On the advice of his minister Sumantra, Dasharatha proceeds to Anga kingdom to fetch Sage Rishyasringa and his wife Shanta to his capital Ayodhya.
bhūya eva hi rājendra śṛṇu me vacanam hitam |
yathā sa devapravaraḥ kathayāmāsa buddhimān || 1-11-1
1. raaja indra = oh, king, of kings; saH deva pravara = he, that best one among deities [Sage Sanat Kumara]; yathaa = as to how; kathaayaam = in narration; abraviit = has said; evam = that way; me vachanam = my words; hitam = favourable; bhuya eva hi = again, thus, only; shruNu = listen.
Minister Sumantra continued, "oh, the great king, I will further narrate all that has been said by Sanat Kumara, the best one among all deities, kindly listen to these favourable words." [1-11-1.]
Sage Sanat Kumara belongs to the bygone era of Ikshvaku dynasty. Please refer to the account regarding the era-system if ancient India at endnote.
ikṣvākūṇām kule jāto bhaviṣyati sudhārmikaḥ |
nāmnā daśaratho rājā śrīmān satya pratiśravaḥ || 1-11-2
2. shriimaan = resplendent one; satya prati sravaH = truthful to his vow; naamna = by his name; dasharathaH naama = named Dasaratha; su dhaarmikaH = very virtuous one; ikshwaaknaam = in Ikshwaku; kule jaatH [bhaviSyati] = dynasty, born in [he will be.]
"A king named Dasharatha will be born into Ikshwaku dynasty who will be very virtuous, resplendent and truthful one to his vow." [Said Sanat Kumara, the Sage.] [1-11-2]
aṅga rājena sakhyam ca tasya rājño bhaviṣyati |
kanyā ca asya mahābhāgā śāṃtā nāma bhaviṣyati || 1-11-3
3. tasya raaj~naH = to that, king [to Dasharatha]; anga raajena = with Anga, king of; sakhyam bhaviSyati = friendship, will happen; asya = his [for king of Anga]; mahaa bhaagaa = fortunate woman; Shaanta - naama kanyaa bhaviSyati = named, daughter, will be there.
"King Dasharatha will befriend the king of Anga and the king of Anga will beget a fortunate girl named Shanta. [1-11-3]
Shanta is said to be the daughter of Dasharatha and given to Romapada in adoption, and Rishyasringa marries her alone. This is what Sumantra says to Dasharatha at 1-9-19.
putrastuḥ aṅgasya rājñaḥ tu romapāda iti śrutaḥ |
tam sa rājā daśaratho gamiṣyati mahāyaśāḥ || 1-11-4
4. saH putraH tu angasya raajnaH tu = son of, Anga, king of; romapaada iti shrutaH = Romapada, thus, heard; mahaa yashaH raajaa dasharathaH = well renowned, king, Dasharatha; tam = to him [to Romapada,]; gamiSyati = will approach.
The son of the king of Anga, the earlier king of Anga kingdom, will be known as Romapada, or also know as Chitraratha, and the highly renowned king Dasharatha approaches Romapada. [1-11-4]
anapatyo.asmi dharmātman śāṃtā bhartā mama kratum |
āhareta tvayā ājñaptaḥ saṃtānārtham kulasya ca || 1-11-5
5. dharmaatman = oh virtuous-soul; anapatyaH asmi = childless, I am; shantaa bhartaa tvaya aaj~nptaH = Shanta's, husband, by you, instructed; mama kulasya santaana artham = for my, dynasty, for progeny, for the sake of; kratum aahareta = Vedic ritual, will preside over.
