We enter the capital of the Emperor Dasharatha. The pomp and glory of his capital is depicted along with its town planning and grandeur of the city, and its residents.
sarvā pūrvam iyam yeṣām āsīt kṛtsnā vasuṃdharā |
prajapatim upādāya nṛpāṇam jaya śālinām ||1-5-1
yeṣām sa sagaro nāma sāgaro yena khānitaḥ |
ṣaṣṭiḥ putra sahasrāṇi yam yāntam paryavārayan ||1-5-2
ikṣvākūṇām idam teṣām rājñām vaṃśe mahātmanām |
mahad utpannam ākhyanam rāmāyaṇam iti śrutam || 1-5-3
1-3. iyam kR^itsnaa vasundharaa = this, entire, earth; sarvaa= sakala dwiipaatmaka = with all islands; upaadaaya prajapatim = starting from, Prajapati; jaya shaalinaam = victorious ones; yeSaam nR^ipaaNam = [under] which, kings; puurvam aasiit = once, it is there; yena saagaraH khaanitaH = by whom, oceans, deepened; yam yaantam = whom, while setting out in battles] SaSTiH sahasraaNiputra = sixty-thousand, sons; paryavaarayan = [going with him] fencing in; yeSaam = in which kings; saH saagaraH naama = he, that Sagara, named [king was there]; teshaam mahaatmanaam = such of those, great-souled; Ikshwakunaam raaj~aam vamshe = Ikshvaku, kings', dynasty; raaamayanam = Ramayana; iti shrutam = thus, heard [reputed]; idam mahat aakhyanam utpannam = this, highly revered, epic, originated.
Once upon a time, under which victorious kings, starting from Prajapatithi-s, this entire earth with all its islands is there, among which kings one king named Sagara is there, well-known for his deepening the oceans, and whom his sixty thousand sons were fencing in when he is set out for action, in the dynasty of such Ikshvaku kings this highly revered and reputed epic Ramayana is originated. [1-5-1, 3]
tadidam vartayiṣyāvaḥ sarvam nikhilam āditaḥ |
dharma kāma artha sahitam śrotavyam anasūyatā || 1-5-4
4. tat = such an epic; idam = this Ramayana; sarvam = in its entirety; varta yiSyaavaH = we two wish to relate [to the world]; dharma kaama artha sahitam = probity, prosperity, pleasures [values of,] endowed with; nikhilam = completely; aaditaH = from beginning; an asuuyataa shrotavyam = without cavilling, [this may] be listened.
Being such a legend, we two wish to relate this Ramayana entirely and completely from the beginning, which is endowed with the values and means of probity, prosperity, and pleasure seeking... and this be listened without any caviling. [1-5-4]
kosalo nāma muditaḥ sphīto janapado mahān |
niviṣṭa sarayū tīre prabhūta dhana dhānyavān || 1-5-5
5. prabhuuta dhana dhaanyavaan = well flourishing with, monies, cereals; muditaH sphiitaH = joyous one, vast one; kosalaH naama = Kosala, named; mahaan janapadaH = great, kingdom; sarayuu tiire niviSTaH = River Sarayu, on the banks of, is snugly situated.
A great kingdom named Kosala, a joyous and a vast one well flourishing with monies and cereals, is snugly situated on the riverbanks of Sarayu. [1-5-5]
ayodhyā nāma nagarī tatra āsīt loka viśrutā |
manunā mānava indreṇa yā purī nirmitā svayam || 1-5-6
6. tatra yaa purii = there in that kingdom, which, city; maanava indreNa manunaa = mankind, ruler of, by Manu; svayam nirmitaa = personally, is built; [such city] ayodhyaa naama nagarii = Ayodhya, named, city; loka vishrutaa = in worlds, renowned; aasit = there is.
A world-renowned city is there in that kingdom, which is personally built by Manu, the foremost ruler of mankind. [1-4-6]
āyatā daśa ca dve ca yojanāni mahāpurī |
śrīmatī trīṇi vistīrṇā su vibhaktā mahāpathā || 1-5-7
7. shriimatii = glorious one - city; su vibhaktaa mahaa pathaa = with well, devised, high, ways; mahaa purii = great, city; dasha cha dve = ten, and, two - twelve; yojanaani = yojana-s; aayataa = lengthy; triiNi [yojanaani] vistiirNaa = three [yojana-s,] in breadth.
