Trishanku seeks shelter of Vishvamitra when the sons of Vashishta rebuffed him, and even cursed him to become a profaner. Narrating his sad tale and his idealistic idea of going to heaven with mortal body, Trishanku earnestly appeals to Vishvamitra.
tataḥ triśhaṃkoḥ vachanam śhrutvā krodha samanvitam |
ṛṣhi putra śhatam rāma rājānam idam abravīt || 1-58-1
1. raama = oh, Rama; trishankoH vacanam shrutvaa = Trishanku's, sentence, on hearing; tataH = then; R^iSi putra shatam = sage, sons, hundred; krodha sam anvitam = fury, very, conjoined [infuriated]; raajaanam idam abraviit = to king, this, said.
"On hearing the sentence of Trishanku, oh, Rama, the hundred sons of sage Vashishta infuriately said this to that king." Thus, sage Shataananda continued his narration to Rama and others. [1-58-1]
pratyākhyāto asi durbuddhe guruṇā satya vādinā |
tam katham samatikraṃya śhākhā antaram upeyivān || 1-58-2
2. dur buddhe = oh, slow, witted one [king]; satya vaadinaa guruNaa prati aakhyaataH asi = truth, advocator of, by mentor [Vashishta,] against, said [denounced,] you are; tam = him; sam ati kramya = verily, over, stepping - transgressing; shaakhaa antaram = branch, another; katham = how; upeyivaan = come nigh of - approaching.
" 'You slow-witted king, your veracious mentor has denounced you. But transgressing him how do you approach another branch of the same tree of wisdom, when that very tree rejected you?' So the sons of Vashishta have started to denounce Trishanku. [1-58-2]
ikṣhvākūṇām hi sarveṣhām purodhāḥ paramā gatiḥ |
na cha atikramitum śhakyam vachanam satya vādinaḥ || 1-58-3
3. sarveSaam ikSvaakuuNaam = for all, Ikshvaku-s; purodhaaH paramaa gatiH hi = Royal Priest is, ultimate, course, isn't it; satya vaadinaH = of truth, advocator's - veracious priest; vacanam = sentence - words of advise; atikramitum = to transgress; na shakyam = not, possible.
" 'The Royal Priest is the ultimate course for all of Ikshvaku-s, isn't it. It is impossible to transgress the word of advise of such a veracious Priest. [1-58-3]
aśhakyam iti sa uvācha vasiṣhṭho bhagavān ṛṣhiḥ |
tam vayam vai samāhartum kratum śhaktāḥ kathaṃchana || 1-58-4
4. vasiSThaH bhagavaan R^iSiH = Vashishta is, most reverential, sage; saH = such [a sage]; a shakyam iti = not, possible, thus; uvaaca = has [already] said; tam = that [type of]; kratum = ritual; sam aahartum = to effectuate; vayam = we; kathamcana shaktaaH = in which way, capable.
" 'Vashishta is the most reverential sage and such a sage has already said it is impossible to conduct such a Vedic-ritual. Then, in which way we are capable to conduct such a Vedic-ritual? [1-58-4]
bāliśhaḥ tvam nara śhreṣhṭha gaṃyatām sva puram punaḥ |
yājane bhagavān śhaktaḥ trailokyasya api pārthiva || 1-58-5
avamānam katham kartum tasya śhakṣhāyāmahe vayam |
5, 6a. nara shreSTha = for men, the best [here, king of subjects]; tvam baalishaH = you are, childish; punaH sva puram gamyataam = again, [to your] own, city, get back; paarthiva = oh, king; bhagavaan = godlike [Vashishta is]; trailokyasya api = by [kings] of three worlds; yaajane shaktaH = in orchestration of ritual, is capable; [tat = therefore]; tasya = his [to reputation]; ava maanam = not, reputing [to disrepute]; kartum = to do; vayam katham shakshaayaamahe = we, how, capable of.
