King Dasharatha sends Rama and Lakshmana along with Sage Vishvamitra as requested by the sage. In their course of travel, Sage Vishvamitra imparts a secret knowledge to the young princes Rama and Lakshmana, called bala atibala vidya-s, by practicing which nothing can wither their vigour and vitality.
tathā vasiṣṭe bruvati rājā daśarathaḥ svayam |
prahṛṣṭa vadano rāmam ājuhāva sa lakṣmaṇam || 1-22-1
1. vasiSThe tathaa bruvati = by Vashishta, that way, when said; raajaa dasaratha = king Dasharatha; pra hR^iSTa vadanaH = very, satisfied, face - expression; svayam = personally; raamam sa lakshmana juhaava = Rama, with Lakshmana, is called for.
When Vashishta said that way king Dasharatha with an air of satisfaction personally fetched Rama along with Lakshmana. [1-22-1]
kṛtaḥ svastyayanam mātrā pitrā daśarathena ca |
purodhasā vasiṣṭhena maṅgalaiḥ abhimaṃtritam || 1-22-2
sa putram mūrdhni upāghrāya rājā daśarathaḥ tadā |
dadau kuśika putrāya suprītena aṃtarātmanā || 1-22-3
2. saH dasarathaH raajaa = he, Dasharatha, king; maatraa = by mother Kausalya; pitraa dasarathen cha = by father, Dasharatha, also; kR^itaH svasti ayanam = one [for whom bon voyage is] performed, blessing, for travel - Rama; purodhasaa vasiSThtena = by priest, Vashishta; ma~NgaliaH abhimantritam = blessings, [for who they are] rendered Vedic hymns; on such son Rama's forehead; tadaa = then; putram muurdhni upaaaghraaya = son's, forehead, smelled [kissing forehead]; su priitena antaraatmanaa = well, pleased, with heart of hearts; kushika putraaya = to Vishvamitra; dadau = entrusted.
Rama is blessed for a propitious travel firstly by his mother Kausalya and then by his father king Dasharatha, thereupon the royal priest Vashishta rendered Vedic hymns blessing the journey, then Dasharatha well pleased in his heart of hearts kissed his son Rama on forehead and entrusted him to Vishvamitra. [1-22-2, 3]
The mother is the first one to bless sons. prathamam maatR^i kR^ita ma~Ngala pratipadanena itara kR^ita ma~Ngala apekShayaa maatR^i kR^ita ma~Ngalasya aavashyikataa vyatirekeNa anvayena ca suucitam
Duryodhana of Maha Bharata knows about this rule position and when he wanted to gain victory over Pandava-s he approaches his mother Gandhari, seeking her blessings, at first. vyatirekaH taavat paaNDavaan jetu kaamo duryodhanaH - shivam aashamsa me maataH yudhyamaana sva shatrubhiH - iti aShTaa dasha aahaani ap sva maataram gaandhaariim praarthitavaan | sa ca - yato dharmaH tato jayaH - iti vadantii ma~Ngalam na kurvatii - dharmaakuutam When Duryodhana sought for his mother Gandhari's blessings even for eighteen days, where eighteen is the particular number of Maha Bharata, she said 'where there is virtue there will be victory'. Hence, mothers are the first ones to bless sons in every enterprise, and here Rama's enterprise as incarnate of Vishnu is commencing.
tato vāyuḥ sukha sparśo nīrajasko vavau tadā |
viśvāmitra gatam rāmam dṛṣṭvā rājīva locanam || 1-22-4
4. tataH = afterwards; raajiiva lochanam raamam = lotus eyed one, Rama; Vishvamitra gatam = after Vishvamitra, when followed; dR^iSTwaa = on seeing; tadaa = then; vaayuH sukha sparshaH = then, breeze, pleasant, to touch; niirajaskaH [nir rajaH] = without, pollen/dust - dustless; vavau = breezed.
Then on seeing the lotus-eyed Rama following Vishvamitra the breeze became dustless and breezed pleasant for touch. [1-22-4]
puṣpa vṛṣṭiḥ mahatī āsīt deva dundubhi niḥsvanaiḥ |
śaṅkha dundubhi nirghoṣaḥ prayāte tu mahātmani || 1-22-5
5. mahaatmani = great soul [Rama/Vishvamitra]; prayaate tu = forged ahead; mahatii pushpa vR^iSTiH= abounding, flowers, downpour; deva dundubhi niswanam = divine, drums, rumbling; shankha dundubhi nirghoSaH = conch-shell, drums [of Ayodhya,] whistling; asiit = have happened.
