The legend of Trishanku is narrated to Rama, which forms a part of Vishvamitra's legend. When Brahma blesses Vishvamitra to be a kingly-saint, rather than a Brahman-saint, Vishvamitra continues his ascesis in southerly parts of country. In the meantime, one king named Trishanku desired to go to heaven with mortal body and approaches Vashishta who rejects that very suggestion. Then that king approaches the sons of the same Vashishta with the same idea.
ततः संतप्त हृदयः स्मरन् निग्रहम् आत्मनः |
विनिःश्वस्य विनिःश्वस्य कृत वैरो महात्मना || १-५७-१
स दक्षिणाम् दिशम् गत्वा महिष्या सह राघव |
तताप परमम् घोरम् विश्वामित्रो महातपाः || १-५७-२
फल मूल अशनो दान्तैः चचार महत् तपः |
1, 2, 3a: raaghava = oh, Raghava; tataH = then; kR^ita vairaH = on making, enemy; mahaatmanaa = with great-souled Vashishta; mahaatapaaH = that great-ascetic; saH vishvaamitraH = he, that Vishvamitra; santapta hR^idayaH = with seething, heart; aatmanaH nigraham smaran = his, subdual, [whenever] reminisced; viniHshvasya viniHshvasya = suspiring, suspiring; mahiSyaa saha = prime queen, along with; dakSiNaam disham gatvaa = to southern, quarter, on going; paramam ghoram = a highly, astounding; mahat tapaH tataapa = supreme, ascesis, practised; phala muula ashanaH = fruits, tubers, eating [subsisting on]; daantaiH = self-collectedly; [su mahat tapaH = very, high, ascesis]; cacaara = conducted.
"Oh, Raghava, on making that great-souled Vashishta an enemy, whenever Vishvamitra reminisced over his subdual by Vashishta, he is seethed at heart and heaved sighs repeatedly. Then on going to southern quarter with his prime queen, that great-ascetic Vishvamitra self-collectedly conducted a highly astounding ascesis subsisting only on fruits and tubers." Thus Sage Shataananda continued his narration of Vishvamitra's legend. [1-57-1, 2, 3a]
अथ अस्य जज्ञिरे पुत्राः सत्य धर्म परायणाः || १-५७-३
हविष्पन्दो मधुष्यन्दो दृढनेत्रो महारथः |
3b, 4a: atha asya = then, to him; haviSpandaH = Havispanda; madhuSpandaH = Madhuspanda; dR^iDhanetraH = Dhridhanetra; mahaarathaH = Mahaaratha; satya dharma paraayaNaaH = in candour, chivalry, conducting; putraaH jaGYire = sons, birthed.
"Then Vishvamitra begot sons named Havispanda, Madhuspnada, Dhridhanetra and Mahaaratha, who conduct themselves in candour and chivalry. [1-57-3]
पूर्णे वर्ष सहस्रे तु ब्रह्मा लोक पितामहः || १-५७-४
अब्रवीत् मधुरम् वाक्यम् विश्वामित्रम् तपो धनम् |
जिता राजर्षि लोकाः ते तपसा कुशिक आत्मज || १-५७-५
4b, 5. varSa sahasre puurNe = years, thousand, at the close of; loka pitaamahaH brahmaa = world's, grandparent, Brahma; tapaH dhanam vishvaamitram = ascesis, wealthy, to Vishvamitra; madhuram vaakyam abraviit = mellowly, words spoke; kushika aatmaja = oh, Kushika's, son; te tapasaa = your, by ascesis; raajarSi lokaaH jitaaH = kingly-sages', worlds, won over.