Then king Dasharatha says to king of Anga "oh, righteous one, I am childless and hence I intend to perform a Vedic ritual. Let the husband of your daughter Shanta, Sage Rishyasringa, preside over that Vedic ritual at you behest, for the sake of progeny in my dynasty. [1-11-5]
śrutvā rājño.atha tat vākyam manasā sa viciṃtya ca |
pradāsyate putravantam śāṃtā bhartāram ātmavān || 1-11-6
6. aatmavaan = benevolent soul - Romapada; raaj~naH tat vaakyam shrutvaa = king's, [Dasharatha's,] that, word, on hearing; manasaa vichintya = at heart, considered; atha = then; putravantam = one who has son / or, one who endows sons; shaanta bhartaaram = Shanta's, husband; pradaasyate = will give - agrees.
"On hearing those words of king Dasharatha that benevolent soul Romapada, the king of Anga, considers heartily and agrees to send the one who endows progeny by rituals, namely Sage Rishyasringa his son-in-law. [1-11-6]
The words pradaasyate putravantam are read in some translations as 'Rishyasringa who already has a son...' while others read it as 'a sage who endows progeny by putra kameSTi ritual...' But in Maha Bharata father Vibhandaka says to Rishyasringa to comeback after begetting a son, which Rishyasringa did not concede. So taking this some say Rishyasringa has a son. But it is generally accepted that putravantam as aahitaagni, Vedic ritualist of eminence, according to: jaata putraH kR^ishNa kesho agniin adhiita...according to shruti scripture.
pratigṛhyam ca tam vipram sa rājā vigata jvaraḥ |
āhariṣyati tam yajñam prahṛṣṭena aṃtarātmanā || 1-11-7
7. saH raajaa = he, that king [Dasharatha]; pratigR^ihyam tam vipram = on receiving, him, Brahman [Rishyasringa]; vigata jwaraH = rid of, fever - uneasiness; pra hR^iSTena antaraatmana = very felicitousness, in depths of heart; tam yaj~nam = that, Vedic ritual; aahariSyati = will accomplish.
"On receiving that Brahman, Sage Rishyasringa, at the behest of his father-in-law, that king Dasharatha gets rid of his febrile condition and will accomplish that Vedic ritual, feeling very felicitous in the depths of his heart. [1-11-7]
tam ca rājā daśaratho yaśas kāmaḥ kṛtāṃliḥ |
ṛṣyaśṛṅgam dvija śreṣṭham varayiṣyati dharmavit || 1-11-8
yajñārtham prasavārtham ca svargārtham ca nareśvaraḥ |
labhate ca sa tam kāmam dvija mukhyāt viśāṃpatiḥ || 1-11-9
8,9. raajaa = that king; yashaH kaamaH = glory, desiring one; dharama vit = virtue, knower of; nara iiswara = peoples' lord; dasharathaH = king Dasharatha; kR^ita anjaliH = with adjoined-palms; dwija sreSTam = Brahman, the best - Rishyasringa; yajna artham = for ritual, intending to; prasava artham cha = for progeny, intending, also; svarga artham cha = for heavenly abodes, also; vara ishyati = to request, he is inclined; saH vishaam patiH = he that, to [all the] quarters of earth, king of - king [Dasharatha]; dvija mukhyaat = by Brahman, eminent; labhate tam kaamam cha = accomplishes, those, desires, also.
"That king, the desirer of glory, the knower of virtue and the lord of people, namely Dasharatha will be requesting that best Brahman Rishyasringa with his palms adjoined in supplication for the conduct of ritual, for progeny and even for his heavenly abodes, and that king of all the quarters of earth will accomplish those desires from that eminent Brahman Rishyasringa. [1-11-8,9]
Heavenly abodes are dependent on begetting sons: aputrasya gatir naasti svargo naivaca naivaca There is no way out [in other worlds] for those without sons... shruti scripture. Hence the request of Dasharatha is that way.
putrāḥ ca asya bhaviṣyanti catvāro amita vikramāḥ |
vaṃśa pratiṣṭhānakarāḥ sarva būteṣu viśrutāḥ || 1-11-10
10. putraaH cha asya bhaviSyanti = sons, also, to him [Dasharatha,] will be; chatvaaraH amita vikramaaH = four [in all,] abounding, in valour; vamsha pratishtaana karaaH = dynasty's, reputation, enriching ones; sarva bhuuteSu vishrutaaH = among, all beings, renowned ones.
