Sage Valmiki goes to River Tamasa for a bath and sees a couple of birds, of which a hunter kills one. Valmiki unintentionally utters a poem, which is rich in grammar and new in metre, of which he is very much confused as to why such a poem has come from his tongue. Brahma, the presiding deity of letters appears and ordains Valmiki to author Ramayana, excellent epic of Rama, for which purpose alone he gave such divine meter and grammar to him.
naaradasya tu tadvaakyam shrutvaa vaakya vishaaradaH |
puujayaamaasa dharmaatmaa saha shishhyo mahaamuniH || 1-2-1
1. naaradasya tu = of Narada, but; tat vaakyam shrutvaa = that, sentence, on hearing; vaakya vishaaradaH = sentence-maker, the eminent [Valmiki]; dharmaatmaa = virtue minded one [Valmiki]; mahaa muniH = great sage [Valmiki]; saha shiSyaH = along with, disciples; puujayaamaasa = started to revere [Narada.]
On hearing that sentence of that eminent sentence-maker Sage Narada, [that contains , or Ramayana in a nutshell, narrated in the previous chapter,] that great sage of virtuous mind, namely Valmiki, revered the Divine Sage Narada, along with his disciples. [1-2-1]
yathaavat puujitaH tena devarshhiH naaradaH tathaa |
aapR^icChaiva abhyanujJNaataH sa jagaama vihaayasam || 1-2-2
2. deva R^ishi = divine, sage; saH = he, Narada; tena = by him [by Valmiki]; thathaa = that way; yathavat puujitaH = befittingly, when worshipped; apR^icCha eva = on seeking [permission to leave, ] only; abhyanuj~nataH = having permitted [by Valmiki]; vihaayasam = heaven-ward; jagaama = went away.
That divine sage Narada is worshipped that way by Valmiki in a befitting way, and on seeking permission of Valmiki to leave, and having been permitted by Valmiki went away heavenward. [1-2-2]
sa muhuurtaM gate tasmin devalokam muniH tadaa |
jagaama tamasaa tiiram jaahnavyaat aviduurataH || 1-2-3
3. tasmin = he, that Narada; muhuurtam devalokam gate = in a moment [after,] god's world, heavens, having gone; tadaa = then; saH muniH = he, that sage Valmiki; jaahnavyaat avi duurataH = from Jahnavi river, not, far-off from [nearby to Jahnavi river]; tamasaa tiiram jagaama = Tamasa, riverbanks, proceeded to.
A while after the departure of Narada to heavens, Valmiki proceed to the riverbanks of Tamasa, which are not far-off form River Jahnavai [i.e., River Ganga.] [1-2-3]
sa tu tiiram samaasaadya tamasaayaa muniH tadaa |
shishhyam aaha sthitam paarshve dR^ishhTvaa tiirtham akardamam || 1-2-4
4. saH tu = he [Valmiki,] but; muniH tadaa = sage, then; tamasaayaa = of Tamasa; tiiram sam aasaadya = riverbank, drawing nigh of; a kardamam = not, filthy; tiirtham = strand [n. esp. poet. the margin of a sea, lake, or river, esp. the foreshore]; dR^iSTva = on beholding; paarshve sthitam shiSyam aaha = at his side, available, to disciple, spoke to.
Then Valmiki drew nigh of River Tamasa's riverbanks, and on beholding an un-filthy strand of that river, he spoke to his disciple available at his side. [1-2-5]
akardamam idam tiirtham bharadvaaja nishaamaya |
ramaNiiyam prasanna ambu san manushhya mano yathaa || 1-2-5
5. Bharadwaja; san manuSyaH manaH yatha = noble, man's, bosom [heart,] as with; a kardamam = not, filthy; prasanna ambu = with pleasant, waters; ramaNiiyam = heart pleasing; idam tiirtham = this, watery foreshore; nishaamaya = you behold.
"Oh! Bharadwaja, un-filthy is this watery foreshore, and with pleasant waters it is heart pleasing... like a noble man's heart... behold it... [1-2-5]
nyasyataam kalashaH taata diiyataam valkalam mama |
idam eva avagaahishhye tamasaa tiirtham uttamam || 1-2-6
6. taata = my dear; nyasyataam kalasaH = be kept [there,] handy-vessel [kamanDulu]; mama = to me; valkalam diiyataam = jute loincloth, be given; idam = this; uttamam = best one; tamasa tiirtham eva = Tamasa, ford, only; avagaahiSye = I will enter.
"Keep that handy-vessel there, and give me my loincloth... I will enter only this best ford of Tamasa River... [1-2-6]
evam ukto bharadvaajo vaalmiikena mahaatmanaa |
prayachchhata muneH tasya valkalam niyataH guroH || 1-2-7
7. mahaatmanaa valmiikena = by great-souled, Valmiki; evam uktaH = that way, when said; bharadwaajaH = bharadwaaja; guroH niyataH = to his mentor, humble one; tasya muneH = to that, saint; valkalam prayacChata = jute-cloth, gave.