"At the close of one thousand years of ascesis Brahma, the Grandparent of all worlds, revealed Himself to Vishvamitra and spoke these words mellowly to ascetically wealthy Vishvamitra, 'oh, son of Kushika, Vishvamitra, you have won the worlds of kingly-sages by your ascesis. [1-57-4b, 5]
अनेन तपसा त्वाम् हि राज ऋषिर् इति विद्महे |
एवम् उक्त्वा महातेजा जगाम सह दैवतैः || १-५७-६
त्रिविष्टपम् ब्रह्म लोकम् लोकानाम् परम ईश्वरः |
6, 7a. anena tapasaa = by this, ascesis; tvaam = you; raaja R^iSiH iti vidmahe = kingly, sage, thus, [we] acquiesce [you]; mahaatejaaH = great resplendent [Brahma]; lokaanaam parama iishvaraH = for worlds, supreme, ruler [Brahma]; evam uktvaa = that way, on speaking; daivataiH saha = gods [in convoy,] along with; brahma lokam = to Brahma's, abode; triviSTapam = to Heaven; jagaama = went away.
" 'We indeed acquiesce you as a kingly-sage by your ascesis.' saying so that great resplendent Brahma, the Supreme Ruler of the Worlds, went away to his Abode of Brahma, while the gods in Brahma's convoy went to Indra's Heaven. [1-57-6, 7a]
विश्वामित्रो अपि तत् श्रुत्वा ह्रिया किंचित् अवाङ्मुखः || १-५७-७
दुःखेन महता आविष्टः स मन्युः इदम् अब्रवीत् |
7b, 8a. vishvaamitraH api tat shrutvaa = Vishvamitra, even, that, on hearing; hriyaa kincit avaa~N mukhaH = by disgrace, down, faced; mahataa duHkhena aaviSTaH = with high, anguish, prevailing over; sa manyuH idam abraviit = with, rancour, this, spoke [soliloquised.]
"On hearing that Vishvamitra is down-faced with disgrace, and while high anguish prevailed over him, he rancorously soliloquised this. [1-57-7b, 8a]
तपः च सुमहत् तप्तम् राज ऋषिर् इति माम् विदुः || १-५७-८
देवाः स ऋषि गणाः सर्वे न अस्ति मन्ये तपः फलम् |
8b, 9a. su mahat tapaH taptam = very, high, practised [even though]; maam raaja R^iSiH iti = me, kingly, sage, thus as; sa R^iSi gaNaaH sarve devaaH = with, hermits' observances, all, gods; viduH = are recognising; tapaH phalam na asti manye = of ascesis, fruition, not, is there, I deem.
" 'Even though I have practised a very high ascesis, the gods together with the observances of hermits are recognising me just as a 'kingly-sage.' Thereby I deem that there is no fruition to my ascesis.' Thus Vishvamitra thought. [8b, 9a]
एवम् निश्चित्य मनसा भूय एव महातपाः || १-५७-९
तपः चचार काकुत्स्थ परमम् परम आत्मवान् |
9b, 10a. kaakutstha = oh, Rama of Kakutstha; mahaatapaaH = great-ascetic; parama aatmavaan = obstinate, souled one - self-willed Vishvamitra; evam manasaa nishcitya = thus, in heart, on deciding; bhuuya eva = again, that way; paramam tapaH cacaara = supreme, ascesis, undertook.
"Oh, Rama of Kakutstha, deciding in this way in his heart of hearts that self-willed Vishvamitra again undertook a supreme ascesis as he is a great-ascetic. [1-57-9]
एतस्मिन् एव काले तु सत्य वादी जित इन्द्रियः || १-५७-१०
त्रिशंकुः इति विख्यात इक्ष्वाकु कुल वर्धनः |
10b, 11a. etasmin eva kaale tu = in this, only, time, but; satya vaadii = truth, advocate of - veracious one; jita indriyaH = conquered, senses; ikSvaaku kula vardhanaH = Ikshvaku, dynasty, enhancer; trishankuH iti vikhyaata = Trishanku, thus, renowned; such a king is there.
"In this meantime there is a veracious king named Trishanku, an enhancer of Ikshvaku dynasty, and one renowned for his self-conquest. [1-57-10b, 11a]
तस्य बुद्धिः समुत्पन्ना यजेयम् इति राघव || १-५७-११
गच्छेयम् स्व शरीरेण देवानाम् परमाम् गतिम् |
वसिष्ठम् स समाहूय कथयामास चिन्तितम् || १-५७-१२
11b, 12. raaghava = oh, Raghava; sva shariireNa = own, with body; devaanaam paramaam gatim = of god's, ultimate, course [to heaven]; gacCheyam = I will go; yajeyam = I perform ritual; iti = thus; tasya buddhiH sam utpannaa = to his, mind, well, cropped up [idea sprang in the mind of Trishanku]; saH = he [Trishanku]; vasiSTham sam aahuuya = Vashishta is, well [sincerely,] calling [inviting]; cintitam kathayaamaasa = what he thought [by Trishanku]; started to tell.