"There will be four sons to king Dasharatha that abound with valour, enrich dynasty's reputation and they will be renowned among all beings." Thus said Sage Sanat Kumara to other sages. [1-11-10]
'Sons and Paradise are intimately connected in Indian belief. A man desires above every thing to have a son to perpetuate his race, and to assist with sacrifices and funeral rites to make him worthy to obtain a lofty seat in heaven or to preserve that which he has already obtained.' Gorresio via Ralph T. H. Griffith [1870-1874].
evam sa deva pravaraḥ pūrvam kathitavān kathām |
sanatkumāro bhagavān purā devayuge prabhuḥ || 1-11-11
11. deva pravaraH = god, the best; bhagavaan = one who is effectual; prabhuH = the godly one; saH sanatkumaaraH = he, that Sage Sanatkumaara; puraa deva yuge kathaam kathitavaan = earlier, in previous, Divine Era, [krita yuga,] narration, he narrated.
"This way he that ancient and godly Sage Sanatkumaara, who is also Brahma's brain-child like Narada, said this legend in earlier Divine Era, called krita yuga..." thus Sumantra continued his narration to Dasharatha. [1-11-11]
Comment: Please refer endnote for yuga / era classification.
sa tvam puruṣa śārdūla samānaya susatkṛtam |
svayam eva mahārāja gatvā sa bala vāhanaḥ || 1-11-12
12. puruSa sharduula = manly, tiger; mahaaraaja = oh, great king; saH tvam = such as, you are; saha bala vaahanaH svayam eva gatvaa = with, staff, transport in person, only, on proceeding; samaanaya su satkR^itam = he be brought, well adored.
" Oh, great king the manly-tiger, he that Sage Rishyasringa be led here on your proceeding in person with staff and transport and on adoring him well personally." Thus Sumantra concluded his narration. [1-11-12]
sumaṃtrasya vacaḥ śrutvā hṛṣṭo daśaratho.abhavat |
anumānya vasiṣṭham ca sūtavākyam niśāṃya ca || 1-11-13
sa antaḥpuraḥ saha amātyaḥ prayayau yatra sa dvijaḥ |
13, 14a. sumantrasya vachaH shrutvaa = Sumantra's, words [of advise,] on hearing; dasharathaH hR^iSTaH abhavat = Dasharatha, gladsome, be became; suutavaakyam = charioteer's words; vasiSTham = to Vashishta; nishaamya ca = on getting those words listened b Vashishta from Sumantra - on reporting, also; anumaanya ca = making [Vashishta ] agreeable [to the words of Sumantra,] even; sa antaHpuraH = with inmates of palace chambers; saha amaatyaH = with, ministers; prayayau yatra sa dvijaH = travelled to, where, that, Brahman is there.
On hearing the word of advise from charioteer, Dasharatha became gladsome and made Sumantra to reiterate to that sage also, for his approval, then Dasharatha travelled to the place where that Brahman Rishyasringa is, along with the inmates of palace-chambers and ministers too. [1-11-13, 14a]
While the chief priest Vashishta is officiator of all rituals no king can invite another priest to perform something without the consent of the officiating priest. Hence the consent of Vasishta is obtained, after asking Sumantra to reiterate what all was said, to sage Vashishta also. anena praaciina R^itvik abhyanuj~nanena na eva anya aaneyaH -- dharmaakuutam
vanāni saritaḥ ca eva vyatikraṃya śanaiḥ śanaiḥ || 1-11-14
abhicakrāma tam deśam yatra vai munipuṃgavaḥ |
14b, 15a. shanaiH shanaiH = slowly, slowly; vanaani saritaH cha eva = forests, rivers, also, thus; vyatikramya = crossing over; yatra sa dvijaH = where, that, Brahman is; tam desham = in that, kingdom, abhicakraama entered.
