo nirati - iti anena visheShaNena sarva saamarthyam pratipaaditam | sva adhyaaya nirata - iti anena yat ki~ncit vadati tat veda ukta dharma anuguNatayaa eva vadati iti suucitam | vaak vidaam vara - anena vaktR^itva~N pratipaaditam | muni pungava - iti anena atiindriya abhij~natvam suucitam | agre tri loka j~na iti anena visheShaNena loka traya sa~ncaareNa pratyakShatayaa sat asat vastu abhisa~nj~natva~N pratipaaditam | etai visheShaNaiH - sarvaj~natvam - sarva jana maanyatvam - sarva utkR^iShTa mahaatmyam - ca suucitam | taadR^isham naaradam bhagavaan vaalmiikiH sarva guNa samiShTi ruupam pururaSham - papR^iccha - dharmaakuutam
'By these four epithets of Narada, viz., tapo nirata because he is a 'thoughtful-thinker evermore...' his all-expertise in knowledge is proposed... svaadhyaaya nirata because he is 'eternally studious sage in scriptures [about the Truth and Untruth...'] whatever the least he says it abides by the everlasting canonical sayings of Veda... vaak vidaam vara because his sayings are rooted in canons he is the best enunciator and elucidator... muni pungava because he is such a sublime sage he is transcendental... and as a traveller among all the three worlds he is aware of Truth and Untruth... and with such Sage Narada, Sage Valmiki enquired about a man, on earth, who is a composite in his form, for all merited endowments...' Dharmaakuutam. This commentary is by Tryambakaraaya Makhi [1690's to 1728] and this can be called not just yet another commentary on Ramayana, but an Encyclopaedia of Indian Culture. This was published under the scheme of 'Editing and Publication if Rare Manuscripts, Govt. of India, Ministry of Scientific Research and Cultural Affairs' and it is available with Tanjore Saraswati Mahal Library, Tanjavore, Tamil Nadu State, India.
There are numerous and voluminous commentaries on Ramayana, bulkier than the epic itself, deciphering latent meanings of Ramayana as above. And to list a few of many commentaries on Ramayana: 1] kataka vyaakhya, by shrii katata; 2] raamayaNa tilakam - raamaabhiraamii : by shrii naagojii bhaTT; 3] raamaayaNa bhuuSaNam by shrii govindaraja; 4] raamaayaNa shiromaNi by shrii shivasahaaya; 5] raamaayaNa tattva diipika by shrii maheshvara tiirtha; 6] raamaayaNa vyaakhya shrii raamaanujaacaarya; 7] viveka tilaka by shrii varadaraaja; dharmaakuutam tryambakaraaya makhii; raamaayaNa kuuTa vyaakhya by shrii raamaananda tiirtha... and many, many more... Hence due to paucity of time we confine ourselves to some references from some of the above, as it will be uncouth to go on dwelling one these intricate derivation obtained by these great commentators.
This stanza equally applies to Sage Valmiki, the taught, by way of the use of words tapaH, svaadhyaaya, tapasvii, thus both of them are experts in their own sphere of teacher-student relationship. The word tapaH denotes Veda-s themselves, in which both the Sages are well-versed, svaadhyaaya means, pondering over what that is learnt, i.e. japa. tapasvii= sharanaagati Total renunciation of their selves in the Almighty. Routine recitation of Veda-s will become futile if an iota of inclination in the Almighty and self-surrender to that Almighty is not there. tasmaannyeaasam eShaam tapasam atiriktam aahuH - taittatriiya naaraayaNam - 20 Hence, these two sages have commenced to deliver Ramayana, which itself is the epic of virtuous living, to this world.
That being so, Valmiki is asking the same Narada as to who is Absolute-like, Absolute-similar or comparable human, with some of many traits of that Absolute. For this, Narada starts his narration with an exclamation bahavo durlabhaa ca guNaaH kiirtitaa at seventh verse. Thus, there are bulky and voluminous commentaries on Ramayana, bulkier than the epic itself, hence due to paucity of time, and in eagerness to post the main epic firstly, let us take a pause in these declinations and niceties of verbiage, as it will be uncouth to go on dwelling on these intricate derivation at that staring itself.
However, the epic starts with the word auspicious word ta as said in ta kaaro vighna naashakaH, ta kaaro saukhya daayakaH...
कः नु अस्मिन् सांप्रतम् लोके गुणवान् कः च वीर्यवान् |
धर्मज्ञः च कृतज्ञः च सत्य वाक्यो धृढ व्रतः || १-१-२
2. asmin loke = in this, world; saampratam = presently; guNavaan = principled person; kaH nu = who is, really; viiryavaan ca = potential one, also; kaH = who is; dharma j~naH ca = conscientious, also; kR^ita j~naH ca = what has been done, knower of it [a redeemer,] also; satya vaakyaH = truth, speaker of [habitually speaking the truth = truth-teller]; dR^iDha vrataH = determined in his deed.
"Who really is that person in this present world, who is principled and also a potential one, a conscientious one, a redeemer, and also a truth-teller and self-determined in his deed... [1-1-2]
In Sanskrit poems the poets are at liberty to use words at any place according to exigencies of their metric rules. So, the order of words used by the poet called pada vibhaaga , in this poem is like this
kaH nu asmin saampratam loke guNavaan kaH ca viiryavaan dharma j~naH ca kR^ita j~naH ca satya vaakyaH dhR^iDha vrataH
We have not shown this division of words for all verses in a separate paragraph, but separated them in the verse itself, [even if it gives a low-brow reading,] for fear of repetitive work.
These very words are to be reconnected by readers to derive a particular meaning called anvyaya krama. By this process the words in this second verse will be connected like this:
asmin loke saamprataam guNavaan kaH nu; viiryaaan ca kaH; dharmaj~naH ca; kR^ita j~naH ca; satya vaakyaH dR^iDha vrataH; [ellipted]: kaH
Same words available in the verse but with changed placement. All the verses are provided with word-to-word meanings in anvya krama, i.e., words parsed according to Sanskrit way of reading and then meanings are given.
Further, we tried to give meanings in verse-by-verse in order to tell each on its own. But at times, the meaning rolls into next foots. Then it is inevitable to push and pull the feet of verses, up or down, to give a meaningful paragraph. Some of our readers are a little confused about this arrangement. Hence we request you to go by the verse numbers in such places, and there will be many such pulls and pushes as we go along.
The meter filling words like tu, hi ca, sma, ha, vai: paada puuraNe - amara kosha do not usually mean anything and they fit-in as meter fillers, hence will be dropped in word-to-word meanings. But if they are used specifically, they play havoc in rendering meaning. Here the word dharmaj~na is used, which means, 'knower of rightness...' but when coupled with ca it means 'also, the knower of wrongness... ' where the ca assumes the character of 'either...' and the use of numerous ca-s here in these questions of Valmiki, is to denote that every questioned merit plusses itself into one human being. We are showing all the ca-s and tu-s throughout, giving their meaning as 'also...' and they may be dropped, if need be, in the gist of verse.
चारित्रेण च को युक्तः सर्व भूतेषु को हितः |
विद्वान् कः कः समर्थः च कः च एक प्रिय दर्शनः || १-१-३
3. kaH chaaritreNa ca yuktaH = who is, conduct-wise, also, blent with [good conduct]; kaH sarva bhuuteSu hitaH = who is, in [respect of] all, beings, a benign one; kaH vidvaan = who is, an adept one; samarthaH ca = an ablest one, also; kaH ca eka priya darshanaH = who, also, uniquely, goodly, to look to.
"Who is he conduct-wise blent with good-conduct... who in respect of all beings is benign... who is adept and also the ablest one... also uniquely good to look to... [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...'
आत्मवान् को जित क्रोधो द्युतिमान् कः अनसूयकः |
कस्य बिभ्यति देवाः च जात रोषस्य संयुगे || १-१-४
4. aatmavaan = courageous; kaH = who is; jita krodhaH = one who controlled, his ire; dyutimaan = brilliant one; an asuuyakaH = not, jealous; kaH = who is; jaata roSasya = caused, in whom anger - when he is provoked; kasya = whom; saMyuge = in war; devaaH ca = gods, even; bibhyati = are afraid.
"Who is that courageous one, who controlled his ire, who is brilliant, non-jealous and even whom do the gods fear, when provoked to war... [1-1-4]
Here the word aatma is not the usual 'soul' but courage aatmaa jive dhR^itau dehe svabhaave paramaatmani - amara kosha and the word krodha is taken as the nominative of other six negative attitudes ari SaT varga upalakshaNa - kaama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, maatsarya 'desire, ire, avarice, fancy, defiance, conceit...' and by the coupling of word ca with devaaH in devaaH ca it means that, 'not only the enemies like demons and others... but 'also' the friendly gods too are afraid of his ire...' The 'non-jealous nature' is the 'God's tolerance of disloyalty...' and 'unlike the heavenly gods like Indra and others, who will be intolerant of disloyalty...' this man in question shall be tolerant of disloyal persons, subjects, or demons and shall be intolerant of them who go against the established tradition.
एतत् इच्छामि अहम् श्रोतुम् परम् कौतूहलम् हि मे |
महर्षे त्वम् समर्थोऽसि ज्ञातुम् एवम् विधम् नरम् || १-१-५
5. etat aham shrotum icChaami = all this, I, to listen [from you,] wish to; me kautuuhalam param hi = my, inquisitiveness; immense, indeed; mahaa R^irSe= Oh! Great Sage - Narada; tvam = you; evam vidham naram = [about] this, kind of, man; j~nnaatum = to know of [him]; samarthaH asi = competent [mastermind,] you are.
"All this I wish to listen from you, oh! Great Sage, as you are a mastermind 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. As such, Valmiki wanted to know about a human being with godly attributes, because many acts of Rama, like killing Vali, testing Seetha's chastity, deserting her at the end etc. are both conducive and contradictory puzzles.
The attributes of the hero of Ramayana, as required by Valmiki, are 16; sixteen in number.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.
श्रुत्वा च एतत् त्रिलोकज्ञो वाल्मीकेः नारदो वचः |
श्रूयताम् इति च आमंत्र्य प्रहृष्टो वाक्यम् अब्रवीत् || १-१-६
6. tri loka j~naH = three, worlds, preceptor of; naaradaH = Narada; vaalmiikeH = of Valmiki; etat vachaH shrutvaa = all those, words, on listening; shruuyataam = let it be heard; iti = thus; aamantrya cha = on beckoning [Valmiki,] also; pra hR^iSTaH = verily, gladly; vaakyam abraviit = sentence [words,] spoke.
On listening all those words of Valmiki, the preceptor of all the three worlds, Sage Narada, said "let it be heard..." and beckoning at Sage Valmiki to listen attentively, he spoke these words very gladly. [1-1-6]
The preceptor of three worlds, where the three worlds are bhuu loka, bhuvar loka, suvar loka this world, the intermediary heaven, the heavens themselves.
बहवो दुर्लभाः च एव ये त्वया कीर्तिता गुणाः |
मुने वक्ष्ष्यामि अहम् बुद्ध्वा तैः उक्तः श्रूयताम् नरः || १-१-७
7. mune = oh, sage Valmiki; bahavaH = many [or, infinite merits]; dur labhaaH = not, attainable, [unattainable by conscious development or effort]; ca eva = also, that way [for ordinary humans]; ye guNaaH = which, merits; tvayaa kiirtitaaH = by you, extolled; taiH yuktaH = those [facets,] one who has [the possessor of those merits]; naraH = [of that] man; shruuyataam = I make it clear; aham buddhvaa = I, having known [from Brahma]; vakshyaami = I speak on.
