On the advice of his minister Sumantra, Dasharatha proceeds to Anga kingdom to fetch Sage Rishyasringa and his wife Shanta to his capital Ayodhya.
भूय एव हि राजेन्द्र शृणु मे वचनं हितम् |
यथा स देवप्रवरः कथयामेवमब्रवीत् || १-११-१
1. raajendra = oh king of kings; saH devapravaraH = 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; bhuyaH 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 of ancient India at endnote.
इक्ष्वाकूणां कुले जातो भविष्यति सुधार्मिकः |
नाम्ना दशरथो राजा श्रीमान्सत्यप्रतिश्रवः || १-११-२
2. shriimaan = resplendent one; satyapratishravaH = truthful to his vow; naamnaa = by his name; dasharathaH naama = named Dasaratha; sudhaarmikaH = very virtuous one; ikShwaakuuNaam = in Ikshwaku; kule jaataH [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]
अङ्गराजेन सख्यं च तस्य राज्ञो भविष्यति |
कन्या चास्य महाभागा शांता नाम भविष्यति || १-११-३
3. tasya raaj~naH = to that, king [to Dasharatha]; angaraajena = with king of Anga; sakhyam bhaviSyati = friendship, will happen; asya = his [for king of Anga]; mahaabhaagaa = fortunate woman; shaantaa; 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.
पुत्रस्तु सोऽङ्गराजस्य रोमपाद इति श्रुतः |
तं स राजा दशरथो गमिष्यति महायशाः || १-११-४
4. saH putraH tu angaraajasya = son of king of Anga; romapaadaH iti shrutaH = thus heard as Romapada; mahaayashaaH 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]
अनपत्योऽस्मि धर्मात्मन् शांताभर्ता मम क्रतुम् |
आहरेत त्वयाज्ञप्तः संतानार्थं कुलस्य च || १-११-५
5. dharmaatman = oh virtuous-soul; anapatyaH asmi = childless, I am; shaantaabhartaa tvayaa aaj~naptaH = instructed by you, the husband of Shanta; mama kulasya santaanaartham = for the sake of progeny of my dynasty; 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]
श्रुत्वा राज्ञोऽथ तद्वाक्यं मनसा स विचिंत्य च |
प्रदास्यते पुत्रवन्तं शांताभर्तारमात्मवान् || १-११-६
6. aatmavaan = benevolent soul - Romapada; raaj~naH tat vaakyam shrutvaa = king's[Dasharatha's], on hearing that word; manasaa vichintya = considered at heart; atha = then; putravantam = one who has son / or, one who endows sons; shaantaabhartaaram = 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 putrakameSTi 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: jaataputraH kR^ishNakesho agniin adhiita... according to shruti scripture.
प्रतिगृह्य च तं विप्रं स राजा विगतज्वरः |
आहरिष्यति तं यज्ञं प्रहृष्टेनान्तरात्मना || १-११-७
7. saH raajaa = he, that king [Dasharatha]; pratigR^ihya tam vipram = on receiving, him, Brahman [Rishyasringa]; vigatajwaraH = rid of fever - uneasiness; prahR^iSTena antaraatmanaa = 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]
तं च राजा दशरथो यष्टुकामः कृतांजलिः |
ऋष्यशृङ्गं द्विजश्रेष्ठं वरयिष्यति धर्मवित् || १-११-८
यज्ञार्थं प्रसवार्थं च स्वर्गार्थं च नरेश्वरः |
लभते च स तं कामं द्विजमुख्याद्विशांपतिः || १-११-९
8,9. raajaa = that king; yaSTukaamaH = desiring to permorm vedic ritual; dharamavit = knower of virtue; nareshwaraH = peoples' lord; dasharathaH = king Dasharatha; kR^itaanjaliH = with adjoined-palms; dwijashreSTam = the best Brahman - Rishyasringa; yajnaartham = intending for ritual; prasavaartham cha = intending also for progeny; svargaartham cha = for heavenly abodes, also; varayiShyati = he is inclined to request; saH vishaampatiH = he that, to [all the] quarters of earth, king of - king [Dasharatha]; dvijamukhyaat = by eminent Brahman; labhate tam kaamam cha = accomplishes, those, desires, also.
"That king, the desirer of performing vedic ritual, 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 gatirnaasti svargo naiva ca naiva ca There is no way out [in other worlds] for those without sons... shruti scripture. Hence the request of Dasharatha is that way.
पुत्राश्चास्य भविष्यन्ति चत्वारोऽमितविक्रमाः |
वंशप्रतिष्ठानकराः सर्वभूतेषु विश्रुताः || १-११-१०
10. putraaH cha asya bhaviSyanti = sons, also, to him [Dasharatha,] will be; chatvaaraH amitavikramaaH = four [in all,] abounding in valour; vamshapratiShThaanakaraaH = enriching dynasty's reputation; sarvabhuuteSu vishrutaaH = renowned among all beings.
"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].