On crossing over the rivers and forests slowly and steadily Dasharatha entered that kingdom where that eminent Brahman is there. [1-11-14b, 15a]
āsādya tam dvija śreṣṭham romapāda samīpagam || 1-11-15
ṛṣiputram dadarśa atho dīpyamānam iva analam |
15b, 16a. athaH = then; romapada samiipagam = with Romapada, one who is nearby; diipyamaanam iva analam = resplendent, like, ritual fire; dvija shreSTham = Brahman, the best; tam aasaadya = drew nigh of; dadarsha = he saw.
Then Dasharatha saw that best Brahman who he is nearby king Romapada, andwho is resplendent like ritual fire. [1-11-15b, 16a]
tato rājā yathā yoj~nam pūjām cakre viśeṣataḥ || 1-11-16
sakhitvāt tasya vai rājñaḥ prahṛṣṭena aṃtarātmanā |
16b, 17a. tataH raajaa = then, the king [here Romapada]; pra hR^isTena = very, gladdened; antaraatmanaa = with inner self; yathaa yoj~nam = as befitting; sakhitwaat = in view of friendship; visheshataH = in an excelling manner; tasya raaj~naH vai = to that, king [Dasharatha,] indeed; puujaam cakre = respects, he paid.
Then king Romapada gladdened at heart of hearts paid excellent respects to king Dasharatha procedurally and in view of their friendship.[1-11-16b, 17a]
romapādena ca ākhyātam ṛṣiputrāya dhīmate || 1-11-17
sakhyam saṃbandhakam caiva tadā tam pratyapūjayat |
17b, 18a. romapaadena = by Romapada; sakhyam saMbandhakam caiva = friendship, relation, also thus; dhiimate R^iSiputraaya aakhyaatam = to the wise one, sage's son � Rishyasringa, is informed; tadaa tam prati apuujayat = then, him, [Rishyasringa] in return, adored [ Dasharatha.]
Then Romapada informed the wise sage Rishyasringa about the friendship and relation with Dasharatha, and then that sage worshipped king Dasharatha in his return. [1-11-17b, 19a]
evam susatkṛtaḥ tena sahoṣitvā nararṣabhaḥ || 1-11-18
saptāṣṭa divasān rājā rājānam idam abravīt |
18b, 19a. evam = that way; su satkritaH = well received; nararSabhaH raajaa = man, the sacred bull, king - Dasharatha; tena saha = with him; sapta = seven; aSTa = eight; divasaan = days; ushitwaa = having spent time; raajaanam = to king Romapada; idam = this; abravet = spoken.
Thus well received by king Romapada, king Dasharatha spent seven to eight days with him, and then spoke this to king Romapada. [1-11-18b, 19a]
śāṃtā tava sutā rājan saha bhartrā viśām pate || 1-11-19
madīyam nagaram yātu kāryam hi mahadudyatam |
19b, 20a. vishaam pate = subjects, lord of; tava sutaa = your, daughter; shaantaa = Princess Shanta; saha bhartraa = along with, her husband; madiiya nagaram yaatu = my, city, she may go over; raajan = oh, king; mahat kaaryam udyatam hi = a great, deed - the ritual, is contemplated by me, indeed.
"Oh, lord of subjects, your daughter Princess Shanta may go over my city Ayodhya along with her husband Rishyasringa, as oh, king, I am contemplating to perform a great Vedic ritual, indeed." So said Dasharatha to Romapada. [1-11-19b, 20a]
tathā iti rājā saṃśrutya gamanam tasya dhīmataḥ || 1-11-20
uvāca vacanam vipram gaccha tvam saha bhāryayā |
20b, 21a. raajaa = the king; tathaa iti = so it be; tdhiimataH tasya gamanam = of that intellectual one, his - Rishyasringa's travel; samshrutya = agreeing; twam bhaaryaya saha gacCha = = you, your wife, along with, shall proceed; [iti = thus]; vipram = to the Brahman; vachanam = the words; uvaacha = addressed.