" 'Oh king of subjects, better get back to your own city again for you are childish. That godlike Vashishta alone is capable to orchestrate any ritual by any king in all the three worlds. Oh, king, how then we are capable to cause a disrepute to his reputation.' Thus, the sons of Vashishta refuted Trishanku. [1-58-5, 6a]
teṣhām tad vachanam śhrutvā krodha paryākula akṣharam || 1-58-6
sa rājā punaḥ eva etān idam vachanam abravīt |
6b, 7a. saH raajaa = that, king; krodha paryaakula akSaram = with fury, highly faltering, having words; teSaam tat vacanam shrutvaa = from them, that, sentence, on hearing; punaH eva = further, thus; etaan idam vacanam abraviit = to all of them, this, sentence, spoke.
"On hearing that sentence of theirs which is highly faltering with words of fury that king further spoke this sentence to all of them." So Shataananda continued. [1-58-6b, 7a]
pratyākhyāto bhagavatā guru putraiḥ tathaiva hi || 1-58-7
anyām gatim gamiṣhyāmi svasti vo astu tapo dhanāḥ |
7b, 8a. tapaH dhanaaH = oh, ascetically, wealthy [scholars]; bhagavataa = by godlike [Vashishta]; tathaa eva = like that, even; guru putraiH = by mentor's, sons; pratyaakhyaataH = I am rejected; hi = indeed; anyaam gatim gamiSyaami = another, objective, I wish to reach at; svasti vaH astu = safe, to you, betide;
" 'I am indeed rejected by the godlike Vashishta, likewise even by you, the sons of the same mentor, as such oh, ascetically wealthy scholars, in this state obloquy I will resort to another recourse, let safety betide you.' So Trishanku bade farewell to the sons of Vashishta, but... [1-58-7b, 8a]
ṛṣhi putrāḥ tu tat śhrutvā vākyam ghora abhisaṃhitam || 1-58-8
śhepuḥ parama saṃkruddhāḥ chaṇḍālatvam gamiṣhyasi |
8b, 9a. R^iSi putraaH tu = sage's, sons, on their part; ghora abhi sam hitam = calamity, towards, well, inclusive of [an idea inclusive of and leading towards a calamitous situation]; tat vaakyam shrutvaa = that, sentence, on hearing; parama sam kruddhaaH = highly, verily, with fury; caNDaalatvam gamiSyasi = state of a [basely] profaner, you get into; shepuH = cursed.
"But the sons of the sage Vashishta, on hearing that sentence of the king, that is inclusive of and leading to a calamitous situation, have become very highly infuriated and cursed saying, 'you shall get into a state of basely profaner.' That is the curse issued by the sons of Vashishta to Trishanku. [1-58-8b, 9a]
This expression caNDaal has its own impact. The nomenclature of caNDaal is not the present day 'untouchable' 'outcaste' or a 'pariah' etc., because he is also a member and an important functionary in Hindu system of castes. In Aranya Kanda Seetha admonishes Ravana with the same wording at 3-56-18. The analogy she uses there is to differentiate between functionaries like the Vedic-scholar and the caste-bound Profaner [meaning: one who is not initiated into religious rites or any esoteric knowledge... but socially designated as a Cremator] and between the Altar of Fire and Fire of Pyre, and between the Vedic Ritual and Funeral Rites, both involving Vedic-hymns. A Vedic scholar, or a true Brahmin may perhaps conduct a yaj~na but he is no authority to conduct antya kriya 'funerals' till its end. At best, a priest's function is until the lighting of the pyre, and even perhaps until kapaala moksha 'breakage of cranium...' and from then on it is the function of this caNDaal to take care of the corpse consigned to fire and for its complete cremation, since leaving half burnt corpse to vultures and wolves is sinning as well as for unsanitary situations. Thus, if a Vedic scholar conducts jaata aadi kriyaaH 'rites from birth onwards...' as an initiator, then a caNDaal conducts antya, uttara kriyaaH 'rites of death afterwards...' as a terminator. This verbiage is to demark the relative values of functionaries, according to the maxim 'a donkey is to bear and a dog is to bark...' and if their functions are reversed, reversed are our results.
iti uktvā te mahātmāno viviśhuḥ svam svam āśhramam || 1-58-9
atha rātryām vyatītāyām rājā chaṇḍālatām gataḥ |
9b, 10a. mahaatmaanaH = those who are great-souls; te iti uktvaa = they, this way, on saying; svam svam aashramam vivishuH = [into their] own, [their] own, hermitage, entered - they withdrew; atha raatryaam vyatiitaayaam = then, night, when elapsed; raajaa caNDaalataam gataH = king, state of basely profaner, entered into.