When Bharadwaaja is said that way by great-souled Valmiki, himself being a humble one before his mentor gave that jute-cloth to that saint, that humbly. [1-2-7]
sa shishhya hastaat aadaaya valkalam niyatendriyaH |
vichachaara ha pashyan tat sarvato vipulam vanam || 1-2-8
8. niyata indriyaH = who controlled, his senses [self-controlled]; saH = he, Valmiki; shishya hastaat = from disciple's, hands; valkalam = loincloth; aadaaya = on taking; pasyan sarvataH = looking, everywhere; tat vipulam vanam = that, wide, of forest; vichachaara ha = ambled [towards waters,] indeed.
That self-controlled Sage Valmiki on taking loincloth from his disciple's hands, indeed ambled towards the river, looking everywhere at the wide of forest. [1-2-8]
tasya abhyaashe tu mithunam charantam anapaayinam |
dadarsha bhagavaan tatra krau~NchayoH chaaru nisvanam || 1-2-9
9. bhagavaan = godly sage; tatra = there; tasya abhyaase tu = in its [in foreshore's,] vicinity, but; an apaayinam = not, leaving one another [or, not fearing any danger]; charantam = moving about, flying there about; chaaru nisvanam = charmingly, calling; krounchayoH = two krouncha birds [ a lovely birds, not herons]; midhunam = a couple; dadarsha = he saw.
There godly sage Valmiki saw a couple of lovely krouncha birds, in the vicinity of that river's foreshore, flying there about in togetherness, [and of course, fearless of any calamity,] and calling charmingly [1-2-9]
tasmaat tu mithunaat ekam pumaaMsam paapa nishchayaH |
jaghaana vairanilayo nishhaadaH tasya pashyataH || 1-2-10
10. papa nischayaH = evil, in intent; vyra = enemy of; nilayaH = abode of birds and animals [foresters]; nishaadaH = a tribal hunter; tasmaat midhunaat tu = of them, but, of couple; ekam = one; pumaamsam = male one; tasya pasyataH = on his [Valmiki's,] while looking on; jaghaana = killed.
A tribal hunter with all his evil intent, as he is an enemy of foresters, killed the male one of them the couple of birds, while Valmiki is looking on. [1-2-10]
tam shoNita pariitaaN^gam ceShTamaanam mahiitale |
bhaaryaa tu nihatam dR^iShTvaa ruraava karuNaam giram || 1-2-11
viyuktaa patinaa tena dvijena sahachaariNaa |
taamra shiirshheNa mattena patriNaa sahitena vai | 1-2-12
11-12. patinaa = with husband; saha chaariNa = along with, moving - together with husband, which husband is with; taamra siirSeNa = red, crested [hence, a proud male bird]; matten = lusty one; patriNaa = with good wings; sahitena = always has his heart for her; tena dvijena = from that, bird [male bird]; viyukata = separated; bhaarya tu = wife of, [female bird,] but; nihitam = slain; mahii tale = on ground, surface; ceSTamaanam = reeling; shoNita pariita angam = blood, covered, wings [or body]; tam dR^iSTva = him [male bird,] on seeing; karuNaam giram = with piteous, utterances; ru raava = lamented, wailed sounds; vai = really.
She who is ever together with her husband, a lusty male bird with flighty wings and with a prideful red crest, and one who always had a heart for her, but she is now separated from him, and gone is that togetherness; and she, on seeing her slain husband whose body is blood-soaked, and who is reeling on the ground in the anguish of pain, bewailed with piteous utterances. [1-2-11, 12]
In this verse the gist of Ramayana through the bewailing queen of Ravana, namely Mandodari, is indicated. bharyaa tu wife [of Ravana,] Mandodari, but; taamra shiirSeNa from the one who is with red crest crown, which crown is decorated with red jewels etc - i.e., Ravana; patriNaa from the one who has winged vehicles, like Pushpaka aircraft etc - i.e., Ravana; mattena from the one who is intoxicated with Brahma's boons; sahitena one who is surrounded by Indrajit, Vibhishana, Kumbhakarna et al. tena dvijena = from such a Braahman, namely Ravana; viyuktaa = separated from; and one who is presently; nihitam = slain - i.e., Ravana by Rama; mahii tale = on ground, surface; ceSTamaanam = reeling; shoNita pariita angam = blood, covered, limbs; at such a Ravana; dR^iSTva = [Mandodari] having seen; she; karuNaam giram = with piteous, utterances; ru raava = highly, lamented. Govindaraja.
tathaa vidhim dvijam dR^ishhTvaa nishhaadena nipaatitam |
R^isheH dharmaatmaanaH tasya kaaruNyam samapadyata || 1-2-13
13. tathaa vidhim = that, way; niSadena nipaatitam = by hunter, felled; dvijam dR^iSTvaa = at bird, on seeing; dharma aatmaanaH = for that kind, hearted one; tasya R^isheH = to that, sage; kaaruNyam samapadyata = compassion, occasioned.