"So it shall be" said king Romapada agreeing to their travel with king Dasharatha, and addressed these words to that Brahman sage and his son-in-law, Sage Rishyasringa "You may proceed along with your wife." [1-11-20b, 21a]
Here Ralph T. H. Griffith's translation [1870-1874] has that Shanta is the daughter of Dasharatha: 'This king,' he said, 'from days of old / A well beloved friend I hold. / To me this pearl of dames he gave / From childless woe mine age to save, / The daughter whom he loved so much, / Moved by compassion's gentle touch. / In him thy S'anta's father see: / As I am even so is he...
ṛṣiputraḥ pratiśrutya tathā iti āhaḥ nṛpam tadā || 1-11-21
sa nṛpeṇa abhyanujñātaḥ prayayau saha bhāryayā |
21b, 22a. tadaa = then; R^ishi putraH = Sage's son - Rishyasringa; prati shrutya = in turn, replied - agreeing; tathaa iti aahaH = 'like, that only', said; nR^ipam = to the king; saH = he; nR^ipena = by the king; abhaynujnaata = permitted; saha bhaaryayaa = along with his wife; prayayau = set-forth.
Then Rishyasringa agreed and replied to the king Romapada "So it will be done" and then having been permitted by the king he set forth along with his wife. [1-11-21b, 22a]
tāva anyonya aṃjalim kṛtvā snehāt saṃśliṣya ca urasā || 1-11-22
nanaṃdatuḥ daśaratho romapādaḥ ca vīryavān |
22b, 23a. tau viiryavaan = those two - Dasharatha and Romapada, valiant kings; anyonya anjalim = to each other, thanksgiving with palm-fold; kritwaa = having performed; snehaat = by friendship; urasaa = with their bosoms; samshlishya cha = embraced, also; nanadatu = gladdened.
Those valiant kings greeted each other with thanksgiving palm-fold, and in friendship they embraced each other and gladdened. [1-11-22b, 23a]
tataḥ suhṛdam āpṛcchya prasthito raghunandanaḥ || 1-11-23
paureṣu preṣayāmāsa dūtān vai śīghra gāminaḥ |
23b, 24a. tataH = then; raghu nandanaH = Ragu's, descendent - Dasharatha; suhR^idam = good-hearted one, the friend; aapricChya = having asked - bid farewell; prasthitaH = set-forth; shiighra gaaminaH duutaan = quick, stepped ones, messengers; paurebhyaH = to citizens [of Ayodhya]; preSayaamaasa = started to send.
Then king Dasharatha who set forth to Ayodhya bade farewell to his friend king Romapada, and he firstly sent quick-footed messengers to Ayodhya to inform his citizens about his arrival along with Sage Rishyasringa. [1-11-23b, 24a]
kriyatām nagaram sarvam kṣipram eva svalaṃkṛtam || 1-11-24
dhūpitam sikta sammṛṣṭam patākābhiḥ alaṃkṛtam |
24b, 25a. sarvam nagaram = entire, city Ayodhya; kshipram eva = very quickly, thus; swa alankR^itam = well decorated; dhuupitam = well incensed; sikta sammR^iSTam = [streets be] water sprinkled well, and then swept; pataakaabhiH = with flags of welcome; alankR^itam = be decorated, hoisted; kriyataam = shall be done.
"Let the entire city of Ayodhya be well decorated very quickly, let her streets be sprinkled with water and then swept, let the flags of welcome be hoisted.." Thus, king Dasharatha ordered messengers that are sent beforehand. [1-11-24b, 25a]
tataḥ prahṛṣṭāḥ paurāḥ te śrutvā rājānam āgatam || 1-11-25
tathā cakruḥ ca tat sarvam rājñā yat preṣitam tadā |
25b, 26a. tataH = then; raajaanam aagatam = kings, arrival; shrutwaa = on hearing; te pouraaH = those, citizens; pra hR^istaaH = felt very, happy; raajnaa = by the king; yat yathaa preSitam = which, in which way, ordered; tat sarvam = that, all; tathaa = that way; pra chakru = readily, performed.
