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.
तथा वसिष्ठे ब्रुवति राजा दशरथः स्वयम् |
प्रहृष्टवदनो राममाजुहाव सलक्ष्मणम् || १-२२-१
1. vasiSThe tathaa bruvati = when Vasishta said that way; raajaa dasharathaH = king Dasharatha; prahR^iSTavadanaH = very satisfied face - expression; svayam = personally; raamam salakShmaNam juhaava = called for Rama with Lakshmana.
When Vashishta said that way king Dasharatha with an air of satisfaction personally fetched Rama along with Lakshmana. [1-22-1]
कृतस्वस्त्ययनं मात्रा पित्रा दशरथेन च |
पुरोधसा वसिष्ठेन मङ्गलैरभिमंत्रितम् || १-२२-२
सपुत्रं मूर्ध्न्युपाघ्राय राजा दशरथस्तदा |
ददौ कुशिकपुत्राय सुप्रीतेनान्तरात्मना || १-२२-३
2. saH dasharathaH raajaa = he, Dasharatha, king; maatraa = by mother Kausalya; pitraa dasharathen cha = by father, Dasharatha, also; kR^itasvastyayanam = one [for whom bon voyage is] performed blessing for travel - Rama; purodhasaa vasiSThtena = by priest, Vashishta; ma~NgalaiH abhimantritam = blessings, [for who they are] rendered Vedic hymns; on such son Rama's forehead; tadaa = then; putram muurdhni upaaaghraaya = smelled son's forehead [kissing forehead]; supriitena antaraatmanaa = well pleased, with heart of hearts; kushikaputraaya = 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^ikR^itama~Ngalapratipaadanena itarakR^itama~NgalaapekShayaa maatR^ikR^itama~Ngalasya aavashyakataa 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 jetukaamo duryodhanaH - shivam aashamsa me maataH yudhyamaanasvashatrubhiH - iti aShTaadashaahaani svamaataram 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.
ततो वायुः सुखस्पर्शो नीरजस्को ववौ तदा |
विश्वामित्रगतं रामं दृष्ट्वा राजीवलोचनम् || १-२२-४
5. tataH vishvaamitragatam = then, the one following Vishvamitra; raajiivalocanam raamam = lotus-eyed Rama; dR^iSTvaa = on seeing; tadaa = then; sukhasparshaH virajaskaH vaayuH = pleasant for touch and dustless breeze; vavau = blew.
Then on seeing the lotus-eyed Rama following Vishvamitra, dustless and pleasant for touch breeze blew. [1-22-4]
शङ्खदुन्दुभिनिर्घोषः प्रयाते तु महात्मनि || १-२२-५
5. mahaatmani = great soul [Rama/Vishvamitra]; prayaate tu = forged ahead; mahatii pushpavR^iSTiH = abounding, downpour of flowers; devadundubhiniHswanaiH = rumbling divine drums; shankhadundubhinirghoSaH = whistling conch-shell and drums [of Ayodhya] ; 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]
विश्वामित्रो ययावग्रे ततो रामो महायशाः |
काकपक्षधरो धन्वी तं च सौमित्रिरन्वगात् || १-२२-६
6. Vishvamitra; yayau agre = travelled, ahead; tataH = next; kaakapakShadharaH = wearing crow's wings [having black hair-locks]; dhanurdharaH raamaH = bow handling, Rama; dhanvii saumitriH = 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]
कलापिनौ धनुष्पाणी शोभयानौ दिशो दश |
विश्वामित्रं महात्मानं त्रिशीर्षाविव पन्नगौ |
अनुजग्मतुरक्षुद्रौ पितामहमिवाश्विनौ || १-२२-७
7. kalaapinau = with quivers; dhanuSpaaNii = bows in hands; dishaH dasha shobhayaanau = making ten directions lambent; akShudrau -analparuupaviiryaadiprabhaavaaH = not with meagre physical and vital impact-highly dynamic in physiques and spiritedness; trishiirSau pannagau iva = as with three headed, serpents; Rama, Lakshmana; mahaatmaanam vishvaamitram = great souled one, Vishvamitra; ashvinau pitaamam iva = as with the twin Ashwin gods after Forefather Brahma; 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]
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.
