Bhageeratha's effort for bringing Ganga to earth is fulfilled. Amshuman and his son Dileepa could not make any effort to bring the divine river to earth. But Bhageeratha, the son of Dileepa, staunch at heart tries earnestly to get her onto earth. Brahma agreeing for this descent of Ganga designates lord Shiva to bear the burden of the onrush of Ganga, because the earth cannot sustain it.
kāladharmam gate rāma sagare prakṛtī janāḥ |
rājānam rocayāmāsur aṃśumantam sudhārmikam || 1-42-1
1. raama = oh, Rama; sagare kaala dharmam gate = Sagara, by Time's, virtue, gone - on passing away; prakR^itii janaaH = ministers, subjects; su dhaarmikam amshumantam = highly, honourable one, Amshuman is; raajaanam rocayaamaasuH = as king, predisposed to - and enthroned.
"When King Sagara passed away owing to the irrefutable virtue of Time, the ministers and subjects of that kingdom are predisposed towards the highly honourable Amshuman to become their king and they enthroned him accordingly." Thus Vishvamitra continued narration about the predecessors of Rama. [1-42-1]
sa rājā sumahān āsīt aṃśumān raghunaṃdana |
tasya putro mahān āsīt dilīpa iti viśrutaḥ || 1-42-2
2. raghu nandana = oh, Raghu's dynasty; saH amshumaan = he, that Amshuman; su mahaan raajaa aasiit = as very, exceptional, king, he was there; tasya = to him; diliipa iti vishrutaH = Dileepa, thus as, renowned one; mahaan putraH aasiit = marvellous, son, has become - took birth.
"He that Amshuman turned out to be a very great king, and oh, Rama of Raghu's dynasty, he begot a marvellous son who is renowned as Dileepa. [1-42-2]
tasmai rājyam samādiśya dilīpe raghunaṃdana |
himavat śikhare raṃye tapaḥ tepe sudāruṇam || 1-42-3
3. raghu nandana = oh, Rama, Raghu's descendent; tasmai diliipe = in him, to Dileepa; raajyam sam aadishya = kingdom, completely ordering - assigning; ramye himavat shikhare = pleasant, on Himalayas, peak of; su daaruNam tapaH tepe = very, stern, ascesis, [Amshuman,] undertook.
"Assigning the kingdom to Dileepa, oh, Rama of Raghu's dynasty, Amshuman undertook very stern ascesis on a pleasant peak of Himalayas desiring the descent of River Ganga to earth. [1-42-3]
dvā triṃśat sahasrām varṣāṇi sumahā yaśāḥ |
tapovana gato rājā svargam lebhe tapodhanaḥ || 1-42-4
4. su mahaa yashaaH = of very, great, renown; raajaa = king - Amshuman; dvaa trim shata [or, trimshat,] sahasraam varSaaNi = two, three, hundred, thousands, years- thirty-two thousand years; tapaH vana gataH = to ascetic, woods, on going - practising ascesis; tapaH dhanaH = ascesis, asset - one whose wealth is practising ascesis, but not its reward; svargam lebhe = heaven, achieved.
"On practising ascesis in ascetic-woods for thirty-two thousand years that highly renowned king Amshuman achieved heaven as he acquired only the wealth of practising the ascesis. [1-42-4]
Instead of achieving reward of ascesis in the form of descent of River Ganga, he could achieve only his personal merit of his penance, namely an abode in heaven.
dilīpaḥ tu mahātejāḥ śrutvā paitāmaham vadham |
duḥkha upahatayā buddhyā niścayam na adhyagacchata || 1-42-5
5. mahaa tejaaH diliipaH tu = great, resplendent, Dileepa, on his part; paitaamaham vadham shrutvaa = of grandfather's [sixty thousand sons of Sagara,] elimination, on hearing; duhkha upahatayaa buddhyaa = by agony, marred, with a mind - at the plight of his father Amshuman; nishcayam na adhyagacChata = decision, not, arrived at.
"The great resplendent Dileepa on hearing the elimination of his grandfathers, the sixty thousand sons of Sagara at the hand of sage Kapila, and with a mind that is marred by the plight of his father Amshuman in absolving the souls of Sagara's sons, he that Dileepa could not arrive at any decision concerning the descent of Ganga. [1-42-5]
katham gaṃgā avataraṇam katham teṣāṃ jalakriyā |
tārayeyam katham ca etān iti ciṃtāparo abhavat || 1-42-6
6. gangaa ava taraNam katham = Ganga, alighting, how - to make it possible; teSaam jala kriyaa = to them [grandfathers, offering] water, oblation; katham = how - to offer; etaan katham taarayeyam ca = them, how to, cross over [them from this mortal bindings of heaps of ashes,] also; iti = this way; cintaa paraH = to worry, given to; abhavat = he [Dileepa] became.