"Oh! Sage Valmiki, the merits which you have extolled are many, and unattainable even for great emperors, let alone ordinary humans, and also infinite are they... but, about such a man with such merits I will speak on... for I, having known from Brahma of such a man, will make clear about that man..." 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.
इक्ष्वाकु वंश प्रभवो रामो नाम जनैः श्रुतः |
नियत आत्मा महावीर्यो द्युतिमान् धृतिमान् वशी || १-१-८
8. ikshvaaku vamshaH prabhavaH = Ikshwaku, dynasty, as his birthplace [emerged from Ikshvaku dynasty]; raamaH naama = Rama, named; janaiH shrutaH = by people, heard [by that name]; niyata aatmaa = controlled, souled [conscientious]; mahaa viiryaH = highly valorous one; dyutimaan = resplendent one; dhR^ithimaan = steadfast; vashii = controller [of vice and vile [or,] senses.]
"One emerged from Ikshvaku dynasty and known to people as Rama by his name, and he is conscientious, highly valorous, resplendent, steadfast and a controller of vice and vile... and his own senses, as well... [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.
बुद्धिमान् नीतिमान् वाङ्ग्मी श्रीमान् शत्रु निबर्हणः |
विपुलांसो महाबाहुः कंबु ग्रीवो महाहनुः || १-१-९
9. budhimaan = an adept one; niitimaan = moralist; vaagmii = learned one; shriimaan = propitious one; shatru nibharhaNaH = enemy, destroyer; vipula amsaH = broad shouldered; mahaa baahuH = great, [lengthy] arms; kambu griivaH = neck like a conch-shell; mahaa hanuH = high cheek bones.
"He is an adept one, moralist, learned, propitious, and a destroyer of enemies. His arms are lengthy, and his neck is like a conch-shell, 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.
महोरस्को महेष्वासो गूढ जत्रुः अरिन्दमः |
आजानु बाहुः सुशिराः सुललाटः सुविक्रमः || १-१-१०
10. mahaa uraskaH = broad [lion-like,] chested; mahaa eSvaasaH = [one who handles] long, bow; guuDha jatruH = concealed, collarbones [thick shouldered]; arim damaH = enemy, subjugator; aa jaanu baahuH = up to, knees, his arms [lengthy armed]; su shiraaH = high [crowning] head; su lalaaTaH = with ample, forehead; su vi kramaH = good, verily, pacer [lion-like-pacer.]
"He is lion-chested, thick-shouldered, knee-length are his arms, and his is longbow, an enemy-subjugator, and his emperor's countenance is with a crowning-head with an ample forehead, and his pacing is lion-like... [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.
समः सम विभक्त अंगः स्निग्ध वर्णः प्रतापवान् |
पीन वक्षा विशालाक्षो लक्ष्मीवान् शुभ लक्षणः || १-१-११
11. samaH = medium-sized [physically]; sama vibhakta aN^gaH = symmetrically, divided [distributed, poised,] limbs; snigdha varNaH = soft [glossily,] coloured [complexioned]; prataapavaan = courageous one [or, resplendent one]; piina vakshaaH = sinew, chested; vishaala akshaH = wide, eyed; lakshmiivaan = prosperous [personality]; shubha lakshaNaH = providential, features.
"He is medium-sized physically, with limbs poised symmetrically, sinew-chested, wide-eyed, complexioned glossily... he is a prosperous personality with all the providential features, and thus he is self-resplendent... [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.
धर्मज्ञः सत्य सन्धः च प्रजानाम् च हिते रतः |
यशस्वी ज्ञान संपन्नः शुचिः वश्यः समाधिमान् || १-१-१२
12. dharma j~naH = rectitude, knower, satya sandhaH ca = truth, bidden, also; prajaanaam ca hitaH rathaH = in subject's, also, welfare, concerned; yashasvii = glorious; j~naana sampannaH = in prudence, proficient; suchiH = clean [in conduct]; vashyaH = self-controlled; samaadhimaan = diligent 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 a diligent one, thus he is glorious... [1-1-12]
Here to the compound satya sandhaH ca 'ca' is added, but here it means nothing special but to plus the features into one man. At such places this can be dropped.
प्रजापति समः श्रीमान् धता रिपु निषूदनः |
रक्षिता जीवलोकस्य धर्मस्य परि रक्षिता|| १-१-१३
13. prajaa patiH samaH = people's, god [Omniscient, Brahma,] equals; shriimaan = exalted one; dhaataa = sustainer [of all worlds]; ripuH ni SuudanaH = enemy [enemies,] complete, eliminator; jiiva lokasya rakshitaaH = living beings, worlds, a guardian of; dharmasya pari rakshitaaH = of probity, in entirety, guards.
"He equals the Omniscient, he is an exalted one for he is the sustainer of all worlds, and he eliminates enemies completely, thus he is a guardian of all living beings and he guards probity, in its entirety... [1-1-13]
'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, and another Tilaka are the three reputed commentators on Ramayana among many others.
रक्षिता स्वस्य धर्मस्य स्व जनस्य च रक्षिता |
वेद वेदाङ्ग तत्त्वज्ञो धनुर् वेदे च निष्ठितः || १-१-१४
14. svasya dharmasya rakshitaa = of his own, righteousness [self-righteous, champion; sva janasya ca rakshitaa = his own, people's [adherents', welfare,] also, he is a champion of; veda veda aN^ga = in Veda-s, Veda's, ancillaries; tatvaj~naH = scholar in essence of [Veda-s]; dhanur vede ca = in the science of archery, also; niSTitaH = an expert.
"He is the champion of his own self-righteousness and also champions 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 astroloj~n 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.
सर्व शास्त्र अर्थ तत्त्वज्ञो स्मृतिमान् प्रतिभानवान् |
सर्वलोक प्रियः साधुः अदीनाअत्मा विचक्षणः || १-१-१५
15. sarva shaastra arthaH tattva j~naH = all, scriptures, their meaning, their essence, knower of; smR^itimaan = one with excellent memory; pratibhaanavaan = a brilliant one; sarva loka priyaH = all, worlds, esteemed by; saadhuH = gentle; a diina aatmaa = not down, hearted [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 thus brilliant, and an esteemed one in all the worlds, gentle, level-headed and clear-headed in discriminating and distinguishing... [1-1-15]
सर्वदा अभिगतः सद्भिः समुद्र इव सिन्धुभिः |
अर्यः सर्वसमः च एव सदैव प्रिय दर्शनः || १-१-१६
16. samudra sindhubhiH iva = an ocean, by rivers, as with; sadbhiH = by clean-minded ones; sarvadaa abhigataH = always, accessible; aaryaH = reachable [or, reverential one]; sarva samaH ca eva = all, treats equally, also, thus; sadaa eva priya darshanaH = ever, thus [the same,] pleasant, in look [ever a feast to eye.]
"Like an ocean that is reached by many rivers accesbly, 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...' sat pravartana, sad budhhi... 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.
स च सर्व गुणोपेतः कौसल्य आनंद वर्धनः |
समुद्र इव गाम्भीर्ये धैर्येण हिमवान् इव || १-१-१७
17. kausalya aananda vardhanaH = Kausalya's [his mother,] happiness, one who betters; saH ca = he, also; sarva guNa upetaH = with all, [noble] merits, embodied with; gaambhiirye samudra iva = in profundity, ocean, like - his inmost heart is unfathomable like an ocean; dhairyeNa hima vaan 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.
विष्णुना सदृशो वीर्ये सोमवत् प्रिय दर्शनः |
काल अग्नि सदृशः क्रोधे क्षमया पृथ्वी समः || १-१-१८
धनदेन समः त्यागे सत्ये धर्म इव अपरः |
18, 19a. viirye = in valour; vishNunaa sadR^ishaH = with Vishnu, comparable; somavat priya darshanaH = full-moon like, attractive, in look; krodhe = in anger; kaala agni sadR^ishaH = era [ending,] fire, matchable to; kshamayaa pR^ithvii samaH = in perseverance, earth, equals with; tyage = in benevolence; dhanadena samaH = Kubera [God of Wealth-Management,] identical to; satye = in candour; aparaH = here on earth [or, another]; dharma iva = like dharma = God Probity, like.
"In valour Rama is comparable with Vishnu, and in his looks he is attractive like full-moon, he equals the earth in his perseverance, but he is matchable with era-end-fire in his wrath... and in benevolence he is identical to Kubera, God of Wealth-Management, and in his candour he is like Dharma itself, the other God Probity on earth... [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.
तम् एवम् गुण संपन्नम् रामम् सत्य पराक्रमम् || १-१-१९
ज्येष्टम् श्रेष्ट गुणैः युक्तम् प्रियम् दशरथः सुतम् |
प्रकृतीनाम् हितैः युक्तम् प्रकृति प्रिय कांयया || १-१-२०
यौव राज्येन संयोक्तुम् ऐच्छत् प्रीत्या महीपतिः |
19b, 20, 21a. mahii patiH dasarathaH = land, lord of - king, Dasharatha; evam guna sampannam = suchlike, merits, possessor of [Rama]; satya parakramam = truthfulness, is his courage; shreSTa guNaiH yuktam = best, intrinsic values, one who is embodied with; priyam = dear one [to Dasharatha]; prakR^itinaam hitaiH yuktam = people's, in welfare of, having [ever involved in]; jyeSTham sutam = eldest, son; tam ramam = such as he is, Rama be; prakR^iti priya kaamyayaa = country's, welfare, intending [to all intents and purposes of peoples welfare]; priityaa = affectionately; yauva raajyena = in young [crown,] prince-hood; samyoktum = to conjoin - to establish; icChhat = intended to.
"Rama being the possessor of suchlike merits, whose truthfulness alone is his courage, embodied with best intrinsic values, ever involved in the welfare of people, besides being the dear and eldest son of Dasharatha, and hence the king Dasharatha affectionately intended to establish such a Rama as crown prince to all intents and purposes of country's welfare...[1-1-29b, 20, 21a]
तस्य अभिषेक संभारान् दृष्ट्वा भार्या अथ कैकयी || १-१-२१
पूर्वम् दत्त वरा देवी वरम् एनम् अयाचत |
विवासनम् च रामस्य भरतस्य अभिषेचनम् || १-१-२२
21b, 22. atha = then; tasya = his - Rama's; abhishheka sam bhaaraan = anointment [as crown prince,] arrangements; dR^iSThva = on seeing; puurvam datta vara = once, she who is accorded, boons; bhaarya devi kaikeyi = [dear] wife, queen, Kaikeyi; raamasya vi vaasanam = Rama's, without, place [displacement, banishment]; bharatasya abhiSechanam ca = Bharata's, anointment, also; varam enam = boons, from him [Dasharatha]; ayaachitaH = claimed.
"Then on seeing the arrangements for the anointment of Rama as crown-prince, Kaikeyi, the dear wife and a queen of Dasharatha, claimed boons that were once accorded to her by Dasharatha, which are the banishment of Rama and anointment of Bharata. [1-2-21b 22]
स सत्य वचनात् राजा धर्म पाशेन संयतः |
विवासयामास सुतम् रामम् दशरथः प्रियम् || १-१-२३
23. saH raajaa dasharathaH = he, king, Dasharatha; satya vacanaat = truthfulness, of [his plighted] word; dharma paashena = righteousness, by halter of; samyataH = bound by; priyam sutam raamam = dear, son, Rama; vi vaasayaamaasa = started to displace - exiled to foprests.