On seeing at that bird felled that way by the tribal hunter, compassion is aroused in that kind-hearted sage Valmiki. [1-2-13]
tataH karuNa veditvaat adharmo ayam iti dvijaH |
nishaaMya rudatiim kraunchiim idam vacanam abraiit || 1-2-14
14. tataH = then; dvijaH = sage Valmiki; rudatiim krounchiim nishaamya = wailing, female bird, on seeing; karuNa veditvaat = compassion, haunting him; ayam adharmaH iti = this is, unjust, thus thinking, thus apperceiving; idam vacanam abraiit = this, sentence, said, uttered.
Then on seeing the wailing female krounchi bird, compassion haunting him and apperceiving the killing of male bird as unjust, the sage uttered this sentence... [1-2-14]
maa nishhaada pratiShThaamtva | magamaH shaashvatiiH samaaH |
yat krau~Ncha mithunaat eka | mavadhiiH kaama mohitam || 1-2-15
15. ama = oh, ill-fate one; niSaada = oh, hunter; tvam = you; yat = by which reason; krau~Ncha mithunaat = of krouncha, couple; ekam = one; kaama mohitam = in lustful, indulged in; avadhiiH = killed; [tat = by that reason]; shaashvatiiH = ever lasting; samaaH = ages to come; pratiSThaam tu = reputation, but; maa gamaH = don't, get.
"Oh! Ill-fated Hunter, by which reason you have killed one male bird of the couple, when it is in its lustful passion, thereby you will get an ever-lasting reputation for ages to come..." [1-2-15]
'No fame be thine for endless time, /Because, base outcast, of thy crime, Whose cruel hand was fain to slay / One of this gentle pair at play!' Griffith.
'For endless years to come, O Hunter, never shall thy soul find peace /' Romesh C. Dutt.
All of these are just dictionary meanings. Whether a tribal hunter gets infamy or ignominy, it does not matter much, unlike a nobleman getting some disrepute or discredit. Then the word in the verse niSaada should have other meanings than just a tribal hunter.
This is a celebrated stanza of Sanskrit literature, and controversial too, in deciphering its meaning. We are told that this is the first verse of human origin with metrical rules and grammar. Earlier to this, only Vedic stanzas were available with their complicated compositional rules. This is the verse where this epic, Ramayana is said to have triggered off.
In one way the separation of compound tvamagama is like this tu, ama, gamaH. Then the parsing is:
ama niSaada= oh, ill fated, hunter; tvam= you; yat= by which reason; krau~Ncha mithunaat = of krouncha, couple; ekam= one; kaama mohitam= lust, indulged in; a-vadhiiH= you killed; [tat= by that reason]; shaashvatiiH= ever lasting; samaaH= ages to come; pratiSThaam tu= reputation, but; maa gamaH= don't, get.
This verse has many comports of which a few are given hereunder:
This verse is taken as ma~NgalaacaraNa to Ramayana, for any epic has to have ma~Ngala aadiini; ma~Ngala madhyaani; ma~Ngala antaani A good pious beginning, pious middle and pious ending.
Because this verse has the letter maa at its start and maa is lakShmii vaacaka in Sanskrit. It is aadi varNaH The first letter loka maataa maa ramaa ma~Ngala devataa thus amara kosha says for Goddess Lakshmi.
maa= Goddess Lakshmi; niShaada= Oh! Vishnu [ for Goddess Lakshmi resides in the heart of Vishnu - niShadiiti asmin iti niShaada ]; yat = by which act; krounca midhunaat = the couple of demons, namely Ravana and Mandodari; kaama mohitam= that impassioned one and stole Seetha; ekam= that one, Ravana; avadhii= you killed; by that act of yours; shashvatiisamaa= everlasting for ages; pratiShTaam= divine sanctity; tvam agama= you, get.
"Oh, the abode of Goddess Lakshmi, namely oh, Vishnu, by which act of your killing one male demon named Ravana, who in his passion abducted Seetha, and thus you eradicated the vice from the earth, for that you get an everlasting divine sanctity, as Rama, for ages to come."
2] Next niSaada is attributable to Ravana, because he is the one who tortures others for his benefit. itaraam saadayati piiDayati iti niSaada thus: Oh! Ravana; krounch midhunaat= from the couple, say Rama and Seetha, who are flying from forest to forest like nest-less birds; ekam= one is, Seetha is; avadhii =you almost killed her by your torture of abducting her; pratiSTaam= your glory in Lanka, at its zenith, as per the kindness of Brahma; ma agama= never get, hereafter. But this declination is not held right, for it is like a curse, shaapa, and no epic starts with a curse.
3] Next, this verse is said holding Rama in the perspective. Sage Narada gave the details of the legend to Sage Valmiki because Brahma ordered that the legend of Rama is to be recorded. But Ramayana is full of pathos, karuNa shoka rasa prathaana. If it is to be penned the writer too shall have heart that can outpour that mood. So when Valmiki is at the river banks, Rama, say Vishnu, came in the guise of a tribal, as with other mythological episodes like kiraataarjuniiya etc., to test the capability of Valmiki in narrating pathos, and killed one bird. Valmiki reacted immediately and Vishnu's test is complete. But in exciting the mood of such holy sage, Vishnu / Rama gets a curse like separation from wife, as below.
nishaada= oh, tribal: Rama to Valmiki / Vishnu to mythology; for your killing one bird of the couple, to the misery of the female one; shaashvatii = as long as you live on this earth; samaaH pratiSTaam= togetherness, with your wife; ma agama= do not get.