"Dileepa became worried as to how River Ganga is to be alighted onto earth from heaven, how water-oblations are to be offered for the souls of Sagara's sons, and how to cross them, the souls, over this mortal world. [1-42-6]
tasya ciṃtayato nityam dharmeṇa vidita ātmanaḥ |
putro bhagīratho nāma jajñe parama dhārmikaḥ ||1-42-7
7. vidita aatmanaH [a vidita aatmanaH] = knower, of soul [self-mortified one, or, unclear at mind]; dharmeNa = righteously; nityam cintayataH = always, who is thinking [about alighting of Ganga to earth]; tasya = to him; bhagiirathaH naama = Bhageeratha, known as; parama dhaarmikaH putraH jaGYe = most, virtuous, son, is born.
"To him who is self-mortified and who is always thinking righteously about the alight of Ganga onto earth, to such a Dileepa a most-virtuous son is born who is renowned by his name Bhageeratha. [1-42-7]
dilīpaḥ tu mahātejā yajñaiḥ bahubhiḥ iṣṭavān |
triṃśat varṣa sahasrāṇi rājā rājyam akārayat || 1-42-8
8. mahaa tejaa = great, resplendent; diliipaH tu = Dileepa, on his part; bahubhiH yaGYaiH iSTavaan = numerous, by Vedic rituals, performed; raajaa = king; trimshat varSa sahasraaNi = thirty, years, thousands [thirty thousand years]; raajyam akaarayat = king, kingdom, ruled.
"That great-resplendent king Dileepa on his part performed numerous Vedic-rituals, and he ruled the kingdom for thirty thousand years - to the delight of each of his subjects, but could not find a way to fetch Ganga. [1-42-8]
agatvā niścayam rājā teṣām uddharaṇam prati |
vyādhinā nara śārdūla kāla dharmam upeyivān || 1-42-9
9. nara shaarduula = oh, man, the tiger - Rama; raajaa = king; teSaam ut dharaNam prati = of their, up, lifting [to heaven,] towards - regarding; nishcayam = decision - choice; a gatvaa = not, attaining; vyaadhinaa = with illness; kaala dharmam upeyivaan = Time, virtue of, attained - expired.
"Oh, tigerly-man Rama, that king Dileepa by not attaining any choice towards the uplifting the souls of his grandparents to heaven by bringing Ganga to earth, he took to illness, and he attained the ultimate virtue of Time, namely the demise. [1-42-9]
indralokam gato rājā sva arjitena eva karmaṇā |
rajye bhagīratham putram abhiṣicya nararṣabhaḥ || 1-42-10
10. naraR^iSabhaH raajaa = best one among men, that king - Dileepa; putram bhagiiratham rajye abhiSicya = son, Bhageeratha, in kingdom, on anointing sva aarjitena karmaNaa eva = self, acquired, by merits of deeds, only; indra lokam gataH = Indra's, abode, went to.
"That best one among men, namely king Dileepa, on anointing his son Bhageeratha in the kingdom went to the abode of Indra, namely the heaven, only by his self-acquired merits of deeds. [1-42-10]
bhagīrathaḥ tu rājarṣiḥ dhārmiko raghunaṃdana |
anapatyo mahārajāḥ prajā kāmaḥ sa ca prajāḥ || 1-42-11
11. raghunandana = oh, Rama, Raghu's descendent; dhaarmikaH = self-righteous one; raaja R^iSiH = kingly, sage; bhagiirathaH tu = Bhageeratha, on his part; an apatyaH = without, children; saH mahaa rajaaH prajaa kaamaH = he, that great-king, offspring, longed-for; prajaaH ca = subjects, and, - kingdom: he placed in the hands of ministers - these two words are to go into the meaning of next verse.
"Oh, Rama, the legatee of Raghu, but on his part that self-righteous and kingly-sage Bhageeratha is childless, and that great king longed-for offspring. [1-42-11]
maṃtriṣu ādhāya tat rajyam gaṅga avataraṇe rataḥ|
tapo dīrgham samātiṣṭhat gokarṇe raghunaṃdana || 1-42-12
ūrdhva bāhuḥ paṃca tapā māsa āhāro jiteindriyaḥ |
12, 13a. raghunandana = oh, Rama, Raghu's descendent; [saH = he - Bhageeratha]; ganga avataraNe rataH = alighting, Ganga, interested in; tat rajyam = that, kingdom; [prajaaH ca = people, and - from above verse]; mantriShu aadhaaya = in ministers, on delegating; uurdhva baahuH = with upraised, hands; panca tapaaH = [standing amid] five fires; maasaa ahaaraH = [once in a] month, with sustenance; jite indriyaH = with conquered, senses; gokarNe = at Gokarna [in Himalayas]; diirgham tapaH = long-time - sustained, ascesis; sam aa tiSThat = verily, came, sat tight, - firmed up in.