Then on hearing the arrival of their king all the citizens felt very happy and readily performed all those works exactly as ordered by their king. [1-11-25b, 26a]
tataḥ svalaṃkṛtam rājā nagaram praviveśa ha || 1-11-26
śaṅkha dundubhi nihrā^^rdaiḥ puraskṛtvā dvijarṣabham |
26b, 27a. tataH = then; raajaa = king Dasharatha; dwijaH R^iSabham = Brahman, the Sacred Bull - Rishyasringa; puraskritya = keeping before him; swa lankR^itam naragam = well-decorated, city; shankha = conch-shells; dundubhi = drumbeats; nirghoshaiH = full sounding; pravivesha ha = entered, verily.
Then king Dasharatha keeping Rishyasringa before him entered the well-decorated city Ayodhya amidst the full sounding of conch shells and drumbeats. [1-11-26b, 27a]
tataḥ pramuditāḥ sarve dṛṣṭvā tam nāgarā dvijam || 1-11-27
praveśyamānam satkṛtya narendreṇa indra karmaṇā |
yathā divi surendreṇa sahasrākṣeṇa kāśyapam || 1-11-28
27b, 28. tataH sarve naagaraaH = then, all, citizens; indra karmaNaa = one who has exploits like that of Indra; nara indreNa = by people's, lord - Dasharatha; satkritya praveshyamaanam = well honoured, and being entered; yathaa = as with; kaashyapam = sage Kashyapa's son, namely Vamana, the dwarf boy incarnation of Vishnu; sahasra aksheNa surendreNa = by thousand eyed, lord of gods, namely Indra; divi = in heaven [while entered]; tam dvijam = him, at that Brahman; dR^iSTvaa pramuditaaH = on seeing, highly gladdened.
Then all the citizens are very happy on seeing that Brahman, Sage Rishyasringa, who is well honoured and being entered into the city by their king Dasharatha, as has been done once by Indra when he entered sage Kashyapa's son Vamana, the dwarfish boy and the incarnation of Vishnu, into heavens, and thus those citizens felt that their human lord Dasharatha vies with divine lord Indra. [1-11-27b, 28]
The simile of Indra to king Dasharatha is in two ways. Dasharatha ruled kingdom like Indra who rules Heavens. The word Indra karmaNa also refers to the deeds of Dasharatha, in helping the gods' forces combating the demonic forces. Thus the deeds performed by Dasharatha are like those of Indra's. Here Dasharatha is bringing Sage Rishyasringa to Ayodhya. Earlier Indra led Vamana, the dwarf-boy to heavens. Vamana is the incarnation of Vishnu in early ages and after Vamana suppressed Bali, the Emperor to netherworlds, Indra took Vamana to heavens. Thus Dasharatha is like Indra on earth, both by his virtue and deed. Incidentally, Vamana i.e., Vishnu, is the son-incarnate to Sage Kaashyapa, while sage Rishyasringa is the grandson of the same Kaashyapa. Thus Sage Kaashyapa is instrumental to these two incarnations. Through the divine grace of Sage Rishyasringa, the same Vishnu is going to take birth as Rama, while Sage Kashyapa is a grandparent of Rama in this era, and while he alone was Vishnu's father when Vishnu incarnated as Dwarf boy Vamana.
antaḥpuram praveśya enam pūjām kṛtvā ca śāstrataḥ |
kṛtakṛtyam tadā ātmānam mene tasya upavāhanāt || 1-11-29
29. enam = him; antaHpuram = palace-chambers; praveshya = having entered; shaastrataH = as per scriptures; puujaam cha = worshipped, too; tadaa = then; tasya = his [for Rishyasringa]; upavaahannat = by bringing here; aatmaanam = for himself; kR^itakrityam = one with his desire fulfilled; mene = beleived.