"Bound by the truthfulness of his plighted word and by the halter of righteousness that king Dasharatha exiled his dear son Rama to forests. [1-1-23]
स जगाम वनम् वीरः प्रतिज्ञाम् अनुपालयन् |
पितुर् वचन निर्देशात् कैकेय्याः प्रिय कारणात् || १-१-२४
24. viiraH saH = brave one, he [that Rama]; kaikeyyaaH priya nkaaraNaat = Kaikeyi, to appease, by reason of; pituH vacana nirdeshaat = by father's, verbal, directive; pratij~naam = promise - his own pledge to adhere to his father's word, or, promise of his father to Kaikeyi; anu paalayan = to follow through; vanam jagaama = to forests, repaired to.
"Such a brave one as he is, that Rama repaired to forest for the reason of appeasing Kaikeyi, and as directed by the verbal directive of his father, and to follow his father's word of honour. [1-1-24]
तम् व्रजंतम् प्रियो भ्राता लक्ष्मणः अनुजगाम ह |
स्नेहात् विनय संपन्नः सुमित्र आनंद वर्धनः || १-१-२५
भ्रातरम् दयितो भ्रातुः सौभ्रात्रम् अनु दर्शयन् |
25, 26a. vinaya sampannaH = humbleness, abounding; bhraatuH dayitaH = to brother Rama, fondly [to Rama]; priya bhraataa = dear [natural brotherly affection,] brother; lakshmanaH = Lakshmana; sumitra ananda vardhanaH = [his mother] Sumitra's, happiness, duly augmenting; saubhraatram anu darshayan = [ideals of] brotherhood, exemplifying; vrajantam tam bhraataram = who is going, him [Rama,] with brother [Rama]; snehaat anu jagaama ha = heartily, in tow, followed, indeed.
"In whom humbleness and the natural brotherly affection of a brother are abounding, such a fondly younger brother of Rama, namely Lakshmana, indeed heartily followed his forest going brother Rama, exemplifying the ideals of brotherhood, thus augmenting the happiness of his mother Sumitra. [1-1-25, 26a]
रामस्य दयिता भार्या नित्यम् प्राण समा हिता || १-१-२६
जनकस्य कुले जाता देव मायेव निर्मिता |
सर्व लक्षण संपन्ना नारीणाम् उत्तमा वधूः || १-१-२७
सीताप्य अनुगता रामम् शशिनम् रोहिणी यथा |
26b, 27, 28a. raamasya dayitaa bhaarya = Rama', loving, wife; praaNa samaa = life, like, [alter ego]; nityam hitaa = ever, amiable one; jankasya kule jaataa = Janaka's, family, born in; nirmitaa deva maya iva = fashioned, by divine, marvel, as though; sarva lakshaNa sampannaa = all, qualities, possessor of [befitting to an ideal lady]; nariiNaam uttamaa = among ladies, the best one; vadhuu = daughter-in-law [of Dasharatha]; siitha api = Seetha, even; rohiNii shashinam yathaa = Lady Rohini, with Moon, as with; raamam anugataa = Rama, she followed.
"Seetha, the best one among ladies, a possessor of all best qualities befitting to an ideal lady, the one who is as though fashioned by a Divine marvel, born in Janaka's family and became Dasharatha's daughter-in-law, and she who is the loving wife and an ever-amiable alter ego of Rama, even she followed Rama to forests, as with Lady 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 an extraordinarily beauty, Ravana is an eccentrically 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...'
पौरैः अनुगतो दूरम् पित्रा दशरथेन च || १-१-२८
शृन्गिबेर पुरे सूतम् गंगा कूले व्यसर्जयत् |
गुहम् आसाद्य धर्मात्मा निषाद अधिपतिम् प्रियम् || १-१-२९
गुहेअन सहितो रामो लक्ष्मणेन च सीतया |
28b, 29, 30a. [That Rama while going to forests]; pauraiH = by citizens; pitraa dasarathena ca = by father, Dasharatha, also; duuram = for a distance; anu gataH = followed; dharmaatmaa raamaH = virtue-souled, Rama; gangaa kuule = on River Ganga's, bank; sR^iN^giberapure = in [town called] Sringaberapura; nishhaada adhipatim = with tribal, chief; priyam = who likes Rama; guham = Guha; asaadya = on getting at; guhena lakshmaNena siitayaa ca = with Guha, with Lakshmana, with Seetha, also; sahitaH = teamed with; suutam = charioteer [Sumantra]; vyasarjayat = left off.
"The citizens of Ayodhya and even his father Dasharatha have followed that virtue-souled Rama for a distance when he started on his exile. Later Rama reached the tribal chief named Guha, who has a liking for Rama, on the bank of River Ganga in a town called Sringaberapura. And when Rama is teamed with Guha, Lakshmana and Seetha, he left off the charioteer and a minister of his father who charioted them thitherto, namely Sumantra. [1-1-28b, 29, 30a]
Here while saying guhena saH hitaH raamaH can also be cleaved as guhena saH hitaH = saH raamaH guhena hitaH 'he that Rama is sent, or sailed over Ganga by Guha...' apart from the above. The word Sringaberapura means a township where the replicas of stags with sets of antlers are prepared and placed at places in order to attract selfsame stags or deer, and then the tribals can catch those animals. The word Guha means guhaati it guhaH 'one who hordes/steals others' wealth by waylaying etc...' thus, though the tribal chief is a lowly subject by birth and caste-oriented activity, Rama has no aversion for such subjects, because Guha reposes love in Rama. Govindaraja.
ते वनेन वनम् गत्वा नदीः तीर्त्वा बहु उदकाः || १-१-३०
चित्रकूटम् अनुप्राप्य भरद्वाजस्य शासनात् |
रंयम् आवसथम् कृत्वा रममाणा वने त्रयः || १-१-३१
देव गन्धर्व संकाशाः तत्र ते न्यवसन् सुखम् |
30b, 31, 32a. te = they [the trio, Rama, Lakshmana, Seetha]; vanena vanam gatvaa = from forest, to forest, on reaching; bahu udakaan nadiiH tiirtva = with much [plethoric,] waters, rivers, on crossing; anu = later, in consequence; bharadvaajasya shaasanaat = sage Bharadwaja's, by ordainment; chitrakuuTam praapya = Chitrakuta, on arriving at [its hillside]; ramyam avasatham kR^itvaa = handsome, cottage, on setting up; te = such as they are, [who have enjoyed every comfort in Ayodhya]; trayaH = three of them [trio]; tatra = there [at Chitrakuta]; vane ramamaaNaa = in woods, while exuberating; deva gandharva samkaashaaH = gods, celestials, similar to; sukham nyavasan = happily lived.
"That trio of Seetha, Rama and Lakshmana on treading forest after forest, and on crossing rivers with plethoric waters, reached the hermitage of Sage Bharadwaja, and by the ordainment of that sage they arrived at Chitrakuta, and setting up a handsome cottage there, they who have enjoyed every comfort in Ayodhya enjoyed every comfort here also in no less a degree and that trio lived happily and exuberated themselves in woods at Chitrakuta, similar to gods and celestials... [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-faring...' 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 salved-soul, 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.
चित्रकूटम् गते रामे पुत्र शोक आतुरः तथा || १-१-३२
राजा दशरथः स्वर्गम् जगाम विलपन् सुतम् |
32b, 33a. raame = of Rama; tathaa = thus [tadaa = then]; chitrakuuTam gate = to Chitrakuta, on going; putra shoka aaturaH = for son, by grief, aggrieved; raajaa dasharathaH = King, Dasharatha; sutam vilapam = for son, while grieving; svargam jagaama = heavens, went to.
"On Rama's going to Chitrakuta thus, King Dasharatha is aggrieved by the grief for son and went to heavens grieving for son... [1-1-32b, 33a]
The word 'thus' is according to the text of Govindaraja. Maheshvara Tiirtha's text will have 'then'.
गते तु तस्मिन् भरतो वसिष्ठ प्रमुखैः द्विजैः || १-१-३३
नियुज्यमानो राज्याय न इच्छत् राज्यम् महाबलः |
स जगाम वनम् वीरो राम पाद प्रसादकः || १-१-३४
33b, 34. tasmin gate = his [Dasharatha's,] going [to heavens] - in the matter of Dasharatha's departure to heavens; bharataH tu = Bharata, but; vasiSTha pramukhaiH dvijaiH = by Sage Vasishta, other prominent, by Brahmans; raajyaaya niyujyamaanaH = in kingship, being [impressed on] for investiture; mahaa balaH = highly, mighty [even though, highly efficient to rule such a kingdom]; raajyam na icChat = kingdom, not, desired; viiraH = brave one [but here, a self-denying one]; saH = he [Bharata]; raama paada prasaadakaH = at Rama's feet, mercy, praying for; vanam jagaama = to forests, went.
"On Dasharatha's departure to heavens, though Sage Vashishta and other Brahmans have impressed upon him for his investiture in kingship, and even though he is highly effectual to rule such a kingdom, he that Bharata refused the kingdom, and that self-denying Bharata, for he is aloft the greed, grouse, and gripe, went to forests to pray for mercy at the feet of Rama... [1-1-33b. 34]
गत्वा तु स महात्मानम् रामम् सत्य पराक्रमम् |
अयाचत् भ्रातरम् रामम् आर्य भाव पुरस्कृतः || १-१-३५
त्वम् एव राजा धर्मज्ञ इति रामम् वचः अब्रवीत् |
35, 36a. aarya bhaava puraskR^itaH = by humbleness, by means of, reverential one [his humbleness is reverential or, he is reverential for his humbleness]; mahaa aatmaanam = great, souled one; satya paraakramam = by truthfulness, a vanquisher; raamam = to such Rama; saH gatva = he that Bharata, on going - on reaching; braataram raamam ayaachat = from brother, Rama, begged of; dharma j~naH = knower, of probity; tvam eva = you, alone; raajaa = [are the] king; iti vachaH abraviit = thus, word, said [avowed.]
"But on reaching that great-souled Rama, who is a vanquisher just by his truthfulness, Bharata humbly and reverentially begged of his brother, and the avowed word of Bharata is this, 'oh! Knower of Probity, you alone shall be the king... ' [1-1-35, 36a]
रामोऽपि परमोदारः सुमुखः सुमहायशाः || १-१-३६
न च इच्छत् पितुर् आदेशात् राज्यम् रामो महाबलः |
36b, 37a. raamaH = Rama; api = even though; parama udaaraH = really, benevolent one; su mukhaH api = readily, willing one, even though [but not 'good faced one']; su mahaa yashaH [api] = of very, greatly, reputed [endower,] [even though]; mahaa balaH [api] = highly, capable [in eliminating enemies with a single arrow, or, endower of whatever sought by his adherers,] [even though]; raamaH = Rama; pituH aadeshaat = of father, owing to directives; raajyam = kingdom; na ca icChat = not, also, desired.
"Even though Rama is a really benevolent one, even though he is a readily willing one, even though he is a greatly reputed one for endowments, even though he is a highly capable endower of whatever sought by his adherers, even then Rama did not desire the kingdom, to keep up his own pledge and also owing to his father's directives... [1-1-36b, 37a]
In the compound na ca icChat the 'ca' indicates that though he is disagreeing now, but said to have agreed to take up the kingdom after the period of exile as stipulated in the exilic terms.