"Interested in the alighting of River Ganga on earth, oh, Rama, the descendent of Raghu, king Bhageeratha delegated his kingdom to the custody of his ministers and people and firmed up himself in sustained asceticism on Mt. Gokarna in Himalayas, and he practise ascesis standing amid five-fires, upraising his hands, with a monthly sustenance and with his sense conquered. [1-42-12, 13a]
The five-fires are panca agni-s the four earthly fires in four corners of directions and the sun's fire overhead.
tasya varṣa sahasrāṇi ghore tapasi tiṣṭhataḥ || 1-42-13
atītāni mahabaho tasya rājño mahātmanaḥ |
suprīto bhagavān brahmā prajānām patiḥ īśvaraḥ || 1-42-14
13, 14. mahabaho = oh, dextrous Rama; tasya ghore tapasi tiSThataH = his, in severe, ascesis, while sat tight - firmly practising; varSa sahasraaNi atiitaani = years, thousands, lapsed away; prajaanaam patiH iishvaraH = to all beings, master, lord; bhagavaan brahmaa = god, Brahma; tasya mahaatmanaH raaGYaH = of his, great-souled one, of king - in his respect; su priitaH = well, pleased.
"Thousands of years have rolled by while Bhageeratha stood practising his severe ascesis, oh, dextrous Rama, and then the lord and master of all beings, namely god Brahma, is well pleased with that great-souled king's ascesis. [1-42-13b, 14]
tataḥ sura gaṇaiḥ sārdham upāgaṃya pitāmahaḥ |
bhagīratham mahātmānam tapyamānam atha abravīt || 1-42-15
15. tataH = then; pitaamahaH = Forefather - Brahma; sura gaNaiH saardham = gods, along with, assemblages of; upaagamya = on arriving; tapya maanam = who is in ascesis - deep in the practise of ascesis; mahaatmaanam bhagiiratham = great-souled one, to Bhageeratha; atha abraviit = thus, spoke.
"Forefather Brahma then arrived along with assemblages of gods, and spoke this way to the great-souled Bhageeratha who is deep in the practise of ascesis. [1-42-15]
bhagīratha mahārāja prītaḥ te aham janādhipa |
tapasā ca sutaptena varam varaya suvrata || 1-42-16
16. mahaa raaja = oh, great, king; jana adhipa = oh, people's, lord; bhagiiratha = oh, Bhageeratha; te = your; su taptena tapasaa = perfectly, conducted, with ascesis; aham priitaH = I am, delighted; su vrata = oh, truly, committed one; varam varaya = boon, you beseech.
" 'Oh, great king Bhageeratha, oh, lord of the people, I am delighted with the perfectly conducted ascesis of yours, hence oh, truly committed one, you may beseech for a boon. [1-42-16]
tam uvāca mahātejāḥ sarvaloka pitāmaham |
bhagīratho mahābāhuḥ kṛta aṃjalipuṭaḥ sthitaḥ || 1-42-17
17. mahaatejaaH = great-resplendent one; mahaabaahuH = highly, fortunate one; bhagiirathaH = Bhageeratha; kR^ita anjali puTaH sthitaH = making, adjoined-palms, together, remaining; tam sarva loka pitaa maham = him, to all, worlds, Forefather; uvaaca = spoke to.
"That great resplendent and highly fortunate king Bhageeratha then remaining with suppliantly adjoined palm fold spoke to him who is the Forefather of all worlds, namely Brahma. [1-42-17]
yadi me bhagavān prīto yadi asti tapasaḥ phalam |
sagarasya ātmajāḥ sarve mattaḥ salilam āpnuyuḥ || 1-42-18
18. bhagavaan = oh, god; me = in my respect; priitaH yadi = you are satisfied, if; tapasaH phalam asti yadi = for ascesis, fruit, is there, if; sagarasya aatmajaaH sarve = Sagara's, sons, all; mat taH = from me; salilam aapnuyuH = water, let them get.
" 'Oh, god, if you are satisfied with my ascesis, and if there is any fruition to the ascesis of mine, let all the sons of Sagara get water oblations through me. [1-42-18]
gangāyāḥ salila klinne bhasmani eṣām mahātmanām |
svargam gaccheyur atyaṃtam sarve me prapitāmahāḥ || 1-42-19
19. eSaam mahaatmanaam bhasmani = these, of great-souls, ashes; gangaayaaH salila klinne = of Ganga's, by water, while being drenched; me sarve = my, all; pra pitaa mahaaH = great, grandfathers; atyantam svargam gacCheyuH = eternally to heaven, may depart.