"Oh, Raghava, an idea sprang up in the mind of Trishanku to perform a ritual by which he will go to heaven with his own body. Then he sincerely invited Vashishta and told him what his thinking is. [1-57-11b, 12]
अशक्यम् इति च अपि उक्तो वसिष्ठेन महात्मना |
प्रत्याख्यातो वसिष्ठेन स ययौ दक्षिणाम् दिशम् || १-५७-१३
ततः तत् कर्म सिद्धि अर्थम् पुत्रान् तस्य गतो नृपः |
13, 14a. mahaatmanaa vasiSThena = by great-souled one, Vashishta; a shakyam itiuktaH = not, possible, thus, said [to Trishanku]; vasiSThena = by Vashishta; prati aakhyaataH = contra, dictum - contradicted, repudiated; saH = he [Trishanku]; dakSiNaam disham yayau = to southern, quarter, journeyed; tataH = then; nR^ipaH = king; tat karma siddhi artham = that, task, realising, purpose of; tasya = his [Vashishta's]; putraan = to sons; gataH = gone to.
"But the great-souled Vashishta said it as impossible. Thus repudiated Trishanku went to southerly direction in search of orchestrators for the purpose of realising that task, such a phantasmal ritual that enables him to go to heaven with his body, and that king hjas gone to the sons of Vashishta. [1-57-13, 14a]
वासिष्ठा दीर्घ तपसः तपो यत्र हि तेपिरे || १-५७-१४
त्रिशंकुः सुमहातेजाः शतम् परम भास्वरम् |
वसिष्ठ पुत्रान् ददृशे तप्यमानान् यशस्विनः || १-५७-१५
14b, 15. diirgha tapasaH = protractedly, expiating; vaasiSThaa = sons of Vashishta; yatra = where; su mahaa tejaaH = very, greatly [supremely,] luminescent ones; parama bhaasvaram = highly [superbly,] refulgent ones; tapaH tepire hi = ascesis, practising, indeed; shatam manasvinaH = hundred, noble-souled ones; tapyamaanaan = while expiating; vasiSTha putraan = Vashishta's, sons; trishankuH [gatvaa] = Trishanku [having gone to that place]; dadR^ishe = he has seen [visited.]
"Trishanku has indeed gone to the place where the sons of Vashishta are protractedly expiating, and there he visited the hundred noble-souled sons of Vashishta, who are supremely self-luminescent and superbly self-refulgent by their ascesis. [1-57-14b, 15]
सो अभिगंय महात्मानः सर्वान् एव गुरोः सुतान् |
अभिवाद्य आनुपूर्व्येण ह्रिया किंचित् अवाङ्मुखः || १-५७-१६
अब्रवीत् स महात्मनः सर्वान् एव कृतांजलिः |
16, 17a: saH = he Trishanku; mahaatmaanaH = of noble-souled ones; sarvaan eva = all, thus; guroH sutaan = indoctrinator's, at sons; abhi gamya = to near, on reaching; aanu puurvyeNa = later, earlier - on observing - observing eldership and younger-hood, sequentially]; abhivaadya = reverenced; hriyaa kimcit avaa~N mukhaH = with abashment, a little, down, faced; kR^ita anjaliH = on making, palm-fold; sarvaan eva mahaatmanaH = to all of them, thus, to great-souled ones; saH abraviit = he, spoke.