When the great-souled Rama forged ahead there occurred an abounding downpour of flowers with the booming of divine drums, together with the boom and blare of drums and conch-shells of Ayodhya. [1-22-5]
viśvāmitro yayau agre tato rāmo mahāyaśāḥ |
kāka pakṣa dharo dhanvī tam ca saumitriḥ anvagāt || 1-22-6
6. Vishvamitra; yayau agre = travelled, ahead; tataH = next; kaaka paksha dharaH = crow's, wings, wearing [having black hair-locks]; dhanuH dharaH raamaH = bow, handling, Rama; dhanvii suumitriH = with bow; Sumitra's son [Lakshmana]; anvagaat = followed.
Rama with jet-black hair-locks handling his bow followed Vishvamitra who walked ahead, while Lakshmana handling his own bow followed Rama. [1-22-6]
kalāpinau dhanuṣ pāṇī śobhayānau diśo daśa |
viśvāmitram mahātmānam tri śīrṣau iva pannagau |
anujagmatuḥ akṣudrau pitāmaham iva aśvinau || 1-22-7
7. kalaapinau = with quivers; dhanuS paaNii = bows, in hands; dishaH dasha shobhayaanau = directions, ten, making lambent; a kshudrau analpa ruupa viiryaadi prabhaavaaH = not, with meagre physical and vital impact =- highly dynamic in physiques and spiritedness; tri shiirSau pannagau iva = three, headed, serpents, as with; Rama, Lakshmana; mahaatmaanam vishvamitram = great, souled one, after Vishvamitra; ashvinau pitaamaH iva = the twin Ashwin gods, after Forefather Brahma, as with; anujagmatuH = followed.
Rama and Lakshmana, with two quivers each and two bows in their hands, and making all the ten directions of compass lambent followed Vishvamitra, as if three headed serpents followed Vishvamitra, and with their highly dynamic physiques and spiritedness they look as if like the Ashwin twin gods of unequal charm following Brahma, the Forefather. [1-22-7, 8]
Each one is having two quivers tied on each shoulder. Thus the upper portions of the quivers with feathered shafts, with the tips of arrows inside, are giving a picture of two more heads, on either side of the princes' heads. Thus Rama and Lakshmana are appearing like three headed serpents. That is to say they are too young with the size of their heads equalling the mouth of the quiver.
The meaning of As'vins from as'va a horse, Persian asp, Greek ιππος Latin equus, Welsh *eck, is Horsemen. They were twin deities of whom frequent mention is made in the Vedas and the Indian myths. The As'vins have much in common with the Dioscuri of Greece, and their mythical genealogy seems to indicate that their origin was astronomical. They were, perhaps, at first the morning star and evening star. They are said to be the children of the sun and the nymph As'vin, who is one of the lunar asterisms personified. In the popular mythology they are regarded as the physicians of the Gods. Gorresio/Griffith.
tadā kuśika putram tu dhanuṣ pāṇī svalaṃkṛtau |
baddha godha aṃguli trāṇau khaḍgavantau mahādyutī || 1-22-8
kumārau cāru vapuṣau bhrātarau rāma lakṣmaṇau |
anuyātau śriyā dīptau śobhayetām aninditau || 1-22-9
sthāṇum devam iva acintyam kumārau iva pāvakī |
8, 9, 10a. tataH = then; kumaarau = youngsters; chaaru vapuSau = charming, bodied ones; sva lankR^itau = bejewelled ones; dhanuS paaNii = bow, in hands; baddha godha angulii traaNau = tied, leathern, fingers, covers; khadga vantau = swords, having; mahaa dyutii = highly, resplendent ones; shriyaa diiptau = with worth, effulgent; a ninditau = unreprovable ones; bhraatarau = two brothers; Rama; Lakshmana; anuyaatau = going while following; paavakii = birthed by Fire-god; kumaarau iva = sons, like; a chintyam devam = not, thinkable - inscrutable potential, the god - Shiva; shtaaNum iva = Shiva, as with; kushika putram shobhayetaam = Kusi's son [Vishvamitra,] made to shine.