पादुके च अस्य राज्याय न्यासम् दत्त्वा पुनः पुनः || १-१-३७
निवर्तयामास ततो भरतम् भरत अग्रजः |
37b, 38a. bharata agra jaH = by Bharata's, elder, born [elder-brother of Bharata, namely Rama]; raajyaaya = for kingdom; asya = to him [to Bharata]; paaduke nyaasam datvaa = sandals, for custodial care, on giving; tataH = then; punaH punaH = again, again [persuasively]; bharatam nivartayaamaasa = Bharata, [Rama] started to turn him away.
"On giving his sandals to that Bharata for custodial care of kingdom till his return after the period of exile, then the elder brother of Bharata, namely Rama, persuasively turned away Bharata. [1-1-37b, 38a]
स कामम् अनवाप्य एव राम पादा उपस्पृशन् || १-१-३८
नन्दि ग्रामे अकरोत् राज्यम् राम आगमन कांक्षया |
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]
गते तु भरते श्रीमान् सत्य सन्धो जितेन्द्रियः || १-१-३९
रामः तु पुनः आलक्ष्य नागरस्य जनस्य च |
तत्र आगमनम् एकाग्रो दण्डकान् प्रविवेश ह |१-१-४०
39b, 40. bharate gate tu = Bharata, while departed, but; shriimaan = self-effulgent one [Rama whose self-effulgence is not marred by Bharata's arrival or by his incitement for kingdom]; satya sandhaH = truth, bound [for his truthfulness in following father's directives is undeterred even by the supplication of Bharata]; jita indriyaH = conquered, senses [for the lure of kingdom has not conquered his senses]; raamaH tu = Rama, on his part; naagarasya janasya ca = of citizens, of ordinary subjects, also - here the 'ca' indicates Bharata and others who came to Chitrakoota; punaH tatra aagamanam = again, to that place, their arrival; aalakshya = on foreseeing; eka agraH = one, targeted [determinedly, or decidedly]; daNDaka aranyaan = in to Dandaka, forests; pravivesha ha = [he] entered, indeed.
"On the departure of Bharata, that effulgent one, for his self-effulgence is not marred by the arrival of Bharata with an incitement; that truth-bound one, for his truthfulness is undeterred even by the supplications to return to capital by Bharata, Kausalya, and even Kaikeyi; that self-controlled one, for the lure of kingdom has not controlled his senses, such as he is, he that Rama foresaw the repeated arrival of citizens, other subjects, or even Bharata to that place. Hence Rama indeed entered Dandaka forest, determinedly about his plighted promise to undergo exile and decidedly about the elimination of demons... [1-1-39b, 40]
In this compound naagarasya janasya ca the 'ca' is indicative of Bharata, who may make habit of frequenting Chitrakuta, for one reason or the other.
प्रविश्य तु महाअरण्यम् रामो राजीव लोचनः |
विराधम् राक्षसम् हत्वा शरभंगम् ददर्श ह || १-१-४१
सुतीक्ष्णम् च अपि अगस्त्यम् च अगस्त्य भ्रातरम् तथा |
41, 42a. raajiiva lochana raamaH = lotus, eyed one - whose eyes are lotus-like, such Rama; maha aranNyam pravishya tu = vast, forest, on entering, but; viraadham raakshasam hatvaa = Viraadha, demon, having eliminated; sarabhaN^gam sutiikshNam ca api = Sage Sharabhanga, Sage Suteekshna, also, even; agastyam ca = Sage Agastya, also; tathaa = likewise; agastya bhraataram = Agastya's brother dadarsha ha = descried, indeed
"That lotus-eyed Rama on his entering the vast of Dandaka forest eliminated the demon Viraadha, and indeed descried Sage Sharabhanga, also even Sage Suteekhsna, also 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, a sage in name only and any person hanging on to his brothers or relatives will be nicknamed like this.
अगस्त्य वचनात् च एव जग्राह ऐन्द्रम् शरासनम् || १-१-४२
खड्गम् च परम प्रीतः तूणी च अक्षय सायकौ |
42b, 43a. agastya vachanaat ca eva = by the word - on the advice of, of Agastya, only, thus; aindram sharaasanam = Indra's, great bow; khadgam ca = sword, also; akshaya saayakau = ever replenishing, with arrows; such a; tuuNii ca = quivers, also; parama priitaH = highly, pleased [to receive befitting weaponry]; jagraaha = has taken - from Agastya.
"On the advice of Sage Agastya Rama took a bow of Indra from Sage Agastya, which Indra once gave to Sage Agastya, along with a sword, and two quivers in which arrows will be ever-replenishing, and thus Rama is highly pleased to receive befitting weaponry... [1-1-42b, 42a]
वसतः तस्य रामस्य वने वन चरैः सह || १-१-४३
ऋषयः अभ्यागमन् सर्वे वधाय असुर रक्षसाम् |
43b, 44a. tasya raamasya = his, of Rama; vane = in forest - of Sharabhanga; vasataH = while staying; sarve R^ishayaH = all, sages; vana charai saha = forest, moving humans - hermits, along with; asura rakshasaam vadhaaya = monsters, menacers, for elimination of; abhi aagaman = [sages] towards, approached - Rama.
"While Rama is staying in the forest of Sage Sharabhanga, all the sages and forest moving ascetics, vaanaprashta-s, have approached him for the elimination of monsters and menacers... [1-1-42b, 43a]
स तेषाम् प्रति शुश्राव राक्षसानाम् तथा वने || १-१-४४
प्रतिज्ञातः च रामेण वधः संयति रक्षसाम् |
ऋषीणाम् अग्नि कल्पानाम् दंडकारण्य वासीनाम् || १-१-४५
44b, 45. saH = he that Rama; raakshasaanaam vane = in demon's, forest - an abode of the demons; teSaam = their - of sages; tathaa = that way [saying, supplications of sages]; prati shushraava = in return, on telling them [promised, conceded to]; raameNa ca = by Rama, also; agni kalpaanaam = ritual fire-like, those in glow - sages; daNDaka araNya vaasinaam iSiiNaam = = in Dandaka, forest, dwellers of, to sages; samyati = in combat; raakshasaam = of all demons; vadhaH ca = elimination, also; prati j~naataH = to them, made known - promised by Rama.
"Rama conceded to the supplications of those sages of that forest, which forest has become an abode of demons, and Rama also promised those sages who are the dwellers of Dandaka forest, and whose glow is like that of the Ritual-fire, to eliminate all of the demons in combat... [1-1-44b, 45]
Vividly: 'the sages whose resplendence is like that of Ritual-fire and who are capable of living in that deadly forest only by their calibre of sageship, and who by themselves can eliminate those demons just by their ascetic capability, they wanted some divine medium to undertake that task of elimination, as that so-called divinity alone perpetrated these demons proffering all boons on those demons. And they spotted this Rama, even though he is in a peaceable get-up of a hermit, and as a family man is with his wife. But sages are aware about the real reality of this Rama and requested him alone, because they know why and what for Rama came this far, that too with Seetha. Thus, the sages of Dandaka forest really aid and abet this Rama, the eliminator of demons, and thus they collectively lead Rama and Seetha to the real place of action.'
The word asura is declined as 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.
तेन तत्र एव वसता जनस्थान निवासिनी |
विरूपिता शूर्पणखा राक्षसी काम रूपिणी || १-१-४६
46. tatra eva vasataa = there, only, while living; tena = by him [Rama]; kaama ruupiNi = by wish, guise-changer; janasthaana nivaasinii = Janasthaana - a place in Dandaka forest, a resident of; shuurpaNakhaa = Shuurpanakha; raakshsii = demoness; vi ruupitaa = rendered without, shape - she is disfigured.
"While Rama is living there in Dandaka forest, a guise-changing demoness named Shuurpanakha, who is a resident of Janasthaana, a place in Dandaka forest, is disfigured... [1-1-46]
This is metonymy. Rama did not do it himself, but his brother Lakshmana does this act of cutting the nose and ears of this demoness, which is the twisting point of the story. She is so named as Shuurpanakha because her like fingernails are like winnowing fans, shuurpa tulya nakhaa iti shuurpanakha; shuurpa= winnowing fan; tulya = like; nakhaa = fingernails. She is the sister of Ravana, and she is the actual trouble-shooter in the epic.
ततः शूर्पणखा वाक्यात् उद्युक्तान् सर्व राक्षसान् |
खरम् त्रिशिरसम् च एव दूषणम् च एव राक्षसम् || १-१-४७
निजघान रणे रामः तेषाम् च एव पद अनुगान् |
47, 48a. tataH shuurpanakhaa vaakyaat = then, by Shuurpanakha, words [provokes]; udyuktaan sarva raakshasaan = rebellious, all [fourteen,] demons; kharam = Khara; trishirasam ca eva = Trishira, also thus; duuSaNam raakshasam ca eva = Duushana, named demon also, thus; teSaam pada anugaan ca eva = their, foot, followers [henchman-demons of Khara et al] also, thus; raamaH rane nijaghaana = Rama, in a combat, has eliminated.
"Then in a combat Rama eliminated all the fourteen demons who rebelliously came at him in the first round of combat incited by the provokes of Shuurpanakha, and then in second round Rama eliminated demon chiefs called Khara, Trishira, Duushana, who are none but the cousins of Shuurpanakha and Ravana, together with all of their hench-demons... [1-1-47, 48a]
वने तस्मिन् निवसता जनस्थान निवासिनाम् || १-१-४८
रक्षसाम् निहतानि असन् सहस्राणि चतुर् दश |
48b, 49a. tasmin vane nivasataa = in that, forest, during his stay; janasthaana nivaasinaam rakshasaam = Janasthaana, inhabitants, of demons; catur dasha sahasraaNi = fourteen, ten, thousands - fourteen thousand; nihataani asan = eliminated, they have become - demons.
"During his stay in Dandaka forest Rama eliminated fourteen thousand demons in all, who are the inhabitants of that very forest... [1-1-48b, 49a]
ततो ज्ञाति वधम् श्रुत्वा रावणः क्रोध मूर्छितः || १-१-४९
सहायम् वरयामास मारीचम् नाम राक्षसम् |
49b, 50a tataH = then; raavaNaH = Ravana; j~naati vadham shrutvaa = cousins, slaughter of, on hearing; krodha muurChitaH = in anger, convulsed; mariicham naama raakshasam = from Maareecha, named, demon; sahaayam varayaamaasa = help, started to seek.
"Then on hearing the slaughter of his cousins, Ravana is convulsed in anger and sought 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, whereby he can be called Decahedral demon, or a Decahedron, in a fanciful way. This name 'Ravana' obtains from the root ru - shabde raavayati iti raavaNaH 'one who makes people criers by his violent actions...' and it also means vishravasaH apatyam pumaan raavaNaH, vishravaso vishravaNa ravaNau 'the son of one named Vishravasa...' Govindaraja.
वार्यमाणः सुबहुशो मारीचेन स रावणः || १-१-५०
न विरोधो बलवता क्षमो रावण तेन ते |
50b, 51a. saH raavaNaH = he, that Ravana; raavaNa = Oh! Ravana; balavataa = with that formidable person [Rama, for he cannot be defeated by the fourteen thousand clansmen of ours]; tena = with him [with such a Rama]; virodhaH = rivalry; te na kshamaH = to you, not, pardonable; so saying; su bahushaH = very, many times; mariichena = by Maareecha; vaaryamaaNaH = [Ravana is] deterred; [aabhuut = Ravana became - Ravana is deterred.]