Oh! Rama, as long as you are on earth, you do not get the love of being together with your wife, because you killed one from the bird couple... and you have to live with your wife departed [to Lanka,] come again, and then departed [to forests.]
But this is differed statement, since Vishnu does not require any personal testing of the capabilities of the writer of Ramayana. Brahma will look after such literary things.
4] The generally accepted meaning of this verse is this. Any epic's gist is to be said at the start or, at its commencement --- kaavya artha suucanam kascin aadyaam eva niruupyate--- Thus, the above verse included the meaning of whole of the epic, Ramayana.
i] maa niSaada= Goddess Lakshmi and Vishnu. Their marriage in their incarnations as Rama and Seetha, and Ramayana depicts this in Bala Kanda.
ii] pratiSTaam tvam agama= renown, you get, by following your father's orders you have repaired to forests, without any political upheaval, thus get an everlasting renown as an obliging son Ayodhya Kanda.
iii] shashavatii samaa= by dwelling in forest and eradicating demons and helping the saints and sages thus, you achieve an everlasting praise Aranaya Kanda.
iv] krounchayoH= from the [atrocious] couple; k-- krunca gati kauTilyaa alpii bhaavayoH; the atrocious Vali, and Tara couple; ekam kaama mohitam = one, passion, filled, i.e., Vali; avadhii= you killed, you killed Vali Kishkindha Kanda.
v] krouncha mithunaat= from the couple of lovely passionate birds here Rama and Seetha; niSaada that ruffian Ravana, kaama mohitam lustfully, ekam one [i.e., Seetha]; avadhii = almost killed, i.e., her residing in Lanka is as good as death Sundara Kanda.
vi] krouncha mithunaat = from the atrocious, couple Ravana and Mandodari; ekam avadhii one Ravana, you killed Yuddha Kanda.
vii] kaama mohitam= by desire, fascinated [ kama also means a longing, desire, let alone lusting]; Seetha is fascinated by her desire to see sage's wives in uttara Ramayana and thus she is sent to forests through Lakshmana. Hence seventh canto, uttara Ramayana is also suggested.
tasya evam bruvataH chintaa babhuuva hR^idi viikshataH |
shokaartena asya shakuneH kim idam vyaahR^itam mayaa || 1-2-16
16. evam bruvataH = thus, having said; viikshataH = while pondering; tasya hR^idi = in his, heart; asya shakuneH = for that, bird; shoka aartena mayaa = in anguish, annoyed, by me; vyahR^itam = uttered utterance; idam = this [verse, sentence]; kim = what is it; [thus] chintaa babhuva = cogitative [of the lines,] he became.
On saying thus, and pondering for a while in his heart, 'annoyed by the anguish for that bird, what is it uttered by me...' thus he became cogitative of those lines uttered. [1-2-16]
chintayan sa mahaapraaj~naH chakaara matimaan matim |
shishyam cha eva abraviit vaakyam idam sa munipuN^gavaH || 1-2-17
17. chintayan = on thinking; saH = he; mahaa praaj~naH = eminently, astute one; matimaan = intellectual sage; chakaara matim = made up, his mind; saH muni pu.ngavaH = he, saint, the erudite one; shishyam = to disciples; idam vaakyam abraviit cha eva = this, sentence, spoke, also, thus.
On thinking, he that eminently astute and intellectual sage made up his mind, and he that erudite scholar also spoke this sentence to his disciples, thus as... [1-2-17]
paada baddhaH akshara samaH tantrii laya samanvitaH |
shokaartasya pravR^itto me shloko bhavatu na anyathaa || 1-2-18
18. me = while I was; shoka aartsya = by anguish, annoyed; pravR^ittaH = emerged; paada baddhaH = foot [of stanza,] arranged well; akshara samaH = letters, metrically posited; tantrii = [tuneful like] string [instrument]; laya = rhymed well [of syllables]; samanvitaH = having in it; slokaH bhavatu = verse, it shall be; na anyatha = not, otherwise.
"This utterance of mine has emerged out of anguished annoyance, and it is well- arranged with letters metrically posited, tuneful and rhythmical to be sung with string instrument, and hence, this shall be a verse, not otherwise..." [1-2-18]
This verse he uttered is in four quarters, each quarter with equally posited eight syllables. This is called anuSTubh metre in Sanskrit poetry. The eight syllables are, -- maa ni Shaa da pra ti ShTaa~N tva | ma ga ma shaa shva tiiH sa maa -- Each quarter is paada in Sanskrit, pede in Latin; with two quarters in first stanza, and two stanzas one verse. This apart there are other rules like caesura yati ; alliteration praasa ; and other compositional rules. It has come out of shoka sorrow, so the format is named as sloka. And, shloka also means yashas, kiirti renown.
shiShyaH tu tasya bruvato muner vaakyam anuttamam |
prati jagraaha saMtushhTaH tasya tuShToaH abhavat muniH || 1-2-19
19. shishyaH tu = disciple, even; bruvataH = what is articulated; tasya muneH = by that [Valmiki's,] saint; santuSTaH pratijagraaH = felt happy, received; vaakyam aunuttamam = word [verse,] unique one; tasya = by that; tuSTaH abhavat muniH = happy, became, saint.