Those two youngsters with charming and bejewelled physiques are handling bows and swords and their fingers have leathern covers. Both the unreprovable brothers Rama and Lakshmana are highly resplendent and effulgent by their worth. While they are following Vishvamitra they looked like the sons of Fire-god, namely Skanda and Vishakha, following the great god with inscrutable potential, namely Shiva, and thus the brothers have made Vishvamitra to shine forth in even pose with god Shiva. [1-22-8, 9, 10a]
The Supreme Being that is resident like an atom. stha Being, aNum atom like. In every mobile or sessile being he is there. Here it is Shiva. Shiva's sons are two, one Ganesha and the other Kumara, of which Kumara is the Army General of Gods. According to Maha Bharata, Kumara is said to have become four in a split-second, known as 1- Skanda, 2- Vishaakha, 3- Shaaka, 4- Naigamesha. Here the first two aspects of Kumara, namely Skanda and Vishaakha, are incorporated in simile to Rama and Lakshmana.
adhyardha yojanam gatvā sarayvā dakṣiṇe taṭe | 1-22-10
rāmā iti madhurām vāṇīm viśvāmitraḥ abhyabhāṣata |
10b, 11a. adhyartha yojanam gatvaa = one and half, yojana on going; sarayvaa daskhiNe taTe = Sarayu river's, southern bank; Vishvamitra; raama iti madhuram vaaNiim = 'oh, Rama', thus, in harmonious, voice; abhya bhaaSata = spoke.
And on going one and half yojana distance Vishvamitra addressed Rama in a harmonious voice calling, 'oh, Rama', on the southern riverbank of Sarayu. [1-22-10b, 11a]
gṛhāṇa vatsa salilam mā bhūt kālasya paryayaḥ || 1-22-11
maṃtra grāmam gṛhāṇa tvam balām atibalām tathā |
11b, 12a. vatsa salilam gR^ihaaNa = my boy, water, you take; tvam tathaa = you, like that; mantra graamam = hymns, group of; balaam atibalaam = bala, atibala hymns; gR^ihaaNa = receive; kaalasya paryayaH maa bhuut = time's, lapse , not, let there be.
" "Take water, my boy, and like that you receive a group of hymns, bala and ati bala from me, and let no time lapse. [1-22-11b, 12a]
Since the Vedic hymns cannot be taught after sunset, now it shall be evening time before sunset, when oblations will be offered at sunset, and hence no time lapse is envisaged. Govindaraja.
na śramo na jvaro vā te na rūpasya viparyayaḥ || 1-22-12
na ca suptam pramattam vā dharṣa iṣyanti nairṛtāḥ |
12b, 13a. te = to you; shramaH = tiredness; na = not - will not be there; jvaraH vaa na = fever, or, no; ruupasya viparyayaH na = form - personality, misshaping, no; suptam vaa pramattam = sleeping, either, [or] unvigilant; nairR^itaaH = demons; na dharSa iSyanti = not, attack [you.]
"On receiving these hymns neither tiredness nor fever, nor disfiguring of personality can effect you, nor the demons can charge you either you are sleeping or unvigilant. [1-11-12b, 13a]
na bāhvoḥ sadṛśo vīrye pṛthivyām asti kaścana || 1-22-13
triṣu lokeṣu vā rāma na bhavet sadṛśaḥ tava |
13b, 14a. Rama; baahvaH viirye = by arms, strength - dexterity; [tava = your]; sadR^ishaH = coequal; kaschana = none; pR^ithivyaam [na] asti = on earth, [is not,] there; triSu lokeshu vaa = in three worlds, either; tava sadR^isha = your, coequal; na bhavet = will not, be there.
"As it is none whosoever on earth can equal you in dexterity, Rama, and by reciting these hymns none can equal you in the three worlds. [1-22-13b, 14a]
balām atibalām caiva paṭhataḥ tāta rāghava || 1-22-14
na saubhāgye na dākṣiṇye na jñāne buddhi niścaye |
na uttare prati vaktavye samo loke tava anagha || 1-22-15
14b, 15. taata = my dear; raaghava = Raghava; balaam atibalaam ca eva = bala, atibala, also thus; paThataH = if practised; anagha = oh, impeccable one; saubhaagye tava samaH = in handsomeness [apart from fortune,] your, equal; loke na = in world, will not be there; daakshiNe = by calibre; na = no; GYaane = in erudition; buddhi nishchaye = mental, determination - discernment; na = no; uttare prati vaktavye = in replying, or rebutting; na = no.
"My dear Raghava, if bala atibala hymns are practised, oh, impeccable one, none can equal you in the world by your handsomeness, calibre, erudition, by your discernment, and even in replying or rebutting you. [1-22-14b, 15]
etat vidyā dvaye labdhe na bhavet sadṛśaḥ tava |
balā ca atibalā caiva sarva jñānasya mātarau || 1-22-16
16. etat vidyaa dvaye labdhe = these, teachings, two of them, on receiving; tava sadR^ishaH na bhavet = your, similar, will not, be there; balaat atibalaat cha eva = by bala and atibala, also, only; sarva GYaanasya maatarau = all, knowledge's, mothers of.