"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]
अनादृत्य तु तत् वाक्यम् रावणः काल चोदितः || १-१-५१
जगाम सह मारीचः तस्य आश्रम पदम् तदा |
51b, 52a. raavaNaH kaala chodita = Ravana, by time [of his own doom,] ushered by; tat vaakyam = that, sentence [of advise of Maareecha]; an adR^itya tu = not, heedful of, but; saha maariicha = along with, Maareecha; tadaa = then; tasya = his [Rama's]; aashrama padam = hermitage, to the threshold of; jagaama = advanced to.
"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]
तेन मायाविना दूरम् अपवाह्य नृप आत्मजौ || १-१-५२
जहार भार्याम् रामस्य गृध्रम् हत्वा जटायुषम् |
52b, 53a. mayaavinaa = by trickster; tena = by him [Maareecha]; nR^ipa aatmajau = kings, sons [princes]; duuram = to a distance; apa vaahya = side, tracked - made to distract from hermitage; jaTaayuSam gR^idhram hatvaa = Jataayu, eagle, on killing - putting to the sword; raamasya bhaaryaam jahaara = Rama's, wife, [Ravana] stole.
"Ravana stole the wife of Rama, namely Seetha, by getting the princes Rama and Lakshmana distracted distantly from their hermitage through the trickster Maareecha, and after putting the eagle Jatayu, which came to Seetha's rescue, to sword... [1-1-52b, 53a]
गृध्रम् च निहतम् दृष्ट्वा हृताम् श्रुत्वा च मैथिलीम् || १-१-५३
राघवः शोक संतप्तो विललाप आकुल इन्द्रियः |
53b, 54a. raaghavaH = Raghava; nihatam gR^idhram dR^iSThvaa = killed [utterly gashed, almost dead] eagle, on seeing; maithiliim hR^itaam shR^itvaa ca = of Maithili, as stolen, on hearing about [from the same eagle,] also; shoka santaptaH = anguish, seethed with; akula indriyaH = with frenzied, senses; vilalaapa = wept over.
"On seeing the eagle Jatayu almost dead and on hearing from the same eagle that Maithili is stolen, seethed with anguish and senses frenzied Raghava bewailed... [1-1-53b, 54a]
ततः तेन एव शोकेन गृध्रम् दग्ध्वा जटायुषम् || १-१-५४
मार्गमाणो वने सीताम् राक्षसम् संददर्श ह |
कबंधम् नाम रूपेण विकृतम् घोर दर्शनम् || १-१-५५
54b, 55. tena shokena eva = by that, anguish, only; tataH = then; gR^idhram jaTaayushham dagdhvaa = eagle, Jataayu, on cremating; vane siitaam maargamaaNaH = in forests, for Seetha, while searching; ruupeNa vikR^itam = in looks, misshapen; ghora darshanam = monstrous, to look at; kabandham naama raakshasam = Kabandha, named, demon; samdadarsha ha = has seen, indeed.
"Rama then cremated that eagle Jataayu in that anguish, and while searching for Seetha in forest, he indeed saw a demon named Kabandha, who is misshapen in his look and monstrous to look to... [1-1-54b, 55]
Jataayu is a friend of Rama's farther Dasharatha and thus it is fatherly eagle to Rama and its death is as worse as his father's death. Secondly, an eagle is a highly sophisticated search engine. But it is dying. So an additional misery is bechanced.
तम् निहत्य महाबाहुः ददाह स्वर्गतः च सः |
स च अस्य कथयामास शबरीम् धर्म चारिणीम् || १-१-५६
श्रमणाम् धर्म निपुणाम् अभिगच्छ इति राघव |
56, 57a. mahaa baahuH = great, armed - he whose arms are highly powerful, Rama; tam nihatya = him, [Kabandha,] having eliminated; dadaaH = cremated; svargataH ca = heavenwards, also; saH ca = he [that Kabandha], also [when going to heaven]; raaghava = oh, Raghava; dharma caariNiim = a lady with righteous conduct; dharma nipuNaam = she who in rightness, an expert; shramanaam = ascetic lady; shabariim = to Shabari; abhigachchha = you proceed; iti = in this way; asya = to him [to Rama]; kthayaamaasa = started to tell.
"That Rama whose arms are highly powerful has eliminated and cremated that demon Kabandha, and Kabandha while going heavenward told Rama, 'oh, Raghava, proceed to the ascetic lady of right-conduct and an expert in rightness, namely Shabari...' and vanished... [1-1-56, 57a]
सः अभ्य गच्छन् महातेजाः शबरीम् शत्रु सूदनः || १-१-५७
शबर्या पूजितः संयक् रामो दशरथ आत्मजः |
57b, 58a. maha tejaaH = great, resplendent one, Rama; shatru suudanaH = enemy eliminator; saH = that one, Rama; shabariim abhiaagachchhat = to Shabari, approached; dasaratha aatmajaH raamaH = Dasharatha's, son, Rama; shabaryaaH samyak puujitaH = by Shabari, thoroughly, venerated.
"He who is a great-resplendent one and an enemy-eliminator, that son of Dasharatha, Rama arrived close at Shabari, and Shabari venerated him, thoroughly... [1-1-57b, 58a]
By mentioning the name of Dasharatha it is indicated that the hospitality given by this ascetic lady Shabari is more satisfactory to Rama, than that which was accorded by his own father Dasharatha. Govindaraja. Next verse onwards the episodes in Kishkindha are introduced. Now Rama meets Hanuma, the Vaanara. Traditionally this character is taken as a monkey god. vanena= in forests, charati= moves about, iti= thus; therefore vaanara = 'forest-ranger' is the declination of the term. It neither means an absolute monkey-hood nor absolute god-hood, but these vanara-s are the great characters in this epic, humanoid forest ranging monkey-humans. These Vanara-s have their rich traditions, which we will come across in Kishkindha Kanda proper. For now they may be taken as great heroes, but hereinafter referred to as 'monkeys' or 'vanara-s' for an easy comprehension and in a customary way.
पंपा तीरे हनुमता संगतो वानरेण ह || १-१-५८
हनुमत् वचनात् च एव सुग्रीवेण समागतः |
58b, 59a. pampaa tiire = Pampa lake, on its banks; hanumataa vaanareNa sangataH ha = with Hanuma, with a vanara, [Rama] met, indeed; hanumat vachanaat = Hanuma's, upon word, also; sugriiveNa ca eva = with Sugreeva, also, thus; samaagataH = reached - befriended.
"Rama met the vanara Hanuma on the banks of Lake Pampa, and upon the word of Hanuma Rama indeed befriended Sugreeva... [1-1-58b, 59b]
सुग्रीवाय च तत् सर्वम् शंसत् रामो महाबलः || १-१-५९
आदितः तत् यथा वृत्तम् सीतायाः च विशेषतः |
59b, 60a. mahaa balaH raamaH = highly, dynamic, Rama; aaditaH = from the beginning; tat sarvam = that, all; [yathaa vR^ittam = as has happened]; visheshhataH siithaayaH ca = = in particular, Seetha's [abduction] also; yathaa [vR^ittam] = as, has happened; sugriivaaya ca = to Sugreeva, [and to Hanuma] also; shamshat = detailed [in general.]
"That highly dynamic Rama detailed to Sugreeva, and even to Hanuma, all that has happened from the beginning in general, and the abduction of Seetha, in particular... [1-1-59b, 60a]
Here the use of 'highly dynamic...' to Rama is to indicate that though he himself is capable enough to resolve the riddle called Ravana, but as a human, he needs some agency since humans in such difficulties are usually in need of a helping hand for such resolves. As such, Rama has to befriend Sugreeva and it is necessary to narrate all sad episodes to his friend.
सुग्रीवः च अपि तत् सर्वम् श्रुत्वा रामस्य वानरः || १-१-६०
चकार सख्यम् रामेण प्रीतः च एव अग्नि साक्षिकम् |
60b, 61a. vaanaraH sugriivaH ca api = vanara, Sugreeva, also, even; raamasya = of Rama; tat sarvam shrutvaa = that, all, on listening; priitaH = delightedly; agni saakshikam ca eva = by fire [flaring auspicious fire,] as witness, also, thus; sakhyam chakaara = friendship, made.
"On listening all that has happened from Rama, that vanara Sugreeva befriended Rama where the witness for that friendship is flaring fire, for it alone is auspicious... [1-1-60b, 61a]
ततो वानर राजेन वैर अनुकथनम् प्रति || १-१-६१
रामाय आवेदितम् सर्वम् प्रणयात् दुःखितेन च |
61b, 62a. tataH = then; duHkhitena vaanara raajena = by the woeful, vanara, king [Sugreeva]; vaira anukathanam prati = [about his] feud [with Vali,] saga; prati = in reply [to Rama's query]; raamaaya = to Rama; sarvam = in entirety; praNayaat = in friendship aaveditam = informed.
"Then that woeful king of monkeys Sugreeva woefully informed Rama about his saga of feud with his brother Vali in reply to Rama's query, in friendship and in its entirety... [1-1-61b, 62a]
प्रतिज्ञातम् च रामेण तदा वालि वधम् प्रति || १-१-६२
वालिनः च बलम् तत्र कथयामास वानरः |
62b, 63a. tadaa = then; raameNa = by Rama; vaali vadham prati = to Vali, eliminate, regarding [in retaliation to his misdeeds]; prati j~naatam = in turn, make known [solemnly promised]; tatra = in that regard; vaanaraH = vanara Sugreeva; vaalinaH balam ca kathayaamaasa = Vali's, sinews, thereto, started to tell.
"Then Rama solemnly promised Sugreeva to eliminate Vali in retaliation to his foul deeds in respect of Sugreeva and of probity as well, and then that vanara Sugreeva started to tell about the sinews of Vali... [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 swinging from one ocean to the other. He is mightier than Ravana, the chief villain of the epic, and Ravana is 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.
सुग्रीवः शंकितः च आसीत् नित्यम् वीर्येण राघवे || १-१-६३
राघवः प्रत्ययार्थम् तु दुंदुभेः कायम् उत्तमम् |
दर्शयामास सुग्रीवः महापर्वत संनिभम् || १-१-६४
63b, 64. sugriivaH ca = Sugreeva, also; raaghave = in respect of Raghava; viiryeNa = about [Rama's] prowess; nityam shankitaH aasiit = always, doubtful, he remained; sugriivaH = Sugreeva; raaghavaH pratya artham tu = Raghava, to confide in, by reason of, only; dundubheH = Dundubhi's; uttamam = big one [massive one]; mahaa parvata sannibham = great, mountain, similar to; kaayam = body - dead body, remains; darshayaamaasa =started to show.
"Sugreeva always remained doubtful about the powers of Raghava and by reason of confiding in Raghava's prowess for himself, and by reason of making Raghava to confide in the powers of Vali, Sugreeva has shown him the massive remains of demon Dundubhi, which is similar to a great mountain... [1-1-63b, 64]
उत्स्मयित्वा महाबाहुः प्रेक्ष्य च अस्ति महाबलः |
पाद अंगुष्टेन चिक्षेप संपूर्णम् दश योजनम् || १-१-६५
65. mahaa baahuH = great, armed [omni-dextrous Rama]; mahaa balaH = very energetic [Rama]; asti = skeleton of demon Dundubhi; prekshya = having seen; utsmayitvaa ca = reticently smiled, also; paadaa anguSThena [anguSTa agreNa] = foot's, by toe [by the tip of big toe]; sampuurNam dasa yojanam = wholly, for ten, yojana-s lengths; chikshepa = flicked it.