That glorious city with well-devised highways is twelve yojana-s lengthwise and three yojana-s breadth wise. [1-5-7]
yojana is an ancient measure of distance, where one yojana roughly equals to 8 to 10 miles. Its account is like this : 1 angula is 3/4 inch; 4 angula-s are = one dhanu graha - bow grip; 8 angula-s are = one dhanu muSTi - fist with thumb raised; 12 angula-s are = 1 vitasti - distance between tip of thumb and tip of last finger when palm is stretched; 2 vitasti-s = 1 aratni -s - cubit; 4 aratni-s = one danDa, dhanuS - bow height - 6 ft ; 10 danDa-s = 1 rajju 60 ft ; 2 rajju-s = 1 paridesha - 120 ft ; 2, 000 dhanuS-s = one krosha , and also called goraTa - 4, 000 yards ; 4 krosha-s = 1 yojana - thus one yojana is 9 to 10 miles. But the British Revenue measurement scaled it down to 5 miles, and all the dictionaries say that one yojana is 5 miles. But traditionally it is held as 10 miles. More info on these measures can be had from The Artha Shaastra of Kautilya - a republication of Penguin.
rāja mārgeṇa mahatā suvibhaktena śobhitā |
muktā puṣpa avakīrṇena jala siktena nityaśaḥ || 1-5-8
8. su vibhaktena = well, laid out; mahataa raja maargeNa = with great, royal, highways; muktaa puSpa avakiirNena = scattered, flowers, strewn on; nityashaH jala siktena = always, with water, wet with; shobhitaa = shining forth.
That city shines forth with well-laid great royal highways that are always wetted with water, and with flowers strewn and scattered on them. [1-5-8]
tām tu rājā daśaratho mahārāṣṭra vivardhanaḥ |
purīm āvāsayāmāsa divi devapatiḥ yathā || 1-5-9
9. mahaa raaSTra vivardhanaH = great, empire, improver; raajaa dasharathaH = king Dasharatha; deva patiH divi yathaa = Indra, heaven, as with; taam puriim aavaasayaamaasa = her, that city, made as abode.
As an improver of great kingdom Dasharatha the king made her as his abode, as Indra made heavens as his abode. [1-5-9]
kapāṭa toraṇavartī su vibhakta antarāpaṇām |
sarva yaṃtra ayudhavatīm uṣitām sarva śilpibhiḥ || 1-5-10
10. kapaaTa toraNa vartii = gateways, archways, surrounded with; su vibhakta antara aapaNaam = well, laid-out, internal, forefronts; sarva yantra ayudhavatiim = all machinery, weaponry; uSitaam sarva shilpibhiH = lodged with, all, craftsmen; [puriim dasharathaH aavaasayaamaasa = in such a city, Dasharatha, wells - this is to be suffixed up to 22nd versse.]
That city is surrounded with gateways and archways; the front yards of buildings are well laid; it is lodges all kinds of machinery, weaponry and craftsmen, and king Dasharatha dwells in such a city. [1-4-10]
sūta māgadha saṃbādhām śrīmatīm atula prabhām |
uccāṭṭāla dhvajavatīm śataghnī śata saṃkulām || 1-5-11
11. suuta maagadha sambaadhaam = eulogists, panej~nrists, muchly crammed with; shriimatiim atula prabhaam = prosperous one,[ city,] highly, splendorous; ucchaaTTaala dhvajavatiim = bastions, flags she has; shataghnii shata samkulaam = canons, hundreds, of batteries.
She that prosperous city Ayodhya is muchly crammed with many a eulogist and panej~nrist, yet she is highly splendorous with many a bastion, flag and hundreds of batteries of canons, and Dasharatha dwells therein. [1-5-11]
Comment: This shataghnii literally that which can kill a thousand people, and it is said to be a canon and also said to be thorny weapon: shataghnii catuH talaa loha kaNTaka sa~ncitaa | ayaH kaNTaka sa~ncchannaa mahatii shilaa -- elaborate accounts of this shataghni, kshipaNi are there in yajur aaraNyaka .
vadhū nāṭaka sanghaiḥ ca saṃyuktām sarvataḥ purīm |
udyāna āmra vaṇopetām mahatīm sāla mekhalām || 1-5-12
12. vadhuu naaTaka sanghaiH cha samyuktaam = danseuses, theatrical, groups, also, she contains, accommodates; sarvataH puriim = everywhere, in city; udyaana aamra vana upetaam = gardens, mango, brakes, surrounding it; mahatiim saala mekhalaam = great [wide,] fort wall, as cincture ornament.