" 'While the ashes of these great souls are drenched with the waters of Ganga, let all of those great-grandfathers of mine depart to heaven, eternally. [1-42-19]
deva yāce ha saṃtatyai na avasīdet kulam ca naḥ |
ikṣvākūṇām kule deva eṣa me astu varaḥ paraḥ || 1-42-20
20. deva = oh, god; ikSvaakuuNaam kule = in Ikshvaku's, dynasty; santatyai yaace ha = for offspring, I pray, indeed; naH kulam na avasiidet ca = our, dynasty, not, to dwindle, also; deva = oh, god; eSa me paraH varaH astu = this, mine, other, boon, let it be.
" 'Oh, god, I indeed pray for offspring in our Ikshvaku dynasty, let not our dynasty dwindle as I am issueless, and oh, god, let this be the other boon to me. [1-42-20]
ukta vākyam tu rājānam sarvaloka pitāmahaḥ |
pratyuvāca śubhām vāṇīm madhuram madhura akṣarām || 1-42-21
21. sarva loka pitaa mahaH = all worlds, Forefather; ukta vaakyam = one who has said such sentence - requested such boon - Bhageeratha; raajaanam = to king; shubhaam madhuraam madhura akSaraam = in auspicious, sweetly, sweet, worded; vaaNiim = in tongue; prati uvaaca = in rely, spoke - replied.
"The Forefather of all the worlds, Brahma, then replied the king who has spoken in that way, in an auspicious tongue that is sweet-sounding and sweetly worded, as well. [1-42-21]
manoratho mahān eṣa bhagīratha mahāratha |
evam bhavatu bhadram te ikṣvāku kula vardhana || 1-42-22
22. mahaa rathaH bhagiiratha = oh, top-speeded chariot-rider, Bhageeratha; eSa manorathaH mahaan = this, aspiration, is sublime; ikSvaaku kula vardhana = oh, Ikshvaku's, dynasty, furtherer of; evam bhavatu = so it be; bhadram te = safeness, betide you.
" 'Oh, top-speeded chariot-rider Bhageeratha, this aspiration of yours is sublime, and oh, the furtherer of Ikshvaku dynasty, so be it, let safeness betide you. [1-42-22]
iyam haimavatī jyeṣṭhā gaṃgā himavataḥ sutā |
tām vai dhārayitum rājan haraḥ tatra niyujyatām || 1-42-23
23. raajan = oh, king; haimavatii = from Himavanta born, or one having snow-broth; iyam gangaa = this, Ganga; himavataH jyeSThaa sutaa = Himavanta's, elder, daughter; taam dhaarayitum = her, to sustain; [shaktaH = capable one is]; haraH = god Shiva; tatra = there, therefor - in that matter of sustaining Ganga; niyujyataam vai = is to be designated - commissioned, in fact.
" 'This Ganga is the one with snow-broth, the elder daughter of Himavanta, and oh, king Bhageeratha, god Shiva alone is capable to sustain her force in the course of her alighting onto earth, and in fact, he is to be commissioned for that purpose. [1-42-23]
gaṃgāyāḥ patanam rājan pṛthivī na sahiṣyate |
tām vai dhārayitum rājan na anyam paśyāmi śūlinaḥ || 1-42-24
24. raajan = oh king; gangaayaaH patanam = Ganga's, downfall; pR^ithivii na sahiSyate = earth, can not, endure; taam dhaarayitum = her [Ganga,] to sustain; raajan, oh, king; shuulinaH = Trident wielder - god Shiva; anyam = any other - other than him; na pashyaami vai = not, I behold, indeed.
" 'Oh, king Bhageeratha, the earth cannot endure the downfall of Ganga and to sustain Ganga, oh, king, indeed I do not behold none other than the Trident-wielder, god Shiva.' Thus Brahma spoke to Bhageeratha. [1-42-24]
tam evam uktvā rājānam gaṃgām ca ābhāṣya lokakṛt |
jagāma tridivam devaiḥ sarvaiḥ saha marut gaṇaiḥ || 1-42-25
25. loka kR^it = worlds, creator - Brahma; tam raajaanam = to him, to king; evam uktvaa = this way, on speaking; gangaam ca aabhaaSya = to Ganga, also, on speaking - having a little talk, saying hello; saha sarvaiH devaiH marut gaNaiH = with, all, gods, Wind-gods, with groups of; tridivam jagaama = to heaven, proceeded to.
Speaking this way to the king Bhageeratha and informally greeting Ganga also, that Creator of Worlds, Brahma, left for heaven along with all the groups of gods and Wind-gods." Thus Vishvamitra continued narration about the arrival of River Ganga to earth. [1-42-25]
iti vālmīki rāmāyaṇe ādi kāvye bāla kāṇḍe dvi catvāriṃśaḥ sargaḥ
© Aug, 2002, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : September 04]