Even the disciple happily received what that is articulated by the saint, a unique articulation, by which the saint too, became happy. [1-2-19]
so.abhiShekam tataH kR^itvaa tiirthe tasmin yathaavidhi |
tam eva chintayan artham upaavartata vai muniH || 1-2-20
20. tataH = then; saH muniH = that, saint; tasmin tiirthe = in that, ford; yathaa vidhi = as per, custom; abhishekam kR^itva = bathing, on performing; tam ardham eva chintayan = its, purport, alone, on thinking; upa aavartata vai = back, he came, really [returned to hermitage.]
Then that saint on performing his bathing in that ford according to custom, and still thinking on the purport of his utterance, he returned towards his hermitage. [1-2-20]
This is mid day bath for these hermits. tato madhyaahna snaanaartham mR^idam aaharet | - - prekShya sa omkaaram aadityam triH nimajje jalaashaye - - vyaasa smR^iti The word abhisheka refers to ceremonial showering of waters on deities or on kings in his coronation. At the beginning Valmiki arrives at the river for a daily bath, which he would do by usual dipping in river waters. But here it appears that waters are showered on him, abhishekam kR^itva meaning that waters showered on him are on the analogy of poetic verses of Ramayana.
bharadvaajaH tataH shiShyo viniitaH shrutavaan guroH |
kalasham puurNamaadaaya pR^ishhThataH anujagaama ha || 1-2-21
21. tataH viniitaH = then, obedient one; shrutavaan = one who listened many scriptures, [erudite scholar]; shishyaH = disciple; Bharadwaja; puurNam kalasham = filled, handy-vessel; aadaya = on taking; guroH = mentor's; pR^iSTataH anujagaama = at behind, followed.
Then Bharadwaja, the obedient disciple and an erudite scholar, for he heard and learnt many scriptures by listening, on taking handy-vessel full with water followed at the behind of his mentor. [1-2-21]
sa pravishya aashrama padam shiShyeNa saha dharmavit |
upavishhTaH kathaaH cha anyaaH chakaara dhyaanamaasthitaH || 1-2-22
22. dharma vit saH = dharma, knower of, he [Valmiki]; shishyeNa saha = disciples, along with; pravisya aashrama padam = on entering, hermitage's, threshold; upaviSTa = having seated; anyaH kathaaH ca chakaara = other, topics, also, made - spoke about; dhyaanam aasthitaH = [but in] cogitation, preoccupied in.
He that knower of dharma, Valmiki, having entered the threshold of hermitage along with disciples, and having seated spoke about the day-to-day teachings and also other things, but he himself is preoccupied in cogitation on the verse. [1-2-22]
aajagaama tataH brahmo lokakartaa svayam prabhuH |
chatur mukho mahaatejaa draShTum tam munipuN^gavam || 1-2-23
23. tataH = then; loka kartaa = worlds, maker of [creator of 14 worlds]; prabhuH = almighty; chatur mukhaH = four-faced one; maha tejaH = great resplendent one; brahma = Brahma; draSTum = to see; tam muni pungavam = him, that sage, the eminent; svayam = on his own; aajagaama = arrived.
Then, the great resplendent Four-faced creator of fourteen worlds, almighty Brahma, arrived there on his own, to see that eminent saint Valmiki. [1-2-23]
Comment; The deities do not usually arrive on their own, but reveal themselves after a great penance, or on raising hue and cry as is done by demon devotees. Here Brahma, one among the Trinity of Hindu mythology, arrives on his own, to execute a divine deed through Valmiki, i.e. authoring the epic, Ramayana.
vaalmiikiH atha tam dR^iShTvaa sahasaa utthaaya vaagyataH |
praanjaliH prayato bhuutvaa tasthau parama vismitaH || 1-2-24
24. atha = then; prayataH = pious one; Valmiki; tam dR^iSTva = Him [ Brahma,] on seeing; parama vismitaH = highly, surprised; sahasa uthaaya = quickly, on getting up; pra anjali bhuutvaa = humbly adjoining palms; vaagyataH = spellbound; tatsthau = stood aside.