तदा कुशिकपुत्रं तु धनुष्पाणी स्वलंकृतौ |
बद्धगोधांगुलित्राणौ खड्गवन्तौ महाद्युती || १-२२-८
कुमारौ चारुवपुषौ भ्रातरौ रामलक्ष्मणौ |
अनुयातौ श्रिया दीप्तौ शोभयेतामनिन्दितौ || १-२२-९
स्थाणुं देवमिवाचिन्त्यं कुमाराविव पावकी |
8, 9, 10a. tataH = then; kumaarau = youngsters; chaaruvapuSau = charming bodied ones; svalankR^itau = bejewelled ones; dhanuSpaaNii = bow in hands; baddhagodhaangulitraaNau = tied leathern finger covers; khadgavantau = having swords; mahaadyutii = highly resplendent ones; shriyaa diiptau = effulgent with worth; aninditau = unreprovable ones; bhraatarau = two brothers; Rama; Lakshmana; anuyaatau = going while following; paavakii = birthed by Fire-god; kumaarau iva = sons, like; achintyam devam = not thinkable - inscrutable potential, the god - Shiva; sthaaNum iva = as Shiva; kushikaputram shobhayetaam = made to shine Kusi's son [Vishvamitra].
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. sthaa 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.
अध्यर्धयोजनं गत्वा सरय्वा दक्षिणे तटे | १-२२-१०
रामेति मधुरां वाणीं विश्वामित्रोऽभ्यभाषत |
10b, 11a. adhyardhayojanam gatvaa = on going one and half yojana; sarayvaaH dakShiNe taTe = Sarayu river's, southern bank; Vishvamitra; raama iti madhuraam vaaNiim = 'oh Rama', thus, in harmonious, voice; abhyabhaaSata = 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]
गृहाण वत्स सलिलं मा भूत् कालस्य पर्ययः || १-२२-११
मंत्रग्रामं गृहाण त्वं बलामतिबलां तथा |
11b, 12a. vatsa salilam gR^ihaaNa = my boy, you take water; tvam tathaa = you, like that; mantragraamam = group of hymns; balaam atibalaam = bala, atibala hymns; gR^ihaaNa = receive; kaalasya paryayaH maa bhuut = not let there be time's lapse.
" "Take water, my boy, and like that you receive a group of hymns, bala and atibala 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.
न श्रमो न ज्वरो वा ते न रूपस्य विपर्ययः || १-२२-१२
न च सुप्तं प्रमत्तं वा धर्षयिष्यन्ति नैरृताः |
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 dharSayiSyanti = 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]
न बाह्वोः सदृशो वीर्ये पृथिव्यामस्ति कश्चन || १-२२-१३
त्रिषु लोकेषु वा राम न भवेत्सदृशस्तव |
13b, 14a. Rama; baahvoH viirye = by arms, strength - dexterity; [tava = your]; sadR^ishaH = coequal; kashchana = none; pR^ithivyaam [na] asti = on earth, [is not,] there; triSu lokeShu vaa = in three worlds, either; tava sadR^ishaH = 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]
बलामतिबलां चैव पठतस्तात राघव || १-२२-१४
न सौभाग्ये न दाक्षिण्ये न ज्ञाने बुद्धिनिश्चये |
नोत्तरे प्रतिवक्तव्ये समो लोके तवानघ || १-२२-१५
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; daakShiNye = by calibre; na = no; j~naane = in erudition; buddhinishchaye = mental determination - discernment; na = no; uttare prativaktavye = 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]
एतद्विद्याद्वये लब्धे न भवेत्सदृशस्तव |
बला चातिबला चैव सर्वज्ञानस्य मातरौ || १-२२-१६
16. etat vidyaadvaye labdhe = on receiving these two teachings; tava sadR^ishaH na bhavet = your, similar, will not, be there; balaa atibalaa cha eva = by bala and atibala, also, only; sarvaj~naanasya maatarau = mothers of all knowledge.
"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]
क्षुत्पिपासे न ते राम भविष्येते नरोत्तम |
बलामतिबलां चैव पठतस्तात राघव || १-२२-१७
17. narottama raaghava = oh best among people, Raghava; balam atibalam cha eva = bala and atibala hymns; paThataH = if recited; taata = my dear; te = to you; raama = Rama; kSutpipaase = hunger and 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]
गृहाण सर्वलोकस्य गुप्तये रघुनन्दन |
विद्याद्वयमधीयाने यशश्चाप्यतुलं भुवि |
पितामहसुते ह्येते विद्ये तेजःसमन्विते || १-२२-१८
प्रदातुं तव काकुत्स्थ सदृशस्त्वं हि धार्मिक |
18, 19a. vidyaadvayam = two teachings; adhiiyaane = if practised; bhuvi = on earth; atulam = not weighable [inestimable]; yashaH cha = renown, also; atha bhavet = then, will accrue; raghunandana = oh Raghu's legatee; tejaHsamanvite = possessed with brilliance [hymns]; pitaamahasute = Forefather's [Brahma's] daughters; kaakutstha = oh Kakutstha Rama; tava pradaatum = to be given to you ; dhaarmika = virtuous one; twam sadR^ishaH = befitting to you - most eligible one, indeed; gR^ihaaNa = you take; sarvalokasya guptaye vidye = kept safe from all world [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]
कामं बहुगुणाः सर्वे त्वय्येते नात्र संशयः |१-२२-१९
तपसा संभृते चैते बहुरूपे भविष्यतः |
19b, 20a. ete = these; bahuguNaaH = 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]; bahuruupe = various forms; bhaviSyataH = they 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]
ततो रामो जलं स्पृष्ट्वा प्रहृष्टवदनः शुचिः | १-२२-२०
प्रतिजग्राह ते विद्ये महर्षेर्भावितात्मनः |
20b, 21a. tataH raamaH jalam spR^iSTvaa = then, Rama on toucing waters ; shuchiH = becoming purified; prahR^iSTavadanaH = with gladdened face; maharSeH = from great sage; bhaavitaatmanaH = of contemplative soul Vishvamitra; te vidye pratijagraaha = received those teachings.