"On saying thus those great-souled sons of Vashishta withdrew to one's own hermitage and when that night elapsed into day then the king lapsed into a state of basely profaner. [1-58-9b, 10a]
nīla vastra dharo nīlaḥ paruṣho dhvasta mūrdhajaḥ || 1-58-10
chitya mālya anulepaḥ cha āyasa ābharaṇo abhavat |
10b, 11a. niila vastra dharaH = black, cloths, wearing; niilaH = a blackamoor; paruSaH = one lacking gentleness or refinement - rugged person; dhvasta muurdha jaH = spoiled [shaggy,] head, born [hair, head-hair]; citya = funeral/crematory; maalya = wreaths; anulepaH ca = smeared items [ashes,] also; aayasa aabharaNaH = iron, decorations; abhavat = rendered into.
"He is now wearing blackish cloths which on yestereve were ochry silks, he is now a blackamoor who on yestereve was a gilt-royalty, his head-hair is shaggy which earlier was silkily soft, and his royal garlands which were richly fragrant are now funeral wreaths, and he is besmeared with crematory ashes which were regal emollients, and his royal jewellery is now rendered into iron adornments. [1-58-10b, 11a]
tam dṛṣhṭvā maṃtriṇaḥ sarve tyajya chaṇḍāla rūpiṇam || 1-58-11
prādravan sahitā rāma paurā ye asya anugāminaḥ |
11b, 12a. raama = oh, Rama; caNDaala ruupiNam = one in profaner's, mien; tam dR^iSTvaa = him, on seeing; sarve = all; mantriNaH = ministers; pauraaH = citizens; ye asya anugaaminaH = subjects, who, followers [retinue]; tyajya = on deserting him; sahitaa praadravan = collectively - in masses, took to flight
"On seeing him in the mien of a profaner, oh, Rama, all of his ministers and the subjects and his own retinue have deserted him and took to flight in masses. [1-58-11b, 12a]
eko hi rājā kākutstha jagāma parama ātmavān || 1-58-12
dahyamāno divā rātram viśhvāmitram tapo dhanam |
12b, 13a. kaakutstha = Rama of Kakutstha; parama aatmavaan = highly [resolutely,] soulful one [self-assured one]; raajaa = king; ekaH divaa raatram = for one, day, night; dahyamaanaH = being seethed; tapaH dhanam vishvaamitram jagaama = to ascetically, prosperous one, to Vishvamitra, went.
"Though that resolutely self-assured king seethed for one night and day for this mishap, then went to the ascetically prosperous Vishvamitra. [1-58-12b, 13a]
viśhvāmitraḥ tu tam dṛṣhṭvā rājānam viphalī kṛtam ||1-58-13
chaṇḍāla rūpiṇam rāma muniḥ kāruṇyam āgataḥ |
13b, 14a. raama = oh, Rama; muniH vishvaamitraH tu = sage, Vishvamitra, on his part; vi phalii kR^itam = without, fruit [failed, precluded one,] made as; caNDaala ruupiNam = profaner's, in mien; tam raajaanam dR^iSTvaa = that, king, on seeing; kaaruNyam aagataH = sympathy, came - Vishvamitra became sympathetic.
But on seeing at that mien of the king which is rendered to that of a precluded profaner from kingship and for officiating rituals etc., oh, Rama, sage Vishvamitra because sympathetic. [1-58-13b, 14a]
The preclusion of the king by way of his transfiguring into a profaner is not only from his kingship, by which he is debarred from officiating Vedic rituals etc., but also from his aihika aamuSmika bhogaaH 'earthly and heavenly enjoyments...' because a king is a godsend being.
kāruṇyāt sa mahātejā vākyam parama dhārmikaḥ || 1-58-14
idam jagāda bhadram te rājānam ghora darśhanam |
14b, 15a. mahaa tejaaH = great-resplendent one; parama dhaarmikaH = highly, generous one; saH = he that Vishvamitra; kaaruNyaat = owing to compassion; ghora darshanam raajaanam = who is terrible, in his aspect, to king; said this firstly; te bhadram = to you, safety; and; idam vaakyam jagaada = this, sentence, said.