Then that pious saint Valmiki is highly surprised on seeing Brahma, and on quickly getting up from his seat with his palms adjoined humbly, he stood aside, as he is spellbind. [1-2-24]
puujayaamaasa tam devam paadya arghya aasana vandanaiH |
praNaMya vidhivat ca enam pR^ishhTvaa ca eva niraamayam || 1-2-25
25. tam enam devam = him, such a one, at that god; praNamya vidhivat ca = on making obeisance, customarily; pR^ishhTvaa ca eva niraamayam = on inquiring, also, thus, well-being; paadya = water for washing the feet; arghya = water for drenching the thirst; aasana = seating on a high seat; vandanaiH = with adorations; puujayaamaasa = started to venerate.
Valmiki venerated Brahma, on inquiring into his well-being, washed his feet, drenched his thirst, seated him to rest, and adored at best with customarily obeisance. [1-2-25]
Comment: Brahma is one in the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Brahma is pictured to have four faces, each representing one Veda, where Vedas are four in number. He is the creator of worlds, while Vishnu maintains them, and Shiva dissolute them. The concert of Brahma is Saraswati, the presiding deity of speech, who was earlier requested by Brahma to be on the tongue of Valmiki to utter the poem, [as at 1-2-15] as an intuition to Valmiki. Thus Brahma now arrives to ordain Valmiki to author Ramayana.
atha upavishya bhagavaan aasane parama archite |
vaalmiikaye ca R^iShaye sandidesha aasanam tataH || 1-2-26
26. atha upavishya bhagavaan aasane = then, seated, god, on [high] seat; parama archite = very, highly, worshipped [by Valmiki]; vaalmiikaye ca R^iSaye = at Valmiki, also, Sage; sandidesha aasanam tataH = beckoned, to a seat, then.
Then god Brahma, who is seated on a high seat, very highly worshipped by Valmiki, also beckoned at Valmiki to take a seat. [1-2-26]
brahmaNaa samanuj~naataH so.api upaavishat aasane |
upaviShTe tadaa tasmin saakshaat loka pitaamahe | 1-2-27
tat gatena eva manasaa vaalmiikiH dhyaanam aasthitaH ||
27-28a. saH api = he [Valmiki,] even; brahmaNaa sam anuj~naataH = by Brahma, duly, permitted; aasane upaavishat = on seat, entered [sat]; tadaa = then; tasmin loka pitaamahe = that, worlds, Grandparent of; saakshaat = manifestly; upaviSTe [sati] = seated [before him, though]; Valmiki; tat gatena eva = those, happenings, only; manasaa dhyaanam aasthitaH = mentally, brooding, recurred.
Even though Valmiki sat on his seat when duly permitted by Brahma, and though the Grandparent of the worlds is manifestly sitting before him, but the same broodings on those happenings occurred on that day have recurred on his mind. [1-2-27-28a]
paapaatmanaa kR^itam kaShTam vaira grahaNa buddhinaa | 1-2-28
yat taadR^isham chaaruravam krauncham hanyaat akaaraNaat ||
28b-29a. yaH = he who, tribal hunter; taadR^isham = that sort of; chaaru ravam krauncham = cutely, calling, krouncha bird; a kaaraNaat hanyaat = without, reason, kills [killed]; vaira grahaNa buddhinaa = enemy [kill,] capturing, intending to; paapa aatmanaa = by evil, souled one; kaSTam kR^itam = hardship, is caused.
"He that tribal hunter, who killed a cutely calling krounch bird for no good reason than intending to capture the kill, is an evil souled one that caused hardship..." [1-2-28b-29a]
shochan eva punaH kraunchiim upa shlokam imam jagau | 1-2-29
punar antargata manaa bhuutvaa shoka paraayaNaH ||
29b-30a. shoka paraayaNaH = melancholic mood, one in [Valmiki]; antargata manaa bhuutvaa = depths of, mind, on turning in; punaH = again; kraunchiim shochan eva = about krouncha bird, on thinking, only; shlokam imam upajagau = verse, this [verse,] [involuntarily]sung.
Remaining in melancholic mood Valmiki turned his mind to the depth of thinking, and again thinking only on the krouncha bird he sung the same verse, involuntarily. [1-2-29b-30a]
The word jaguH is singing; gai= shabde; liT; prathama bahu; jagau - jagatuH - jaguH; variant of gaay; c.f. Raghuvamsha of Kalidasa, verse 20, in fourth sarga; aakumaarakathoddhaata.m shaaligopyo jaguryashaH
tam uvaacha tato brahmaa prahasan munipuMgavam | 1-2-30
shloka evaastvayaam baddho na atra kaaryaa vichaaraNaa ||
30b-31a. tataH = then; brahmaa prahasan = Brahma, smilingly; tam muni pungavam uvaacha = to him, that saint, the eminent, spoke to; shloka eva tu = verse, only, but; ayam baddaH = that one, composed; na atra kaaryaa vichaaraNaa = not, there, need to, think through.
Then, Brahma smilingly spoke to that eminent saint Valmiki, "But, what that is composed is a verse only... and there is no need to think through... [1-2-30b-31a]
mat cChandaat eva te brahman pravR^itte ayam sarasvatii | 1-2-31
raamasya charitam kR^itsnam kuru tvam R^ishhisattama |
31b-32a. hè brahman = oh, Brahman; te ayam sarasvatii = your, that, speech; mat cChandaat eva = at my, wish, alone; pravR^itte = sprang forth; hè R^iSi sattama = oh, sage, the eminent; raamasya charitam k R^itsnam = Rama's, legend, in entirety; tvam kuru = you, render.