"On receiving these two teachings there will be none similar to you, for bala and atibala are the mothers of all knowledge. [1-22-16]
kṣut pipāse na te rāma bhaviṣyete narottama |
balām atibalām caiva paṭhataḥ tāta rāghava || 1-22-17
17. nara uttama raaghava = people, best among, Raghava; balam atibalam cha eva = bala and atibala hymns; paThataH = if recited; taata = my dear; te = to you; raama = Rama; kSut = hunger; pipaasa = thirst; na bhaviSyete = not, will be there.
"Oh, best one among men, Raghava, if you go on reciting bala and atiblala hymns, my dear Rama, there will be no hunger or thirst to you. [1-22-17]
gṛhāṇa sarva lokasya guptaye raghu nandana |
vidyā dvayam adhīyāne yaśaḥ ca atha bhavet bhuvi |
pitāmaha sute hi ete vidye tejaḥ samanvite || 1-22-18
pradātum tava kākutthsa sadṛaśaḥ tvam hi pārthiva |
18, 19a. vidyaa dvayam = teachings, two; adhiiyaane = if practised; bhuviH = on earth; a tula = not, weighable [inestimable]; yashaH cha = renown, also; atha bhavet = then, will accrue; raghu nandana = oh, Raghu's legatee; tejaH samanvite = brilliance, possessed with [hymns]; pitaamaha sute = Forefather's [Brahma's,] daughters; kakuthsa = oh, Kakutstha Rama; tava pradaatum = to you, to be given; dhaarmika = virtuous one; twam sadR^ishaH = hi you are, befitting - most eligible one, indeed; gR^ihaaNa = you take; sarva lokasya guptaye vidye = from all, world, kept safe, [are these teachings.]
"And if these twin teachings are practised an inestimable renown will also accrue, oh, Raghu's legatee, these two hymns that possess brilliance are the daughters of Forefather Brahma, and oh, Rama of Kakutstha, I intend to impart these hymns to you, oh virtuous one, as you are the most eligible one, hence take the teachings that are kept safe from the world. [1-22-18, 19a]
kāmam bahuguṇāḥ sarve tvayi ete na atra saṃśayaḥ |1-22-19
tapasā saṃbhṛte ca ete bahu rūpe bhaviṣyataḥ |
19b, 20a. ete = these; bahu guNaaH = numerous, qualities; sarve = all of them; kaamam = abundantly; te = in you [are available]; atra na samshayaH = in that matter, no, doubt; tapasaa sambhR^ute ete = by ascesis, when nurtured, these [hymns]; bahu ruupe = various forms; bhaviSyataH = the become - yield various kinds of results.
"Though all of these numerous qualities are undoubtedly available with you, that too in abundance, yet these hymns if ascetically nurtured will yield various results." Thus spoke Sage Vishvamitra to Rama. [1-22-19b, 20a]
tato rāmo jalam spṛṣṭvā prahṛṣṭa vadanaḥ śuciḥ | 1-22-20
prati jagrāha te vidye maharṣer bhāvita ātmanaḥ |
20b, 21a. tataH raamaH jalam spR^iSTvaa = then, Rama, waters, having touching; shuchiH = becoming purified; prahR^iSTa vadanaH = with gladdened, with face; maharSeH = from great sage; bhaavita aatmanaH = of contemplative, soul Vishvamitra; te vidye pratijagraaH = those, teachings, received.
Then Rama on touching water to purify himself received those teachings from the contemplative soul Vishvamitra with gladness beaming on his face. [1-22-20b, 21a]
vidyā samudito rāmaḥ śuśubhe bhīma vikramaḥ || 1-22-21
sahasra raśmiḥ bhagvān śaradīva divākaraḥ |
guru kāryāṇi sarvāṇi niyujya kuśika ātmaje |
ūṣuḥ tām rajanīm tatra sarayvām susukham trayaḥ || 1-22-22
21b, 22. bhuuri vikramaH = one with marvellous, valiance; Rama; vidyaa samuditaH = teachings, on obtaining; kushikaatmaje = in respect of Vishvamitra; sarvaaNi guru kaaryaaNi = all, teacher's, works - works to be done in respect of teacher; niyujya = on performing; sharadi = in autumn; sahasra rasmiH bhagavaan = thousand, rayed, god; divaa karaH iva = sun, like - like sun with thousands of sunbeams; sushubhe = shone forth; trayaH = those three; tatra saryvaam = there, on Sarayu riverbank; su sukham = very, happily; taam rajaneem uuSuH = that, night, they stayed.