एवं स देवप्रवरः पूर्वं कथितवान्कथाम् |
सनत्कुमारो भगवान्पुरा देवयुगे प्रभुः || १-११-११
11. devapravaraH = the best god; bhagavaan = one who is effectual; prabhuH = the godly one; saH sanatkumaaraH = he, that Sage Sanatkumaara; puraa devayuge 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]
Please refer endnote for yuga / era classification.
स त्वं पुरुषशार्दूल तमानय सुसत्कृतम् |
स्वयमेव महाराज गत्वा सबलवाहनः || १-११-१२
12. puruSashaarduula = tigerly man; mahaaraaja = oh great king; saH tvam = such as, you are; sabalavaahanaH svayam eva gatvaa = on proceeding in person with staff, transport, only; tam aanaya susatkR^itam = he be brought, well adored.
" Oh, great king the tigerly-man, 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]
सुमंत्रस्य वचः श्रुत्वा हृष्टो दशरथोऽभवत् |
अनुमान्य वसिष्ठं च सूतवाक्यं निशम्य च || १-११-१३
सान्तःपुरः सहामात्यः प्रययौ यत्र स द्विजः |
13, 14a. sumantrasya vachaH shrutvaa = on hearing Sumantra's words [of advise]; dasharathaH hR^iSTaH abhavat = Dasharatha, became gladsome; suutavaakyam = charioteer's words; vasiSTham = to Vashishta; nishamya ca = on getting those words listened by Vashishta from Sumantra - on reporting, also; anumaanya ca = making [Vashishta ] agreeable [to the words of Sumantra,] even; saantaHpuraH = with inmates of palace chambers; saha amaatyaH = with, ministers; prayayau yatra saH 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^itvigabhyanuj~nayaa naiva anyaaaneyaH -- dharmaakuutam
वनानि सरितश्चैव व्यतिक्रम्य शनैः शनैः || १-११-१४
अभिचक्राम तं देशं यत्र वै मुनिपुंगवः |
14b, 15a. shanaiH shanaiH = slowly, slowly; vanaani saritaH cha eva = forests, rivers, also, thus; vyatikramya = crossing over; yatra vai munipu~ngavaH = where, that, eminent 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]
आसाद्य तं द्विजश्रेष्ठं रोमपादसमीपगम् || १-११-१५
ऋषिपुत्रं ददर्शाथो दीप्यमानमिवानलम् |
15b, 16a. atha = then; romapadasamiipagam = one who is nearby Romapada; diipyamaanam iva analam = resplendent, like, ritual fire; dvijashreSTham = the best Brahman; tam aasaadya = drew nigh of; dadarsha = he saw.
Then Dasharatha saw that best Brahman who he is nearby king Romapada, and who is resplendent like ritual fire. [1-11-15b, 16a]
ततो राजा यथायोग्यं पूजां चक्रे विशेषतः || १-११-१६
सखित्वात्तस्य वै राज्ञः प्रहृष्टेनान्तरात्मना |
16b, 17a. tataH raajaa = then, the king [here Romapada]; prahR^isTena = very gladdened; antaraatmanaa = with inner self; yathaayogyam = 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]
रोमपादेन चाख्यातमृषिपुत्राय धीमते || १-११-१७
सख्यं संबन्धकं चैव तदा तं प्रत्यपूजयत् |
17b, 18a. romapaadena = by Romapada; sakhyam saMbandhakam ca eva = friendship, relation, also thus; dhiimate R^iSiputraaya aakhyaatam = informed to the wise one, sage's son Rishyasringa, ; tadaa tam pratyapuujayat = 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, 18a]
एवं सुसत्कृतस्तेन सहोषित्वा नरर्षभः || १-११-१८
सप्ताष्टदिवसान् राजा राजानमिदमब्रवीत् |
18b, 19a. evam = that way; susatkritaH = well received; nararSabhaH raajaa = sacred bull like man, king - Dasharatha; tena saha = with him; saptaaSTadivasaan = seven eight days; uShitwaa = having spent time; raajaanam = to king Romapada; idam = this; abraviit = 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]
शांता तव सुता राजन् सह भर्त्रा विशांपते || १-११-१९
मदीयं नगरं यातु कार्यं हि महदुद्यतम् |
19b, 20a. vishaampate = oh lord of subjects; tava sutaa = your, daughter; shaantaa = Princess Shanta; saha bhartraa = along with, her husband; madiiyam nagaram yaatu = she may go over my city; 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]
तथेति राजा संश्रुत्य गमनं तस्य धीमतः || १-११-२०
उवाच वचनं विप्रं गच्छ त्वं सह भार्यया |
20b, 21a. raajaa = the king; tathaa iti = so it be; dhiimataH tasya gamanam = travel of that intellectual one, his - Rishyasringa's ; samshrutya = agreeing; twam bhaaryayaa saha gacCha = = you shall proceed along with your wife; [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...