That omni-dextrous Rama looked at the skeleton, smiled in aplomb, then that very energetic Rama flicked that skeleton with tip of his foot's big toe wholly to a ten yojana-lengths... yet Sugreeva's confidence remained apathetic... [1-1-65]
Vali is 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 disagreeable for it is British-Indian revenue measure. Traditionally it is four krosha-s and thus each yojana is nine to ten miles. This is amplified elsewhere in these pages.
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...
बिभेद च पुनः सालान् सप्त एकेन महा इषुणा |
गिरिम् रसातलम् चैव जनयन् प्रत्ययम् तथा || १-१-६६
66. tadaa = thus; punaH ca = again, also; pratyayam janayan = certainty [in Sugreeva,] to inculcate; ekena maha ishuNaa = with one, great, arrow; sapta saalaan = seven, sala trees; girim = a mountain; rasaatalam ca eva = nethermost subterranean of earth, also, like that; bibheda = [Rama] ripped.
"Again Rama ripped seven massive trees called sala trees with only one great arrow, which not only rived the trees but also rent through a mountain, and to the nethermost subterranean of earth, in order to inculcate certainty in 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.
ततः प्रीत मनाः तेन विश्वस्तः स महाकपिः |
किष्किंधाम् राम सहितो जगाम च गुहाम् तदा || १-१-६७
67. tataH = thereby; tena = by it - by that act of Rama; priita manaaH = gladden, at heart; mahaa kapiH = great, monkey - Sugreeva; vishvataH ca = confiding in [Rama,] also; tadaa = then; raama sahitaH = Rama, along with; guham kishhkindhaam jagaama = to cave like, Kishkindha, advanced to.
"Then Sugreeva's heart is gladdened by that act of Rama and also at the prospect of his own success, and then that great monkey confiding in Rama advanced to the cave like Kishkindha along with Rama... [1-1-67]
ततः अगर्जत् हरिवरः सुग्रीवो हेम पिंगलः |
तेन नादेन महता निर्जगाम हरीश्वरः || १-१-६८
68. tataH = then; hari varaH = monkey, the best; hema piN^galaH = one in golden, hue; sugriivaH = such a Sugreeva; agarjat = war-whooped; tena mahataa naadena = by that, loud, shout; hariH iishwara = monkeys, king [Vali]; nir jagaama = out, emerged - came out of cave like Kishkindha.
"Then that best monkey Sugreeva whose body-hue is golden war-whooped at the entrance of cave like Kishkindha, by which loud shouting there emerged Vali, the king of monkeys, out of that cave like Kishkindha... [1-1-68]
अनुमान्य तदा ताराम् सुग्रीवेण समागतः |
निजघान च तत्र एनम् शरेण एकेन राघवः || १-१-६९
69. tadaa = then; [vaali = Vali]; taaraam anumaanya = Tara, having pacified; sugriiveNa samaagataH = with Sugreeva, met head on; raaghavaH ca = Raghava, also; tatra = therein that [combat]; enam = him [Vali]; ekena shareNa nijaghaana = with one, arrow, eliminated.
"Vali came out only on pacifying Tara, his wife, who deterred Vali from going to meet Sugreeva in a combat, as she doubted that Sugreeva must have come with Rama, and then Vali met Sugreeva head on... and therein that duel Raghava eliminated Vali, only with one arrow... [1-1-69]
ततः सुग्रीव वचनात् हत्वा वालिनम् आहवे |
सुग्रीवम् एव तत् राज्ये राघवः प्रत्यपादयत् || १-१-७०
70. raaghavaH = Raghava; sugriiva vachanaat = Sugreeva's, upon word; aahave vaalinam hatvaa = in combat, Vali, on eliminating; tataH = then; tat raajye = in that, kingdom; sugriivam eva = Sugreeva, alone; pratyapaadayat = [Rama,] established.
"On eliminating Vali in combat upon the word of Sugreeva, then Rama established Sugreeva alone for that kingdom as its king... [1-1-70]
स च सर्वान् समानीय वानरान् वानरर्षभः |
दिशः प्रस्थापयामास दिदृक्षुः जनक आत्मजाम् || १-१-७१
71. saH vaanara R^iSabhaH ca = he, who among monkeys, a bullish one - an ablest monkey [Sugreeva,] also; janaka atmajaam = Janaka's daughter - Seetha; didR^ikshuH = to catch sight of, in search of; sarvaan vaanaraan samaaniiya = all, monkeys, on summoning; dishaH prastaapayaamaasa = to all directions, sent forth.
"Sugreeva being the ablest among monkeys summoned all of the monkeys and sent them forth in all directions in search of Seetha, the daughter of Janaka... [1-1-71]
Sugreeva is acclaimed to be a strict disciplinarian, as his orders are inviolable by any. Even now the proverbial saying exists that a "command by elders is to be followed like sugreeva aaj~na 'Sugreeva's order' which is to be implemented even at each other's throats, but can not be refuted, lest those throats will be nipped off.
ततो गृध्रस्य वचनात् संपातेः हनुमान् बली |
शत योजन विस्तीर्णम् पुप्लुवे लवण अर्णवम् || १-१-७२
72. tataH = later; balii hanumaan = efficacious one, Hanuma; sampateH = [named] Sampaati; gR^idhrasya vachanaat = eagle's, upon word; shata yojana vistiirNam = hundred, yojana, breadth-wise; lavaNa aarNavam = salty, ocean; pupluve = leaped forth;.
"Then, upon the word of Sampaati, the eagle and elder brother of Jataayu, the efficacious Hanuma leaped forth the salty ocean, which breadth-wise is in a hundred yojana-s... [1-1-72]
तत्र लंकाम् समासाद्य पुरीम् रावण पालिताम् |
ददर्श सीताम् ध्यायन्तीम् अशोक वनिकाम् गताम् || १-१-७३
73. raavaNa paalitam = Ravana, ruled by; lankaam puriim samaasaadya = Lanka, city, on reaching; tatra = there; ashoka vanikaam gataam = in Ashoka, gardens, entered [lodged]; dhyaantiim = one who is meditating; siithaam = at Seetha; dadarsha = [Hanuma] saw.
"On reaching the city Lanka ruled by Ravana, Hanuma has seen Seetha, where she is lodged in Ashoka gardens and meditating on Rama alone... [1-1-73]
निवेदयित्वा अभिज्ञानम् प्रवृत्तिम् च निवेद्य च |
समाश्वास्य च वैदेहीम् मर्दयामास तोरणम् || १-१-७४
74. abhij~naanam = mark of identification [remembrancer, emblematic ring of Rama]; nivedayitvaa = on presenting [to Seetha]; pravR^ittim ca nivedya ca = disposition of Rama, also, on delineating, also; vaidehiim samaashvasya ca = Vaidehi, on solacing, also; thoraNam = welcome-arch [of Ashoka gardens]; mardayaamaasa = started to smash.
"Hanuma on presenting the remembrancer, an emblematic ring of Rama to Seetha, also on delineating the sad disposition of Rama to her, thus on solacing Vaidehi, he started to smash the welcome-arch of that beautiful Ashoka gardens... [1-1-74]
पंच सेन अग्रगान् हत्वा सप्त मंत्रि सुतान् अपि |
शूरम् अक्षम् च निष्पिष्य ग्रहणम् समुपागमत् || १-१-७५
75. pa~nca sena agragaan = five, army, chiefs; sapta mantri sutaan api = seven, minister's, sons, even; hatva = on wiping out; shuuram aksham ca niSpiSya = valiant, Aksha, also, kneaded down; grahaNam sam upaagamat = captivity, [Hanuma] duly, entered into.
"On wiping out five army chiefs, seven sons of ministers, and on kneading down a gallant demon named Aksha Kumara, Hanuma had to enter into the captivity of a powerful weapon darted by Indrajit, the son of Ravana... [1-1-75]
अस्त्रेण उन्मुक्तम् आत्मानम् ज्ञात्वा पैतामहात् वरात् |
मर्षयन् राक्षसान् वीरो यन्त्रिणः तान् यदृच्छया || १-१-७६
ततो दग्ध्वा पुरीम् लंकाम् ऋते सीताम् च मैथिलीम् |
रामाय प्रियम् आख्यातुम् पुनः आयात् महाकपिः || १-१-७७
76. viiraH = valiant one; mahaa kapiH = great, monkey [Hanuma]; paitaamahaat varaat = by Brahma's, boon; aatmanam = for himself; astreNa unmuktam = from weapon [its captivity,] release; j~natvaa = though knowing; yadR^ichchhayaa = intentionally; yantriNaH = those who tied him [with ropes]; taan raakshasaan marSayan = them, the demons [and their making monkey of,] while tolerating; tataH = there afterwards [after an audience with Ravana]; maithiliim siithaam = Mithila's, Seetha; R^ite = leaving off, excepting [her]; lankaam puriim dagdhvaa = Lanka, city, having burnt; raamaya priyam aakhyaatum = to Rama, pleasant [news,] to narrate; punaH aayaat = again, got back [to Rama.]
"Though the release from the weapon's captivity is known to him by the boon of Brahma, and though he is valiant enough to pulverise all the demons, but to see and talk to Ravana, thus to gauge the strength of enemy, Hanuma is intentionally tolerant of the demons and their making monkey of him when they fastened him with ropes and dragged him to Ravana's court. After an audience with Ravana Hanuma burnt that city Lanka, except where Seetha, the princess of Mithila is stationed, and then to narrate the pleasant news of locating Seetha, he again got back to Rama, for he is a great monkey... [1-1-76, 77]
This is in sundara kaanDa. Hanuma sees Ravana and others in the court, creates a scene there, as a show of his side strength, and only to prove that the riches and wealth enjoyed at the cost others will burn down to ashes on some day, Hanuma burns everything down, except the place where Seetha is stationed, besides Vibheeshana's place, for he is the prospective adherer of Rama. This episode is to relegate the false pride of Ravana, and as a symbolic suggestion that pomp and effluence without virtue are short lived.
सः अभिगंय महात्मानम् कृत्वा रामम् प्रदक्षिणम् |
न्यवेदयत् अमेयात्मा दृष्टा सीता इति तत्त्वतः || १-१-७८
78. ameya aatmaa = inestimable, intellectual [Hanuma]; saH = he that Hanuma; mahaa aatmaanam raamam = great, souled one, to Rama; abhigamya = m on approaching; pradakshiNam kR^itva = circumambulation [in reverence,] on performing [around Rama]; siithaa dR^iSTaa = Seetha, is seen; iti = in this way; tattvataH = in subtlety; nyavedayat = submitted.
"That inestimable intellectual Hanuma on approaching that great-souled Rama, and on performing circumambulation around him in reverence, subtly submitted that, 'Seen... Seetha...' [1-1-78]
ततः सुग्रीव सहितो गत्वा तीरम् महा उदधेः |
समुद्रम् क्षोभयामास शरैः आदित्य सन्निभैः || १-१-७९
79. tataH sugriiva sahitaH = then, Sugreeva, along with; mahaa udadheH tiiram gatvaa = of great ocean, to shore, on reaching; aaditya sannibhaiH sharaiH = Sun, similar, with arrows/sunrays; samudram kshobhayaamaasa = Samudra, the Ocean-god, [Rama] started to put to turmoil.
"Then, Rama along with Sugreeva and other monkeys has gone to the seashore of Great Ocean, and when Ocean-god is unyielding to give way, then he started to put the Ocean-god to turmoil with his arrows, as with Sun-god who puts an ocean to turmoil with his sunrays... [1-1-79]
Rama became angry at the ocean for not yielding way to the crossover. In order to make way through the ocean, Rama starts depleting its waters with arrows, sharaaH and in Sanskrit this word synonyms with the rays of sun, and therefore the similitude of Rama with Sun-god.