"The great-resplendent sage and highly generous Vishvamitra firstly said to that king who is in a terrible aspect 'let safety betide you,' and then spoke on this sentence to him. [1-58-14b, 15a]
kim āgamana kāryam te rājaputra mahābala || 1-58-15
ayodhyā adhipate vīra śhāpāt chaṇḍālatām gataḥ |
15, 16a. mahaabala raaja putra = oh, great-mighty, king's, son - prince; te aagamana kaaryam kim = your, arrival [visit,] work [purpose,] what is; ayodhyaa adhipate viira = Ayodhya's, chieftain, oh, brave one; shaapaat caNDaalataam gataH = by curse, state of profaner, you got [accurst.]
" 'What is the purpose of your visit, oh, great-mighty prince Trishanku, oh, brave lord of Ayodhya, you are accurst to the state of profaner.' [1-58-15, 16a]
atha tat vākyam ākarṇya rājā chaṇḍālatām gataḥ || 1-58-16
abravīt prāṃjaliḥ vākyam vākyajño vākya kovidam |
16b, 17a. atha = then; caNDaalataam gataH = state of profaner, accurst to; vaakya j~naH raajaa = sentence, knower, king - diligent king, Trishanku; tat vaakyam aakarNya = that, sentence, on listening; praanjaliH vaakya kovidam vaakyam abraviit = with adjoined-palms, to sentence, expert [sententious Vishvamitra,] sentence, spoke.
"Then that king who is accurst to a state of profaner on listening that sentence, as a diligent sentence maker spoke this sentence with his palms adjoined to the sententious sage Vishvamitra. [1-58-16b, 17a]
pratyākhyāto asmi guruṇā guru putraiḥ tathā eva cha || 1-58-17
anavāpya eva tam kāmam mayā prāpto viparyayaḥ |
17b, 18a. guruNaa = by mentor; tathaa eva ca = like that, also; guru putraiH = by mentor's, sons; pratyaakhyaataH asmi = spurned off, I am; tam kaamam an avaapya eva = that, aspiration, not, achieved, thus; mayaa = by me; vi paryayaH = negative, effect [discrepancy]; praaptaH = bechanced - I obtained.
" 'I am spurned off by my mentor Vashishta and also like that by his sons. My aspiration remained unachievable, besides, this discrepancy has bechanced upon me. [1-58-17b, 18a]
sa śharīro divam yāyāmi iti me sauṃya darśhana || 1-58-18
mayā cha iṣhṭam kratu śhatam tat cha na avāpyate phalam |
18b, 19a. saumya = oh, gentle Vishvamitra; sa shariiraH divam yaayaami = with, body, to heaven, I go; iti me darshana = thus, my, opinion; mayaa kratu shatam iSTam = by me, rituals, hundred, are performed [earlier]; tat phalam na avaapyate = that, fruit, not, achieved.
" 'Oh, gentle Vishvamitra, my aspiration is nothing but to go to heaven with my body. I have performed hundred rituals but I have not achieved the fruit.' Thus Trishanku started tell his sad tale.
anṛtam na ukta pūrvam me na cha vakṣhye kadāchana || 1-58-19
kṛchchhreṣhu api gataḥ sauṃya kṣhatra dharmeṇa te śhape |
19b, 20a. saumya = oh, gentle one; me = by me; anR^itam na ukta puurvam = lie, not, said, heretofore; kadaacana = any time [hereinafter]; kR^icChreSu gataH api = into predicament, on going, even if; na vakSye = not, going to speak [a lie]; kSatra dharmeNa te shape = by Kshatriya's, virtue, to you, I take pledge.