ऋषिपुत्रः प्रतिश्रुत्य तथेत्याह नृपं तदा || १-११-२१
स नृपेणाभ्यनुज्ञातः प्रययौ सह भार्यया |
21b, 22a. tadaa = then; R^iShiputraH = Sage's son - Rishyasringa; pratishrutya = replied - agreeing; tathaa iti aaha = 'like, that only', said; nR^ipam = to the king; saH = he; nR^ipeNa = by the king; abhyanujnaataH = 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]
तावन्योन्यांजलिं कृत्वा स्नेहात्संश्लिष्य चोरसा || १-११-२२
ननंदतुर्दशरथो रोमपादश्च वीर्यवान् |
22b, 23a. tau viiryavaan = those two - Dasharatha and Romapada, valiant kings; anyonyaanjalim = with thanksgiving palm-fold; kritwaa = having performed; snehaat = by friendship; urasaa = with their bosoms; samshliShya cha = embraced, also; nanandatuH = gladdened.
Those valiant kings greeted each other with thanksgiving palm-fold, and in friendship they embraced each other and gladdened. [1-11-22b, 23a]
ततः सुहृदमापृच्छ्य प्रस्थितो रघुनन्दनः || १-११-२३
पौरेभ्यः प्रेषयामास दूतान्वै शीघ्रगामिनः |
23b, 24a. tataH = then; raghunandanaH = Ragu's descendent - Dasharatha; suhR^idam = good-hearted one, the friend; aapricChya = having asked - bid farewell; prasthitaH = set-forth; shiighragaaminaH 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]
क्रियतां नगरं सर्वं क्षिप्रमेव स्वलंकृतम् || १-११-२४
धूपितं सिक्तसम्मृष्टं पताकाभिरलंकृतम् |
24b, 25a. sarvam nagaram = entire, city Ayodhya; kShipram eva = very quickly, thus; swalankR^itam = well decorated; dhuupitam = well incensed; siktasammR^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]
ततः प्रहृष्टाः पौरास्ते श्रुत्वा राजानमागतम् || १-११-२५
तथा प्रचक्रुस्तत्सर्वं राज्ञा यत्प्रेषितं तदा |
25b, 26a. tataH = then; raajaanam aagatam = arrival of kings; shrutwaa = on hearing; te pouraaH = those, citizens; prahR^iSTaaH = felt very happy; raajnaa = by the king; yat yathaa preSitam = which, in which way, ordered; tat sarvam = that, all; tathaa = that way; prachakru = 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]
ततः स्वलंकृतं राजा नगरं प्रविवेश ह || १-११-२६
शङ्खदुन्दुभिनिर्घोषैः पुरस्कृत्य द्विजर्षभम् |
26b, 27a. tataH = then; raajaa = king Dasharatha; dwijarSabham = Sacred Bull like Brahman - Rishyasringa; puraskritya = keeping before him; swalankR^itam nagaram = well-decorated, city; shankhadundubhinirghoShaiH = full sounding of conch-shells and drumbeats; 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]
ततः प्रमुदिताः सर्वे दृष्ट्वा तं नागरा द्विजम् || १-११-२७
प्रवेश्यमानं सत्कृत्य नरेन्द्रेणेन्द्रकर्मणा |
यथा दिवि सुरेन्द्रेण सहस्राक्षेण काश्यपम् || १-११-२८
27b, 28. tataH sarve naagaraaH = then, all, citizens; indrakarmaNaa = one who has exploits like that of Indra; narendreNa = 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; sahasraakSheNa surendreNa = by thousand eyed, lord of gods, namely Indra; divi = in heaven [while entered]; tam dvijam = him, at that Brahman; dR^iSTvaa pramuditaaH = highly gladdened on seeing.
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.
अन्तःपुरं प्रवेश्यैनं पूजां कृत्वा च शास्त्रतः |
कृतकृत्यं तदात्मानं मेने तस्योपवाहनात् || १-११-२९
29. enam = him; antaHpuram = palace-chambers; praveshya = having entered; shaastrataH = as per scriptures; puujaam cha = worshipped, too; tadaa = then; tasya = his [for Rishyasringa]; upavaahanat = 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]
अन्तःपुरस्त्रियः सर्वाः शांतां दृष्ट्वा तथागताम् |
सह भर्त्रा विशालाक्षीं प्रीत्यानंदमुपागमन् || १-११-३०
30. antaHpurastriyaH sarvaaH = palace ladies, all of them; tathaa = thus; bhartraa saha aagataam = one who arrived along with her husband; vishaalaakShiim = 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]
पूज्यमाना तु ताभिः सा राज्ञा चैव विशेषतः |
उवास तत्र सुखिता कञ्चित्कालं सहर्त्विजा || १-११-३१
31. saa = she, Shanta; taabhiH = by them; [by far] visheShataH = in an exceptional manner; raaj~naa cha eva = by king, also, thus; puujyamaanaa = while being admired; sukhitaa = comfortably; R^itwijaa saha = along with that Vedic scholar - her husband; 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. [1-11-31]
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.] auttami 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 saavarni, 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.
इति वाल्मीकिरामायणे आदिकाव्ये बालकाण्डे एकादशः सर्गः
© 1999, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised: March, '04]
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