दर्शयामास च आत्मानम् समुद्रः सरिताम् पतिः |
समुद्र वचनात् च एव नलम् सेतुम् अकारयत् || १-१-८०
80. saritaam patiH samudraH = rivers, husband, ocean; aatmaanam darshayaamaasa = himself, revealed; and Rama; samudra vachanaat ca eva = Ocean-god, upon the word of, also, even; nalam setum akaarayat = by Nala, bridge, put up to build.
"The Ocean-god revealed himself and upon the word of that Ocean-god alone, Rama put up vanara Nala to build a 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, only to see them floating. But they were all submerged. His mother then gave a boon to him saying that whatever article he throws in waters it will float, may they be toys or stones or boulders. Here that boon is taken advantage of, and a boulder bridge is built on oceanic waters. This is the gist of Great War canto.
तेन गत्वा पुरीम् लंकाम् हत्वा रावणम् आहवे |
रामः सीताम् अनुप्राप्य पराम् व्रीडाम् उपागमत् || १-१-८१
81. raamaH = Rama; tena = by that - bridge; lankaam puriim gatvaa = to the city, Lanka, having gone to; aahave raavaNam hatvaa = in battle, Ravana, on eliminating; siitaam praapya = Seetha, on redeeming; anu = subsequently; paraam vriiDaam upaagamat = much, humiliation, came down with.
"On going to the city Lanka by that bridge and on eliminating Ravana in battle, Rama redeemed Seetha, but he subsequently came down with much humiliation, since redeeming Seetha in enemy's place might become controversial... [1-1-81]
ताम् उवाच ततः रामः परुषम् जन संसदि |
अमृष्यमाणा सा सीता विवेश ज्वलनम् सती || १-१-८२
82. tataH = thereupon; raamaH = Rama; jana samsadi = among people's, assemblages; taam = [with] her; paruSam uvaaca = harshly, spoke; satii = [being a] husband-devout woman; saa siitaa = she, that Seetha; amR^ishhyamaaNaa = intolerant [of the harsh words of Rama]; jvalanam vivesha = into burning fire, she entered.
"Then Rama spoke harsh words to Seetha among the assemblages of monkeys, demons, and others, but she that Seetha being husband-devout has entered the burning fire intolerant of those unkindly words of Rama... [1-1-82]
ततः अग्नि वचनात् सीताम् ज्ञात्वा विगत कल्मषाम् |
कर्मणा तेन महता त्रैलोक्यम् स चराचरम् || १-१-८३
स देवर्षि गणम् तुष्टम् राघवस्य महात्मनः ||
बभौ रामः संप्रहृष्टः पूजितः सर्व देवतैः || १-१-८४
83. tataH agni vachanaat = then, Fire-god, upon the word of; siitaam = about Seetha; vigata kalmaSaam = rid of, sins; j~natva = on realsing; sam pra hR^isTaH = very, highly, gladdened; sarva devataiH = by all, gods; raamaH = Rama is; puujitaH babhau = revered, he became self-resplendent; mahaa aatmanaH = of great, souled one; raaghavsya = of Raghava; mahataa tena karmaNaa = by great, that, accomplishment - of eliminating Ravana; sa cara acharam = with, mobile, sessile beings; sa deva R^ishi gaNam = with, gods, hermits, observance; trai lokyam = three, worlds; tuSTham = became exultant.
"Then, upon the word Fire-god,, and Rama realised that Seetha is rid of sins and he is very highly gladdened. And when all the gods reverenced him for his great accomplishment in eliminating Ravana, Rama shone forth with his self-resplendence. Thus all the three worlds inclusive of their mobile and sessile beings, all gods with the observances of hermits have become exultant for this great accomplishment of the great souled Raghava... [1-1-83, 84]
अभ्यषिच्य च लंकायाम् राक्षस इन्द्रम् विभीषणम् |
कृतकृत्यः तदा रामो विज्वरः प्रमुमोद ह || १-१-८५
85. raamaH = Rama; vibhiishhaNam = Vibheeshana; raakshasa indram = as demons', chieftain; lakaayaam abhishhichya = in Lanka, on anointing; tadaa = then; kR^ita kR^itya = fulfilled, of his task; he felt so and; vi jvaraH= without, febrility [about any uncertainty of fulfilling his promises]; pra mumoda = highly, rejoiced [excepting for Jatayu]; ha = indeed.
"Enthroning Vibheeshana as the chieftain of demons in Lanka, then feeling that his task is fulfilled, Rama indeed rejoiced highly getting rid of febrility about any uncertainty of fulfilling his promises, excepting for Jatayu... [1-1-85]
देवताभ्यो वराम् प्राप्य समुत्थाप्य च वानरान् |
अयोध्याम् प्रस्थितः रामः पुष्पकेण सुहृत् वृतः || १-१-८६
86. raamaH = Rama; devataabhyaH varam praapya = from gods, boon, on obtaining; vaanaraan = monkeys; sam utthaapya ca = really, got [dead monkeys] up, also; su hR^it = good, hearted ones; vR^itaH = around him; pushhpakeNa = by Pushpaka aircraft; ayodhyaam prasthitaH = towards Ayodhya, travelled;.
"Rama obtained boon from gods to get all the dead monkeys up on their feet as though woken up from sleep, and he travelled towards Ayodhya by Pushpaka aircraft, with all the good hearted friends around him... [1-1-86]
भरद्वाज आश्रमम् गत्वा रामः सत्यपराक्रमः |
भरतस्य अंतिकम् रामो हनूमंतम् व्यसर्जयत् || १-१-८७
87. satya paraakramaH = by truthfulness, a valorous one; raamaH = Rama; raamaH = one who pleases one and all; bharadvaaja aashramam gatvaa = Sage Bharadwaja's, hermitage, on going; hanuumantam = Hanuma; bharatasya antikam vyasarjayat = Bharata, to the near of, [Hanuma] is let off, is sent.
"Rama, the truth-valiant, has gone to the hermitage of Sage Bharadwaja en route, and he has also sent Hanuma to the near of Bharata beforehand... [1-1-87]
पुनः आख्यायिकाम् जल्पन् सुग्रीव सहितः तदा |
पुष्पकम् तत् समारूह्य नंदिग्रामम् ययौ तदा || १-१-८८
88. punaH = further; sugriiva sahitaH saH = Sugreeva, along with, he that Rama; tat pushhpakam sam aaaruuhya = that, Pushpaka [aircraft,] well boarded; aakhyaayikaam jalpan = episodes, jovially telling; tadaa = then; nandigraamam yayau = to Nandigrama, went to.
"Then on boarding Pushpaka aircraft again after leaving the hermitage of Bharadwaja, and telling episodes jovially 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, where Bharata is available... [1-1-88]
नंदिग्रामे जटाम् हित्वा भ्रातृभिः सहितो अनघः |
रामः सीताम् अनुप्राप्य राज्यम् पुनः अवाप्तवान् || १-१-८९
89. anaghaH raamaH = impeccable, Rama; nandigrame = in Nandigrama; bhraatR^ibhiH sahitaH = brothers, joining with; jaTaam hitvaa = matted hair-locks, removed; siitaam anupraapya = Seetha, on regaining; punaH raajyam avaaptavaan = again, kingdom, regained.
"That impeccable Rama rejoining with all of his brothers in the village Nandigrama removed his matted locks of hair along with them. Thus he, on regaining Seetha and on discarding hermit's role again became a householder, and he regained his kingdom also... [1-1-89]
प्रहृष्टो मुदितो लोकः तुष्टः पुष्टः सुधार्मिकः |
निरामयो हि अरोगः च दुर्भिक्ष भय वर्जितः || १-१-९०
90. [tataH = then, when Rama is enthroned]; lokaH = world is; pra hR^isTaH muditaH = highly, regaled, rejoiced; tuSThaH = exuberant; puSThaH = abundant; su dhaarmikaH = rightly, righteous; niraamayaH = without, troubles; a rogaH = without diseases; durbhiksha bhaya varjitaH = famine, fear, free from.
"When Rama is enthroned then the world will be highly regaled and rejoiced, exuberant and abundant, also rightly righteous, trouble-free, disease-free, and free from fear of famine..." Thus Narada is foreseeing the future and telling Valmiki. [1-1-90]
न पुत्र मरणम् केचित् द्रक्ष्यन्ति पुरुषाः क्वचित् |
नार्यः च अविधवा नित्यम् भविष्यन्ति पति व्रताः || १-१-९१
91. puruSaaH = men; kvachit = anywhere; kimchit = in the least; putra maraNam = son's, death; na drakshkyanti = will not, see [men are not seeing]; naaryaH ca = ladies, also; a vidhavaaH = without, being widowed; nityam = always; pati vrataaH = husband, devout; bhavishhyanti = they will become [women will be.]
"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-devout and unwidowed during their lifetime... [1-1-91]
When it is said that 'women are un-widowed and their husbands are ever living...' Dasharatha's widows can be pointed to contradict this statement. But it is said 'when a woman is with her son/sons living, though her husband dies, she is still a 'wife of somebody...' thus she is still un-widowed.
न च अग्निजम् भयम् किन्चित् न अप्सु मज्जन्ति जन्तवः |
न वातजम् भयम् किन्चित् न अपि ज्वर कृतम् तथा || १-१-९२
न च अपि क्षुत् भयम् तत्र न तस्कर भयम् तथा |
92, 93a. tatra = there - in his kingdom; agni jam bhayam = by, caused, fear; kimchit = in the least; na = is not there; jantavaH apsu na majjanti = cattle, in [flood] waters, not, drowning; vaata jam bhayam = wind, caused, fear; kimchit = in the least; na = is not there; tathaa = likewise; jvara kR^itam api = fever [disease] caused by, even; na = is not there; kshut bhayam api = hunger, fear, even; na = is not there; tathaa = likewise; taskara bhayam = thief, fear from; na = is not there.
"In the kingdom of Rama there is no fear for subjects from wildfires, gale-storms or from diseases, and there is no fear from hunger or thieves, nor the cattle is drowned in floodwaters, as well... [1-1-92, 93a]
नगराणि च राष्ट्राणि धन धान्य युतानि च || १-१-९३
नित्यम् प्रमुदिताः सर्वे यथा कृत युगे तथा |
93b, 94a. nagaraaNi raasTraNi ca = townships, remote] provinces, as well; dhana dhaanya yutaani = wealth [coin,] grain, having [replete with]; sarve kR^ita yuge yathaa = all subjects, Krita era, as to how [people lived]; tathaa = likewise; nityam pra muditaaH = always, highly, gladdened.
"May it be a township or a remote province, it will be replete with coin and grain, and as to how people lived in high gladness during the earlier Krita era, likewise people will live in Rama's period also with the same gladness... [1-1-93b, 94a]
अश्वमेध शतैः इष्ट्वा तथा बहु सुवर्णकैः || १-१-९४
गवाम् कोट्ययुतम् दत्त्वा विद्वभ्यो विधि पूर्वकम् |
असंख्येयम् धनम् दत्त्वा ब्राह्मणेभो महायशाः || १-१-९५
94b, 95a. mahaa yashaaH = highly, illustrious [Rama]; ashvamedha shataiH = Horse Rituals, hundreds; tathaa = like that; bahu suvarNakaiH = plenteous, gold [rituals in which plenty of gold is donated]; iSThvaa = on performing; gavaam koTi ayutam = cows, in crores [millions,] ten thousand; a sankhyaayam = not, countable; dhanam = wealth; braahmaNebhyaH = to Brahmans; vidvabhyaH = to scholars; vidhi puurvakam = customarily; dattvaa = on donating; [brahma lokam gamishhyati = to Brahma's, abode, he will proceed.]