Rama, the one with marvellous valiance, on obtaining those teachings performed all his duties of a student in respect of a teacher and then shone forth like the thousand rayed sun on a cloudless sky of autumn. Then those three very happily stayed on the riverbank of Sarayu for that night. [1-22-21b, 22]
Here guru kaaryaaNi , are the duties demanded of a true disciple towards a guru, who is his mantra aachaarya, teacher according hymns. Without performing these duties the studentship remains unfulfilled. These works are fetching food for teacher, arranging his bed, pressing his sore-legs called paada samvaahana , etc. Rama does these services to any elderly person, more so to his father as at this canto 1-18-28.
Throughout this chapter Vishvamitra addresses Rama alone to learn the hymns. It may not be construed that Lakshmana is eliminated or avoided but he said to be one with Rama when it comes to education. Thus these hymn are imparted to Lakshmana also, not to Rama alone.
daśaratha nṛipa sūnu sattamābhyām
tṛṇa śayane anucite tadā uṣitābhyām |
kuśika suta vaco.anulālitābhyām |
sukhamiva sā vibabhau vibhāvarī ca || 1-22-23
24. an uchite = un, deserving; tR^iNa shayane = grass, bed; saha uSitaaabhyaam = together, slept, those two; kushika suta = Kusha's, son [Vishvamitra's]; vachaH = by words; anu laalitaaabhyaam = nestled close together with words; dasharatha suunu sattamaabhyaam = Dasharatha's, children, noteworthy ones - to Rama, Lakshmana; saa vibhaavarii = that, night; sukham iva vibabhau = pleasant, as though, it became.
Though both Rama and Lakshmana slept on an undeserving grass bed, nestled by the comfortable words of Vishvamitra that night is as though pleasant to the noteworthy children of Dasharatha. [1-22-24]
Sage Vishvamitra is the Seer for Gayatri hymn. He is the same Sage to impart bala atibala hymns to Rama and Lakshmana. For those readers that are interested to know or to practice, the Upanishad of bala atibala is included hereunder. This hymn is yet another aspect of Gayatri, and there is no hymn superior than Gayatri, na gaayatriyaaH paramam japam
balaatibalayoH viraaT puruSha R^iShiH | gaayatrii devataa | gaayatrii chandaH | akaara okaaramakaaraa biijaadyaaH | kShudhaadi nirasane viniyogaH |klaamityaadi ShaDa~Nga nyaasaH |klaam a~NguShTaabhyaam namaH | kliim tarjaniibhyaam namaH | kluum madhyamaabhaamnamaH | klaim anaamikaabhyaam namaH | klom kaniShTikaabhaam namaH | klaH karatalakarapR^iShTaabhyaam namaH ||klaam hR^idayaaya namaH | kliim shirase svaahaa | kluum shikhaayaivaShaT | klaim kavacaaya hum | klom netratrayaayavauShaT | klaH astraaya phaT | bhuurbhuvassuvaromiti digbandhaH |
|| dhyaanam ||
amR^ita karatalaardrau sarva sa~njiivanaaDhyaa avaghaharaNa sudkShau veda saare mayuukhe| praNavamaya vikaarau bhaaskaraakaara dehau satatamanubhave'ham tau balaatiibaleshau ||
om hriim bale mahaadevi hriim mahaabale kliim catur vidha puruShartha siddhi prade tatsavitur varadaatmike hriim vareNyam bhargo devasya varadaatmike | atibale sarva dayaamuurte bale sarva kShud bhrama upanaashini dhiimahi dhiyoyonarjaate pracuryaa pracodayaatmike praNava shiraskaatmike | hum phaT svaahaa || evam vidvaan kR^ita kR^ityo bhavati | saavitryaa eva salokataam jayati || iityupaniShat ||
|| shaanti paaTha ||
om aapyaayantu mamaa~Ngaani vaakpraaNashcakShuH shrotramatho balamindriyaaNicasarvaNi | sarvam brahmaupaniShadam | maaham brahma niraakuryaam maa maa brahma niraakarot | aniraakaraNamastu aniraakaraNam me'stuH tadaatmani nirate ye upaniShatsu dharmaaste mayi santu te mayi santu || om shaantishshaantishshaantiH |
iti vālmīki rāmāyaṇe ādikāvye bāla kāṇḍe dvāviṃśaḥ sargaḥ ||
© 2001, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : May 04]
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