Dasharatha entered the sage into the palace chambers and worshipped him there as ordained in the scriptures, and in bringing the Sage here into his country, king Dasharatha believed that his desired is fulfilled. [1-11-28]
antaḥpurāṇi sarvāṇi śāṃtām dṛṣṭvā tathā āgatām |
saha bhartrā viśālākṣīm prītyā ānaṃdam upāgaman || 1-11-30
30. antaHpura striyaH sarvaaH = palace, ladies, all of them; tathaa = thus; bhartraa saha aagataam = her husband, along with, one who arrived; vishaala akshiim = broad-eyed lady; shaantaam = at Shanta; dristwaa = on seeing; priityaa = with affection; aanandam = happiness; upaagaman = they derived.
On seeing her, the broad-eyed Shanta, who came there along with her husband all the ladies of palace derived happiness for the homecoming of their own daughter, as it were. [1-11-29]
pūjyamānā tu tābhiḥ sā rājñā ca eva viśeṣataḥ |
uvāsa tatra sukhitā kancit kālam saha dvijā || 1-11-31
31. saa = she, Shanta; taabhiH = by them; [by far] visheshataH = in an exceptional manner; raajnaa cha eva = by king, also, thus; puujayamaanaa = while being admired; sukhitaa = comfortably; Ritwijaa saha = that, Vedic scholar - her husband, along with; kamchit kaalam = for some time; tatra = there; uvaasa = resided.
Shanta thus being admired by all of them, and in an exceptional manner by Dasharatha, comfortably resided there along with her husband, the Vedic scholar Rishyasringa. [1-11-30]
The Riwik is not just a reciter of Veda-s but more a director or conductor of whole orchestration of the Vedic ritual, which involves lots of rules, in reciting hymns, in performing deeds and all in their exactness. The whole lots of works that need be performed have the order of precedence like prime, auxiliary or adjunctive in their ordinance. A Ritwik is the elated scholar who keeps track of these activities while other scholars recite hymns as directed by these Ritwik-s. Hence, Ritwik-hood is the highest.
The Four Era system of Hindus
The Four Era system, chaturyuga has the following components: satya yuga or krita yuga 17, 28, 000 years of duration. This is the era of Rama's ancestors of Ikshvaku dynasty, or the Solar dynasty. treta yuga 12, 96, 000 years.[The era is of Rama's near ancestors, again of Solar dynasty 3. dwapara yuga 8, 64, 000 years. This is the period of Epic Maha Bharata with an admixture of Solar and Lunar dynasties ruling. kali yuga 4, 32, 000 years. The present period obtaining from the ruination of Maha Bharata civilisation.
One cycle of the above four eras is called one mahaa yuga and seventy-one  of such of the Fourfold Eras mahaa yugaa-s will become one manvantara, Manu-Epoch, the time scale attributed to one Manu, the Supreme Ruler of Mankind. There are total fourteen such Manu-epochs and six of them over in the present manvantara , the time-scale.
The completed Manu cycles are 1.] svayambhu manu , 2.] svaarochiSa manu , 3.] auuttami manu , 4.] taamasa manu , 5.] raivata manu , 6.] chaaksha manu . Presently we are in the Seventh cycle called vaivasvata mnavantara , and there are seven more manvantara -s to come, starting with 8.] surya saavarni Manu, 9.] dharma saavani, 10.] daksha savarni, 11.] rudra saavarni, 12.] brahma saavrani, 13.] rouchya manu , 14.] bhoutya manu.
Such fourteen Manu time cycles will be said to be a Day of Brahma, the Absolute. Ramayana is said to have happened in kR^ita yuga, the second Manu time cycle. The earlier one is satya yuga , in which the ancestors of Rama, descendants of Raghu dynasty, like Saagara, Harishchandra et al, were the rulers, which is called Ikshvaku dynasty.
iti vālmīki rāmāyaṇe ādi kāvye bāla kāṇḍe ekādaśaḥ sargaḥ
© 1999, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised: March, '04]
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