"Oh, Brahman, that speech of yours sprang forth at my wish alone, hence oh, eminent sage, you shall render the legend of Rama, in its entirety... [1-2-31b-32a]
dharmaatmano bhagavato loke raamasya dhiimataH || 1-2-32
vR^ittam kathaya dhiirasya yathaa te naaradaat shrutam |
32b-33a. dharma aatmanaH = virtue, souled one; loke bhagavataH = in world, godlike; dhiimataH = an intellectual; dhiirasya = intrepid one; raamasya vR^ittam = Rama's, legend; tè yatha srutam naaradaat = by you, as heard, from Narada; kathaya = narrate.
"You shall narrate the legend of Rama, the virtuous, intellectual and an intrepid one, and a godlike person in this world as well, as you have heard it from sage Narada. [1-2-32b-33a]
rahasyam cha prakaasham cha yad vR^ittam tasya dhiimataH || 1-2-33
raamasya saha saumitre raakshasaanaam cha sarvashaH |
vaidehyaaH cha eva yad vR^ittam prakaasham yadi vaa rahaH || 1-2-34
tat ca api aviditam sarvam viditam te bhaviShyati |
33b-35a. dhiimataH = of valorous one; saha SoumitreH = with Sumitra's son, [Lakshmana]; tasya ramasya = of his, Rama's; [vR^ittam = adventures]; raakshasaanam ca = of the demons, also; [vR^ittam = misadventures]; rahasyam ca prakaasam ca = unknown, or, known, or; sarvasaH = in every detail; yat vR^ittam vaidehyaa ca eva = which is, the plight, of Vaidehi, also, even; prakaasam yadi va = revealed, either, or; rahaH vaa = unrevealed, or; yat vR^ittam = whatever, legend happened; tat ca = that, also; a viditam api = un, known, even; sarvam te viditam bhaviSyati = all, to you, known, it will be.
"The adventures of valorous Rama along with Lakshmana, and the misadventures of demons, known or unknown in every detail, and even the plight of Vaidehi which is either revealed or un-revealed so far, and whatever legend that has happened, all that will also be known to you, even if it were to be unknown, as yet... [1-2-33b-35a]
na te vaak anR^itaa kaavye kaachit atra bhavishhyati || 1-2-35
kuru raama kathaam puNyaam shloka baddhaam manoramaam |
35b-36a. atra kaavye = in this, epic; te vaak = your, word; kaachit = any one [word]; a nR^itaa = un, founded; na bhavishyati = not, it results in; punyam = merit-yielding; manaH ramaam = heart, pleasing; raama kathaam = Rama's, legend; sloka baddhaam kuru = verse, bound, you make.
"You shall versify the heart pleasing and merit-yielding legend of Rama, and not a single word of yours will be unfounded in this epic... [1-2-35b-36a]
yaavat sthaasyanti girayaH saritaH cha mahiitale || 1-2-36
taavat raamaayaNa kathaa lokeShu prachariShyati |
36b-37a. girayaH = mountains; saritaH ca = rivers, even; mahii tale = on earth's, surface; yaavat = as long as; sthasyanti = there will be; taavat = so long; raamayaNa katha = Rama's, legend - Ramayana; lokeSu = in the world; prachariSyati = will flourish.
"As long as the mountains and even rivers flourish on the surface of the earth, so long the legend of Ramayana will flourish in this world... [1-2-36b-37a]
yaavat raamasya ca kathaa tvat kR^itaa pracharishhyati | 1-2-37
taavat uurdhvam adhaH cha tvam mat lokeshhu nivatsyasi |
37b-38a. tvat = by you; kR^itaa = authored; yaavat = as long as; raamasya katha = Rama's legend; pracharishyati = flourishes; taavat = till then; tvam = you; uurthvam = heavenward; athaH ca = in netherworlds, even; mat lokeSu = in my abode [Brahma loka]; nivatyasi = you will be dwelling, [flourishing].
"And as long as Rama's legend authored by you flourishes...till then you will flourish in heavenly, in netherworlds, and even in my abode, namely Abode of Brahma... [1-2-37]
iti uktvaa bhagavaan brahmaa tatra eva antaradhiiyata |
tataH sa shishhyo bhagavaan muniH vismayam aayayau || 1-2-38
38b-c. bhagavaan = The Divinity; Brahma; iti uktvaa = thus, saying; tatra eva = there only; antaradhiiyata = vanished; tataH = then; saH shiSyaH = along with, disciples; bhagavaan muniH = godly, sage; vismayam aayayau = astonishment, came upon [wondered.]