That city Ayodhya accommodates groups of danseuses and theatrical personnel, and she is surrounded everywhere with the gardens and brakes of mango trees, and her wide fort-wall is like her cincture ornament. [1-5-12]
durga gaṃbhīra parikhām durgām anyaiḥ durāsadam |
vājīvāraṇa saṃpūrṇām gobhiḥ uṣṭraiḥ kharaiḥ tathā || 1-5-13
13. durga gambhiira parikhaam = impassable, profound, moats; durgaam anyaiH duraasadaiH = impossible [to trespass,] by others, by invaders; vaajii vaarana sampuurNam = horses, elephants, abounding; gobhiH uSTraiH kharaiH tatha = cows, camels, donkeys, likewise.
That Ayodhya is an impassable one for trespassers, or for others invaders, owing to her impassable and profound moats, and she is abounding with horses, camels, likewise with cows and donkeys. [1-5-13]
sāmaṃta rāja sanghaiḥ ca bali karmabhiḥ āvṛtam |
nānā deśa nivāsaiḥ ca vaṇigbhiḥ upaśobhitām || 1-5-14
14. saamanta raaja sanghaiH cha = with provincial, kings', throngs of, also; bali karmabhiH aavR^itam = dues, paying, pervaded by; naa naa desha nivaasaiH cha = various, countries, residents of; vaNikbhiH upa shobhtaam = with traders too, verily, lustrous.
With the throngs of provincial kings who come hither to pay dues pervade that city, and she is verily lustrous with residents of various other countries, and with traders, too. In such a city Dasharatha dwells. [1-5-14]
prāsādai ratna vikṛtaiḥ parvataiḥ iva śobhitām |
kūṭāgāraiḥ ca saṃpūrṇām indrasya iva amarāvatīm |1-5-15
15. praasadaiH ratna vikR^itaiH = buildings, precious gems, studded ornamentally; parvataiH iva upashobhitaam = mountain like [skyscrapers,] adorned with; kuuTagaraiH cha sampuurNaam = multi-storeyed, too, filled with; indrasya iva amaraavatiim = of Indra's, like, Amaraavati.
Buildings are ornamentally studded with precious gems, and with such multi-storied sky scrappers she is adorned, and filled with them she is like Amaravati, the capital of Indra. [1-5-15]
citram aṣṭāpada ākārām vara nārī gaṇair yutām |
sarva ratna samākīrṇām vimāna gṛha śobhitām || 1-5-16
16. chiraam aSTapada aakaaraam = amazing, a game board-like, in lay-out; vara narii gaNaiH = beautiful, womenfolk, flocks; sarva ratna samaakiirNaam = all kinds of, precious gems, heaped up; vimaana gR^iha shobhitaam = by seven storied, buildings, picturesque.
Amazing is Ayodhya for its lay-out is like a game board called aSTapadi, and with its flocks of beautiful women moving thereabout, where all kinds of precious gems are heaped up, and where its seven storied buildings are picturesque. [1-5-16]
gṛha gāḍhām avicchidrām sama bhūmau niveśitām |
śāli taṇḍula saṃpūrṇām ikṣu kāṇḍa rasaḥ udakām ||1-5-17
17. gR^iha gaaDhaam a vi cChidraam = housing, dense, nothing, left unutilised; sama bhuumau niveshitaam = well levelled, lands, constructed on; shaali taNDula sampuurNaam = rice, grains, plentiful; ikshu kaNDa rasa udakaam = sugar cane, juice, water, is like.
The housing is very dense and there is no place or ground unutilized, and all are constructed on well-levelled lands, and rice-grain is plentiful while the drinking water tastes like sugar cane juice. [1-5-17]
dundubhībhiḥ mṛdangaiḥ ca vīṇābhiḥ paṇavaiḥ tathā |
nāditām bhṛśam atyartham pṛthivyām tām anuttamām ||1-5-18
18. dundubhiibhiH mR^idangaiH cha = great drums, rhythm instruments, also; viiNaabhiH paNavaiH tatha = Veena, string instruments, cymbals, also; naaditaam bhR^isham = sounding, markedly; pR^ithivyaam atyartham anuttamam taam = on earth, uniquely, the best [city]; taam = her [Dasharatha made an abode.]
That city is sounding with the drumbeats of great drums, and with musical rhythm instruments like mridnga, cymbals, and with string instruments like Veena etc., and on earth she is uniquely the best city. [1-5-18]
Great drums, called dundubhi , placed on castle walls and at central places to drum the times of the day or night, or at the arrivals of the noblemen or to keep the sentry whistles. As well, the melodious tunes from string instruments like Veena or rhythmic instrument mridanga and from various other instruments are always made available to the citizens, as a sort of background music, since royalty sponsors these performing arts.
vimānam iva siddhānām tapasa adhigatam divi |
su niveśita veśmāntām narottama samāvṛtām ||1-5-19
19. divi tapasa adhigatam = heavens, with ascesis, attained; siddhaanaam = of sages; vimanam iva = space-stations, like; su niveshita veshmaantam = well, planned, with edifices; nara uttama sama aavR^ittam = people, the best, teemed with.