" 'And now if you doubt me to be a liar, I am no liar either. I spoke no lie heretofore, and even if I were to land into any predicament I do not speak lies anytime hereinafter. Oh, gentle sage, this I pledge you upon my virtue of Kshatriya-hood. [1-58-19, 20a]
A liar is hell-bound but not the other way as said yaj~no anR^ite na rakshati... 'a Vedic ritual would not save liars...'
yajñaiḥ bahu vidhaiḥ iṣhṭam prajā dharmeṇa pālitāḥ || 1-58-20
guravaḥ cha mahātmānaḥ śhīla vṛttena toṣhitāḥ |
20b, 21a. bahu vidhaiH yaj~naiH iSTam = with many, kinds of, Vedic-rituals, propitiated gods; prajaa dharmeNa paalitaaH = people, conscientiously, reigned over; mahaatmaanaH = high-souled ones; guravaH ca = savants, also; shiila vR^ittena toSitaaH = by conduct, by comport, pleased.
" 'I have propitiated gods with many kinds of Vedic-rituals. I have reigned over people conscientiously. And with my conduct and comport the high-souled savants are also pleased. [1-58-20b, 21a]
dharme prayatamānasya yajñam cha āhartum ichchhataḥ || 1-58-21
paritoṣham na gachchhanti guravo munipuṃgava |
21b, 22a. muni pumgava = oh, saint, the eminent; dharme prayatamaanasya = in probity, being a pursuant; yaj~nam aahartum = ritual, to avail of, icChataH ca = one who is expectant also; in my case; guravaH = to mentors; pari toSam = complete contentment, na gacChanti = not, they are getting at - not deriving.
" 'While I am a pursuant in probity I expect to avail myself of the fruition of this kind of Vedic-ritual. Oh, eminent sage Vishvamitra, but my mentors are not deriving complete contentment by my pursuit. Hence, they shove me off. [1-58-21b, 22a]
daivam eva param manye pauruṣham tu nirarthakam || 1-58-22
daivena ākraṃyate sarvam daivam hi paramā gatiḥ |
22b, 23a. daivam eva param manye = god [here, destiny,] only, ultimate, I deem; pauruSam tu nir arthakam = manly effort, but, less, meaning - meaningless; daivena aakramyate sarvam = by god [destiny,] surmounts, everything; daivam paramaa gatiH hi = god [destiny,] ultimate, course, isn't it.
" 'I deem destiny is the only ultimate, and manly efforts are meaningless, for destiny surmounts everything. Destiny is the ultimate course, isn't it? [1-58-22b, 23a]
tasya me parama ārtasya prasādam abhikāṃkṣhataḥ |
kartum arhasi bhadram te daiva upahata karmaṇaḥ || 1-58-23
23b, c. parama aartasya = for highly, anguished one; abhi kaankSataH = forward, looking to - a sincere requester; daiva upahata karmaNaH = by destiny, marred, endeavourer; tasya me = such as, as I am; prasaadam kartum arhasi = favour, to do [to accord,] apt of you; te bhadram = to you, let safety be there.
" 'A highly anguished endeavourer, marred by destiny, a sincere requester, such as I am, it will be apt of you to accord, you be safe, your favour upon me. [1-58-23b, c]
na anyām gatim gamiṣhyāmi na anyaḥ śharaṇam asti me |
daivam puruṣha kāreṇa nivartayitum arhasi || 1-58-24
24. anyaam gatim na gamiSyaami = alternate, course, not, I wish to course through; me anyaH sharaNam na asti = to me, alternative, shelterer, is not there; daivam puruSa kaareNa = god/destiny, in man's, mien; ni vartayitum arhasi = counter, move [vail,] apt of you.
" 'In no alternate course I wish to course through and no alternative shelter is there for me. Hence, it will be apt of you, a god in man's mien, to countervail my destiny.' Thus Trishanku prayed for the grace of Vishvamitra..." So said Sage Shataananda to Rama and others continuing the legend of Vishvamitra. [1-58-24]
iti vālmīki rāmāyaṇe ādi kāvye bāla kāṇḍe aṣhṭa paṃchāśhaḥ sargaḥ
© Jan, 2003, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : December 04]
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