On saying thus that Divinity Brahma vanished then and there only, and then that godly sage Valmiki came by astonishment, along with his disciples. [1-2-38b-c]
tasya shishhyaaH tataH sarve jaguH shlokam imam punaH |
muhur muhuH priiyamaaNaaH praahuH cha bhR^isha vismitaaH || 1-2-39
39. tatha = then; tasya = his; shishyaaH = disciples; sarve = all of them; muhuH muhuH = again, again [time and again]; priiyamaaNaaH = very delightedly; punaH = again; slokam imam = verse, this one; jaguH = sang; bhR^isha vismitaaH = much astonished; pra aahuH cha = reciprocally recited, also.
Then all of the disciples of Valmiki sang this verse time and again very delightedly, and muchstonished they also recited this verse, reciprocally. [1-2-39]
samaaksharaiH chaturbhiH yaH paadaiH giito maharshhiNaa |
saH anuvyaaharaNaat bhuuyaH shokaH shlokatvam aagataH || 1-2-40
40. yaH = that which is; sama aksharaiH = equally, lettered; chaturbhiH = four; paadaiH = footed; maharSiNaa = by great sage; giitaH = articulated; saH slokaH = that, verse; anuvyaharaNaat = by recitation; bhuuya = again, further; slokatvam = prominence of verse proper; aagaataH = attained.
Equally lettered, four-footed is that verse when great Sage Valmiki articulated it, and when repetitively recited by one and all, it attained prominence as verse proper. [1-2-40]
Comment: A poet never says poetry to satisfy his own instincts, but to imbue an involuntary imagination or passion in oComment: A poet never says poetry to satisfy his own instincts, but to imbue an involuntary imagination or passion in others when read or heard by the so called others. It is the empathy of that poetry. For Kalidasa it is shR^ingara, passion, for Bhavabhuti it is pity 'eko rasaH karuNa...' for Valmiki it is pathos, shoka. For this Kavi Kalidas says: niShaada viddha aNDaja darshanotthaH shlokatvam aapadyata yasya shokaH -- raghu va~Nsha 14-60 There are two texts for this one is, shlokaH shlokatam aagataH... meaning that the verse originally structured metrically can now can be sung. Second is shokaH shlokatvam aagataH... the pathos of the poet attained the status of verse that is now being sung by the disciples, thus anyone can recite it.
tasya buddhiH iyam jaataa maharSheH bhaavitaatmanaH |
kR^itsnam raamaayaNam kaavyam iidR^ishaiH karavaaNyaham || 1-2-41
41. aham = kR^itsnam raamaayaNam kaavyam = entire, Ramayana, epic; iidR^ishaiH = this sort of [in suchlike verses]; karavaaNi = I will compose; iyam buddhiH = this kind of, intuition; bhaavita aatmanaH = for that contemplated soul; tasya maharSeH jaataa = to that, great sage, born.
Born is an intuition in that great sage and contemplated soul asserting that "I will compose entire Ramayana, the epic, in suchlike verses...' [1-2-41]
udaara vR^itta artha padaiH manoramaiH
tadaa asya raamasya chakaara kiirtimaan |
sama aksharaiH shloka shataiH yashasvino
yashaskaram kaavyam udaara darshanaH || 1-2-42
42. kiirtimaan udaara darshanaH = celebrated, magnanimous, seer; tadaa = then; yashasvinaH = of that highly renowned one, Rama; asya raamasya = of that, Rama; yashas karam kaavyam = renown, furthering [extolling,] epic; udaara vR^itta artha padaiH = free-flowing, prosody, semantically, yielding meanings; manoramaiH = heart-pleasing one; sama aksharaiH shloka shataiH = with symmetrical, letters, verses, in hundreds; chakaara = authored.
That celebrated sage and magnanimous seer Valmiki then authored the highly renowned Rama's legend extolling Rama's renown, with symmetrically worded verses, and words versified to yield meanings semantically, prosody free-flowing, and with hundreds of such verses. [1-2-42]
tad upagata samaasa sandhi yogam
sama madhuropanata artha vaakya baddham |
raghuvara charitam munipraNiitam
dasha shirasaH cha vadham nishaamaya adhvam || 1-2-43
43. upagata samaasa sandhi yogam = included, compound, conjunctions, conjugations; sama madhura upanata artha vaakya baddham = evenly, sweetly, led, expressive, sentences, well-knit; muni praNiitam = sage, said; tat raghu vara charitam = that, Raghu's, best [one from,] legend; dasha shirasaH vadham ca = ten, headed one's, extermination, also; nishaamaya adhvam = behold, this way.
That epic contains uncomplicated compounds, conjunctions and conjugations, and has expressive sentences that are well knit and led evenly and sweetly, and that legend pertains to the best one from Raghu's dynasty, namely Rama, which also includes the extermination of the Ten headed evil named Ravana, and further, it is said by the sage, hence this may now be listened… [1-2-43]
This is balladeers bidding to the audience. The word muni praNiitam reminds that a non-saint cannot tell an epic; na anR^ishi kurute kaavyam and hence it is to be listened attentively.
iti vaalmiki raamaayaNe aadikaavye baala kaaNDe dvitiiyaH sargaH
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© 1998, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised - March 04]