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]
विद्यासमुदितो रामः शुशुभे भूरिविक्रमः || १-२२-२१
सहस्ररश्मिर्भगवान् शरदीव दिवाकरः |
गुरुकार्याणि सर्वाणि नियुज्य कुशिकात्मजे |
ऊषुस्तां रजनीं तत्र सरय्वाः सुसुखं त्रयः || १-२२-२२
21b, 22. bhuurivikramaH = one with marvellous valiance; Rama; vidyaasamuditaH = on obtaining teachings; kushikaatmaje = in respect of Vishvamitra; sarvaaNi gurukaaryaaNi = all, teacher's works - works to be done in respect of teacher; niyujya = on performing; sharadi = in autumn; sahasrarashmiH bhagavaan = thousand rayed, god; divaakaraH iva = sun, like - like sun with thousands of sunbeams; shushubhe = shone forth; trayaH = those three; tatra sarayvaaH = there, on Sarayu riverbank; susukham = 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 gurukaaryaaNi , 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 paadasamvaahana , 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.
तृणशयनेऽनुचिते सहोषिताभ्याम् |
सुखमिव सा विबभौ विभावरी च || १-२२-२३
24. anuchite = undeserving; tR^iNashayane = grass bed; sahoSitaaabhyaam = those two slept together; kushikasutavachaH = by words of Kusha's son [Vishvamitra's]; anulaalitaaabhyaam = nestled close together with words; dasharathasuunusattamaabhyaam = noteworthy children of Dasharatha - 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 balaatibala hymns to Rama and Lakshmana. For those readers that are interested to know or to practice, the Upanishad of balaatibala is included hereunder. This hymn is yet another aspect of Gayatri, and there is no hymn superior than Gayatri, na gaayatryaaH paramam japam
balaatibalayoH viraaTpuruShaH R^iShiH | gaayatrii devataa | gaayatrii chandaH | akaarokaaramakaaraa biijaadyaaH | kShudhaadi nirasane viniyogaH |klaamityaadi ShaDa~NganyaasaH |klaam a~NguShTaabhyaam namaH | kliim tarjaniibhyaam namaH | kluum madhyamaabhyaam namaH | klaim anaamikaabhyaam namaH | klom kaniShTikaabhyaam namaH | klaH karatalakarapR^iShTaabhyaam namaH ||klaam hR^idayaaya namaH | kliim shirase svaahaa | kluum shikhaayai vaShaT | klaim kavacaaya hum | klom netratrayaaya vauShaT | klaH astraaya phaT | bhuurbhuuvassuvaromiti digbandhaH |
|| dhyaanam ||
amR^itakaratalaadau sarvasa~njiivanaaDhyaa avaghaharaNa sudkShau vedasaare mayuukhe| praNavamayavikaarau bhaaskaraakaaradehau satatamanubhave'ham tau balaatibaleSu ||
om hriim bale mahaadevi hriim mahaabale kliim caturvidhapuruShaarthasiddhiprade tatsaviturvaradaatmike hriim vareNyam bhargo devasya varadaatmike | atibale sarvadayaamuurte bale sarvakShudbhramopanaashini dhiimahi dhiyoyonarjaate pracuryaa pracodayaatmike praNavashiraskaatmike | hum phaT svaahaa || evam vidvaan kR^itakR^ityo bhavati | saavitryaa eva salokataam jayati || ityupaniShat ||
|| shaanti paaTha ||
om aapyaayantu mamaa~Ngaani vaakpraaNashcakShuH shrotramatho balamindriyaaNi ca sarvaaNi | sarvam brahmopaniShadam | maaham brahma niraakuryaam maa maa brahma niraakarot | aniraakaraNamastu aniraakaraNam me'stuH tadaatmani nirate ye upaniShatsu dharmaaste mayi santu te mayi santu || om shaantishshaantishshaantiH |
इति वाल्मीकिरामायणे आदिकाव्ये बालकाण्डे द्वाविंशः सर्गः ||
© 2001, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : May 04]