"On reaching nigh of those noble-souled sons of the indoctrinator, namely Vashishta, Trishanku reverenced all of them sequentially according to their age, but with a little down- faced owing to abashment, and spoke to all of those great-souled ones making palm-fold in supplication. [1-57-16]
शरणम् वः प्रपद्ये अहम् शरण्यान् शरणागतः || १-५७-१७
प्रत्याख्यातो अस्मि भद्रम् वो वसिष्ठेन महात्मना |
17b, 18a. sharaNa aagataH = shelter, came; aham = I; sharaNyaan = you shelterers - of the needy; vaH = you; sharaNam prapadye = shelter, I seek; vaH bhadram = to you, let safety be there; mahaatmanaa vasiSThena pratyaakhyaataH asmi = by great-souled, Vashishta, repudiated, I am.
" 'I have come as a shelter-seeker seeking the shelter of yours as you are the shelterers of the needy, you all be safe, as the great-souled Vashishta has repudiated me. [1-57-17b, 18a]
यष्टु कामो महायज्ञम् तत् अनुज्ञातुम् अर्थथ || १-५७-१८
गुरु पुत्रान् अहम् सर्वान् नमस् कृत्य प्रसादये |
18b, 19. mahaa yaGYam yaSTu kaamaH = a great [unusual,] ritual, to perform, I long to; tat = therefore; anuGYaatum arthatha = to give assent, apt of you; aham guru putraan sarvaan = I am, to mentor's, sons, to all; namaH kR^itya prasaadaye = reverence, on making, I am proposing;.
" 'I am longing to perform an unusual ritual and it will be apt of you to give assent to it. Reverencing all of the sons of my mentor Vashishta I am proposing this to you. [1-57-18b, 19]
शिरसा प्रणतो याचे ब्राह्मणान् तपसि स्थितान् || १-५७-१९
ते माम् भवन्तः सिद्धि अर्थम् याजयंतु समाहिताः |
स शरीरो यथा अहम् वै देव लोकम् अवाप्नुयाम् || १-५७-२०
19b, 20. shirasaa praNataH = with head, I salute - I truckle to reverence; tapasi sthitaan braahmaNaan = in ascesis, abiding, Brahmans; yaace = I beg of you; te = such as you are; bhavantaH = you all; samaahitaaH = assiduously; maam = me; siddhi artham = achievement, for the purpose of; yaajayantu = get ritual performed through me; aham sa shariiraH = I, with, my body; yathaa = as to how; deva lokam = god's, abode [heaven]; avaapnuyaam = I can get to.
" 'With reverence I truckle before you all Brahmans who are abiding in ascesis. Such as you are I beg you to assiduously get a ritual performed through me, as to how I can get to heaven with my body. [1-57-19b, 20]
प्रत्याख्यातो वसिष्ठेन गतिम् अन्याम् तपो धनाः |
गुरु पुत्रान् ऋते सर्वान् न अहम् पश्यामि कांचन || १-५७-२१
21. tapaH dhanaaH = by ascesis, oh, wealthy ones; vasiSThena pratyaakhyaataH = by Vashishta, repudiated; aham = I; sarvaan guru putraan R^ite = all of you, mentor's, sons, except; anyaam gatim = another, recourse; kaamcana = in any way; na pashyaami = not, I am perceiving.
" 'Oh, ascetically wealthy Brahmans, as I am repudiated by Vashishta, I do not perceive another recourse excepting you, who are all the sons of mentor Vashishta. [1-57-21]
इक्ष्वाकूणाम् हि सर्वेषाम् पुरोधाः परमा गतिः |
तस्मात् अनंतरम् सर्वे भवन्तो दैवतम् मम || १-५७-२२
22. sarveSaam ikSvaakuuNaam = for all, of Ikshvaku-s [kings]; purodhaaH paramaa gatiH hi = Priest, is ultimate, recourse, isn't it; tasmaat = than him [Vashishta;] anantaram = next-best; sarve bhavantaH = all, you; daivatam mama = gods, to me.
" 'The Priest is the ultimate recourse for all of the kings in Ikshvaku dynasty, isn't it. Therefore, next to Vashishta you are all the next-best gods to me.' Thus Trishanku entreated the hundred sons of Sage Vashishta." Sage Shataananda thus continued narration. [1-57-22]
इति वाल्मीकि रामायणे आदि काव्ये बाल काण्डे सप्त पंचाशः सर्गः
© Jan, 2003, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : December 04