Ayodhya is like a hovering space station attained by sages by their ascesis, and its edifices are well planned and it is teeming with best people. [1-4-19]
ye ca bāṇaiḥ na vidhyanti viviktam aparā param |
śabda vedhyam ca vitatam laghu hastā viśāradāḥ || 1-5-20
20. ye cha baaNaiH na vidhyanti = those, also, with arrows, not, kill; viviktam apara param = lone one, at his hind [without a successor,] at his fore [without a predecessor]; sabda vedhyam cha vitatam = by sound, killing, also, fleeing away; laghu hastaaH vishaaradaH = acumen, handiness, skilful ones.
They the skilful archers of that Ayodhya will not kill a lone one with their arrows, one that does not have either a predecessor or a successor in his family, a fleeing one, or by listening to the sound of the target, as is done in sonic-archery, and their skills, acumen and handiness are thus benevolent. [1-5-20]
Dasharatha in his youth, when he was on a hunting spree, killed the son of a hermit who was drawing water from a river. That son of the sage dipped his pot in the waters and the filling water gave sounds like that of a grumbling tiger. Dasharatha mistook that sound to be a tiger's grumble and swung his arrow that way, killing the boy. Thereby the father of the boy being a sage of eminence, cursed Dasharatha to die lamenting for his son, which happens after the exile of Rama. Perhaps the sonic-archery may thus have been banned in Ayodhya, lest such sad incidents would have recurred.
siṃha vyāghra varāhāṇām mattānām nadatām vane |
hantāro niśitaiḥ śastraiḥ balāt bāhu balair api || 1-5-21
21. simha vyaaghra varaahaaNaam = lions, tigers, wild boars; mattaanaam nadataam vane = fattened ones, roaring, in forests; hantaaraH nisitaiH sastraiH = killers, with sharp, weapons; balaat baahu balaiH api = with might, by arms, might, also.
They kill the fattened and roaring lions, tigers and wild boars with the might of their sharp weaponry, or even with the might of their own arms alone. [1-4-21]
tādṛśānām sahasraiḥ tām abhi pūrṇām mahārathaiḥ |
purīm āvasayamāsa rājā daśarathaḥ tadā || 1-5-22
22. taadR^isanaam sahasraiH = that kind of, with thousands [of archers]; taam abhipuurNaam maha rathaiH = in her [in city,] filled with, great, chariot-warriors; puriim aavaasayaamasa = in the city, dwelling is; raja dasarathaH tathaa = king, Dasharatha, thus.
With that kind of thousands of archers, and with speediest chariot-warriors she that Ayodhya is filled with, and King Dasharatha made his abode in such a city. [1-5-22]
tām agnimadbhiḥ guṇavadbhiḥ āvṛtām
dvijottamaiḥ veda ṣaḍaṅga pāragaiḥ |
sahasradaiḥ satya rataiḥ mahātmabhiḥ
maharṣi kalpaiḥ ṛṣibhiḥ ca kevalaiḥ || 1-5-23
23. agnimadbhiH = by ritual-fire worshippers; gunavadbhiH = with virtuous ones; veda SaT anga paaragaiH = Veda-s, their six of, ancillary subjects, scholars in; sahasra daiH = thousands, givers, donors that donate in thousands - not miserly; satya rataiH = by truth, abiding ones; mahaatmabhiH = with great souls; maharSi kalpaiH = great saints, in similitude; kevalaiH R^iSibhiH cha = juist [like,] sages, also; dvijottamaiH = with Brahman scholars; aavRitaaam = she is encompassed with; taam = her; [puriim dasharathaH aavaasayaamaasa = ] the city, Dasharatha, is dwelling.
She that Ayodhya is encompassed with Vedic scholars who always worship the ritual fire by enkindling the three kinds of ritual-fires continuously, virtuous Brahman scholars in Veda-s and their six ancillary subjects, and other great souls that are in similitude with great saints, and who are just like sages that are charitable donors, and that abide by the truth. [1-5-23]
iti vālmīki rāmāyaṇe ādi kāvye bāla kāṇḍe paṃcamaḥ sargaḥ
© 1998, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised - March 04]