"On performing hundreds of Horse-Rituals and rituals wherein plenteous gold is bounteously donated, likewise on donating millions of cows and uncountable wealth to Brahmans and scholars, that highly illustrious Rama will proceed to Brahma's abode, in future... [1-1-94b, 95a]
By the wording 'highly illustrious...' Govindaraja tells that 'for a small criticism from a small fellow, Rama deserted his wife... hence he is illustrious...' Then 'he will go to Brahma's abode...' a repeated expression, indicates that this epic is composed during Rama's time as he also gave an ear to it through Kusha and Lava, so his journey to heaven will happen henceforth from now.
राज वंशान् शत गुणान् स्थाप इष्यति राघवः |
चातुर् वर्ण्यम् च लोके अस्मिन् स्वे स्वे धर्मे नियोक्ष्यति || १-१-९६
96. raaghava = Raghava; asmin loke = in this, world; sata guNaan = in hundred folds; raja vamshaan = king's, dynasties; sthaapaiSyati = will establish; chaatur varNyam = four, caste-system; sve sve dharme niyokhsyati = in their, their, probity, posit in.
"In this world Raghava will establish kingly dynasties in hundredfold and he will be maintaining the four-caste system positing each in his own probity, may it be caste-bound or provincial-kingdom-bound probity, in order to achieve a perfect social harmony... [1-1-96]
दश वर्ष सहस्राणि दश वर्ष शतानि च |
रामो राज्यम् उपासित्वा ब्रह्म लोकम् प्रयास्यति || १-१-९७
97. raamaH = Rama; dasha varSa sahasraaNi = ten, years, thousand; dasa varsha sataani ca = ten, years, hundred, also; raajyam upaasitvaa = kingdom, on reverencing; brahma lokam gamishhyati = Brahma's abode, voyages.
"On reverencing the kingdom for ten thousand years plus another one thousand years, i.e. for a total of eleven thousand years, Rama voyages 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 idolising the kingdom...' as one would regard or treat his personal god with reverence. Rama thus reverenced 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.
इदम् पवित्रम् पापघ्नम् पुण्यम् वेदैः च संमितम् |
यः पठेत् राम चरितम् सर्व पापैः प्रमुच्यते || १-१-९८
98. pavitram = holy; papa ghnam = sin, eradicating; puNyam = merit-endowing; vedaiH sammitam ca = with [teachings of] all Veda-s, conformable, even; idam = this; raama caritam = Rama's, legend; yaH = who [whoever]; paThet = studies; sarva paapaiH pra mucchyate = from all, sins, verily, liberated.
"This Ramayana is holy, sin-eradicating, merit-endowing, and conformable with the teachings of all Vedas... and whoever reads this Legend of Rama, he will be verily liberated of all his sins... [1-1-98]
एतत् आख्यानम् आयुष्यम् पठन् रामायणम् नरः |
स पुत्र पौत्रः स गणः प्रेत्य स्वर्गे महीयते || १-१-९९
99. aayuSyam = lifespan-enriching; aakhyaanam = narrative of actuality; etat = this; raama aayaNam = Rama's, peregrination; paThan = while reading - if read; naraH = a human; sa putraH pautraH = [will be] with, with sons, grandsons; sa gaNaH = with, groups [of kinfolk, servants etc]; on enjoying worldly comforts; pretya = after demise; svarge mahiiyate = in heaven, he will be adored.
"Any man who reads this lifespan-enriching narrative of actuality, Ramayana, the peregrination of Rama, he will be enjoying worldly pleasures with his sons and grand sons and with assemblages of kinfolks, servants et al., as long as he is in this mortal world and on his demise, he will be adored in heaven... [1-1-99]
पठन् द्विजो वाक् ऋषभत्वम् ईयात् |
स्यात् क्षत्रियो भूमि पतित्वम् ईयात् ||
वणिक् जनः पण्य फलत्वम् ईयात् |
जनः च शूद्रो अपि महत्त्वम् ईयात् || १-१-१००
100. paThan = he who reads this Ramayana; janaH = that man; dvijaH syaat = a Brahman, if he were to be; he will be; vaak R^ishhabhatvam iiyaat = in speech, bullishness [shrewdness, excellency] obtains; kshatriyaH [syaat] = Kshatriya, [if he were to be]; bhuumi patitvam iiyaat = on land, lordship, he obtains; vaNik janaH = Vyasya, person [if he were to be]; paNya phalatvam iiyaat = by sale items, monetary-gains, he accrues; shuudraH api ca = Shudra, even, also, [if he were to be]; mahatvam iiyaat = [personal] excellence, he acquires.
"A man reading this Ramayana happens to be a Brahman, one from teaching-class, he obtains excellency in his speech, and should he be Kshatriya person from ruling-class, he obtains land-lordship, and should he be Vyshya person from trading-class, he accrues monetary-gains, and should he be a Shudra person from working class, he acquires his personal 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 called samkshepa raaamayana, or also called bala 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:
श्लोकेन प्रति साहस्रं प्रथमे क्रमात् |
गायत्रि अक्षरम् एकैकम् स्थापयामास वै मुनिः ||
१. त -
तपः स्वाध्याय निरताम् तपस्वी वाग्विदाम् वरम् |
नारदम् परि पप्रच्छ वाल्मीकिर् मुनि पुंगवम् || १-१-१
२. स -
स हत्वा राक्षसान् सर्वान् यज्ञ घ्नान् रघुनंदनः |
ऋषिभिः पूजितः तत्र यथा इन्द्रो विजये पुरा || १-३०-२४
३. वि -
विश्वामित्रः स रामास्तु श्रुत्वा जनक भाषितम् |
वत्स राम धनुः पश्य इति राघवम् अब्रवीत् || १-६७-१२ - बालकाण्डम्
४. तु -
तुष्टाव अस्य तदा वंशम् प्रविश्य स विशाम् पतेः |
शयनीयम् नरेन्द्रस्य तत् आसाद्य व्यतिष्टत || २-१५-१९
५. व -
वनवासम् हि संख्याय वासांसि आभरणानि च |
भर्तारम् अनुगच्छंत्यै सीतायै श्वशुरो ददौ || २-४०-१४
६. रा -
राजा सत्यम् च धर्मः च राजा कुलवताम् कुलम् |
राजा माता पित चैव राजा हितकरो नृणाम् || २-६७-३४
७. नि -
निरीक्ष्य स मुहूर्तम् तु ददर्श भरतो गुरुम् |
उटजे रामम् आसीनम् जटा मण्दल धारिणम् || २-९९-२५ - अयोध्याकाण्डम्
८. य -
यदि बुद्धिः कृता द्रष्टुम् अगस्त्यम् तम् महामुनिम् |
अद्य एव गमने रोचयस्व महायशः || ३-११-४४
९. भ -
भरतस्य आर्य पुत्रस्य श्वश्रूणाम् मम च प्रभो |
मृग रुपम् इदम् व्यक्तम् विस्मयम् जनयिष्यति || ३-४३-१८
१०. ग -
गच्छ शीघ्रम् इतो राम सुग्रीवम् तम् महाबलम् |
वयस्यम् तम् कुरु क्षिप्रम् इतो गत्वा अद्य राघव || ३-७२-१७ - अरण्यकाण्डम्
११. दे -
देश कालौ प्रतीक्षस्व क्षममाणः प्रिय अप्रिये |
सुख दुःख सहः कले सुग्रीव वशगो भव || ४-२२-२०
१२. व -
वंद्याः ते तु तपः सिद्ध सप्तसा वीत कल्मषाः |
प्रष्टव्याः ते अपि सीतायाः प्रवृत्तिम् विनय अन्वितैः || ४-४३-३३ - किष्किन्धाकाण्डम्
१३. स -
स निर्जित्य पुरिम् श्रेष्टाम् लंकाम् ताम् काम रूपिणीम् |
विक्रमेण महतेजा हनुमान् मारुत आत्मज || ५-४-१
१४. ध -
धन्या देवाः स गन्धर्वा सिद्धाः च परम ऋषयः |
मम पश्यन्ति ये नाथम् रामम् राजीव लोचनम् || ५-२६-४१
१५. म -
मंगलाभिमुखी तस्य सा तदा आसित् महाकपेः |
उपतस्थे विशालाक्षी प्रयता हव्यवाहनम् || ५-५३-२८ - सुन्दरकाण्डम्
१६. हि -
हितम् महार्थम् मृदु हेतु संहितम्
व्यतीत कालायति संप्रति क्षमम् |
निशंय तद् वाक्यम् उपस्थित ज्वरः
प्रसंगवान् उत्तरम् एतत् अब्रवीत् || ६-१०-२७
१७. ध -
धर्मात्मा रक्षसाम् श्रेष्टः संप्राप्तो अयम् विभीषणः |
लंकैश्वर्यम् ध्रुवम् श्रीमान् अयम् प्राप्नोति अकण्टकम् || ६-४१-६७
१८. यो -
यो वज्र पाता अशनि सन्निपातान्
न चुक्षुभे वा अपि चचाल राजा |
स राम बाणा अभिहतो भृश आर्तः
चचाल चापम् च मुमोच वीरः || ६-५९-१४१
१९. य -
यस्य विक्रमम् आसाद्य राक्षस निधनम् गताः |
तम् मन्ये राघवम् वीरम् नारायणम् अनामयम् || ६-७२-११
२०. न -
न ते ददृशिरे रामम् दहंतम् अरि वाहिनीम् |
मोहिताः परम अस्त्रेण गान्धर्वेण महात्मना || ६-९३-२६
२१. प्र -
प्रणंय देवताभ्यः च ब्राह्मणेभ्यः च मैथिली |
बद्ध अंजली पुटा च इदम् उवाच अग्नि समीपतः || ६-११६-२४ - युद्धकाण्डम्
२२. च -
चलनात् पर्वत इन्द्रस्य गणा देवाः च कंपिताः |
चचाल पार्वती च अपि तदा आश्लिष्टा महेश्वरम् || ७-१६-२६
२३. द -
दाराः पुत्रा पुरम् राष्ट्रम् भोग आच्छादन भाजनम् |
सर्वम् एव अविभक्तम् नो भविष्यति हरि ईश्वरः || ७-३४-४१
२४. य -
याम् एव रात्रिम् शत्रुघ्नः पर्ण शालाम् समाविशत् |
ताम् एव रात्रिम् सीता अपि प्रसूता दाकर द्वयम् || ७-६६-१ - उत्तरकाण्डम्
इदम् रामायणम् कृत्स्नम् गायत्री बीज संयुतम् |
त्रि संध्यम् यः पठेत् नित्यम् सर्व पापैः प्रमुच्यते ||
यावत् आवर्तते चक्रम् यावति च वसुंधरा |
तावत् वर्ष सहस्राणि स्वामित्वम् अवधारय ||
मंगलम् कोसलेन्द्राय महनीय गुणात्मने |
चक्रवर्ति तनूजाय सार्वभौमाय मंगलम् ||
इति गायत्री रामायणम् संपूर्णम्
इति वाल्मीकि रामायणे आदि काव्ये बाल काण्डे प्रथमः सर्गः ||
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© 1998, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised: July, 2005]