The Legend of Shunashepa is commenced and Sage Shataananda continues this as a part of Vishvamitra's legend. When Rama's grandparent Ambariisha undertook a ritual, Indra impounds that ritual's horse. Then Ambariisha had to fetch a human-animal in lieu of that lost horse. When none is available one named Shunashepa, son of Sage Riciika, and a nephew of Vishvamitra, offers himself with a barter of riches to his parents.
viśhvāmitro mahātejāḥ prasthitān vīkṣhya tān ṛṣhīn |
abravīt naraśhārdūla sarvān tān vana vāsinaḥ || 1-61-1
1. nara shaarduula = oh, manly-tiger Rama; mahaatejaaH vishvaamitraH = great-resplendent, Vishvamitra; prasthitaan = those who started to go back; vana vaasinaH = forest, dwellers; taan sarvaan R^iSiin = them, all, sages; viikshya = on seeing - giving them farewell; taan = to them - to remaining sages; abraviit = said.
"Oh, manly-tiger Rama, on giving farewell to those sages who came at his invitation and who have started to go back after the ritual of Trishanku is over, then that great-resplendent Vishvamitra spoke to all of the sages who are forest dwellers that remained with him." Thus Shatananda continued to narrate the legend of Vishvamitra. [1-61-1]
mahāvighnaḥ pravṛtto ayam dakṣhiṇām āsthito diśham |
diśham anyām prapatsyāmaḥ tatra tapsyāmahe tapaḥ || 1-61-2
2. dakSiNaam disham aasthitaH = southern, quarter, depending upon; ayam mahaan vighnaH pravR^ittaH = this [Trishanku's episode,] a gross, hindrance, cropped up; anyaam disham prapatsyaamaH = another, direction, we journey on; tatra tapaH tapsyaamahe = there, ascesis, we perform.
" 'While depending on this southern quarter this gross hindrance has cropped up for my ascesis in the shape of Trishanku's ascent to heaven, hence we will go to another direction, and there we continue ascesis. [1-61-2]
paśhchimāyām viśhālāyām puṣhkareṣhu mahātmanaḥ |
sukham tapaḥ chariṣhyāmaḥ param tat hi tapo vanam || 1-61-3
3. mahaatmanaH = oh, great-souled sages; vishaalaayaam = in a vast one; pashcimaayaam = in western direction; puSkareSu = at holy lakeside; sukham tapaH cariSyaamaH = conveniently, ascesis, we undertake; tat param tapaH vanam hi = that is, august, ascetical, forest, isn't it.
" 'Oh, great-souled sages, we can conveniently undertake our ascesis in the vast of westerly direction where holy lakesides are there. That would be an august ascetical forest, isn't it.' Thus Vishvamitra said to fellow sages in his camp. [1-61-3]
evam uktvā mahātejāḥ puṣhkareṣhu mahāmuniḥ |
tapa ugram durādharṣham tepe mūla phala aśhanaḥ || 1-61-4
4. mahaatejaaH = most brilliant; mahaa muniH = great-saint Vishvamitra; evam uktvaa = thus, on saying; puSkareSu = in holy lakeside - after reaching them; muula phala ashanaH = tubers, fruits, eating [subsisting on]; duraadharSam ugram tapaH tepe = unhindered, rigorous, ascesis, performed.
"On saying thus that most brilliant and great saint Vishvamitra performed an unhindered and rigorous ascesis subsisting only on fruits and tubers after reaching the lakeside of holy lakes. [1-61-4]
etasmin eva kāle tu ayodhyā adhipatiḥ mahān |
aṃbarīṣha iti khyāto yaṣhṭum samupachakrame || 1-61-5
5. etasmin kale eva = in this, time, only; ambariiSa iti khyaataH = Ambariisha, thus, renowned [king]; ayodhyaa mahaan adhipatiH [nR^ipaH] = Ayodhya's, great, lord, [king]; yaSTum samupacakrame = to perform Vedic-ritual, embarked on.
"In the meanwhile the great king of Ayodhya, renowned as Ambariisha, embarked on to perform a Vedic-ritual. [1-61-5]
tasya vai yajamānasya paśhum indro jahāra ha |
praṇaṣhṭe tu paśhau vipro rājānam idam abravīt || 1-61-6
6. yajamaanasya tasya pashum = of the principal [of ritual,] his, ritual-animal; indraH jahaara ha = Indra, stole [impounded,] indeed; pashau praNaSTe sati = animal is, verily lost [really vanished,] while becoming; vipraH raajaanam idam abraviit = the officiant of ritual, to king, this, spoke.
"But Indra impounded the animal of the principal of that ritual, namely king Ambariisha, and when that animal is really vanished, the officiant Brahman of the ritual spoke this to that king. [1-61-6]
paśhuḥ abhyāhṛtaḥ rājan praṇaṣhṭaḥ tava durnayāt |
arakṣhitāram rājānam ghnanti doṣhā nareśhvara || 1-61-7
7. raajan = oh, king; pashuH = ritual-animal; abhyaahR^itaH [abhi aa hR^itaH] = to here, fetched [by you]; praNaSTaH = verily lost [gone astray]; nareshvara = oh, king; tava dur nayaat = by your, bad-conduct [incautiousness]; a rakSitaaram = not, guarded [ritual items]; raajaanam doSaa ghnanti = for king, as blemishes, will destruct.
" 'Oh, king, the animal you have fetched for the ritual has gone astray owing to your incautiousness. Oh, king, unguarded items of the ritual will themselves become destructive blemishes for that king who is performing the ritual. [1-61-7]
prāyaḥ chittam mahat hi etat naram vā puruṣharṣhabha |
ānayasva paśhum śhīghram yāvat karma pravartate || 1-61-8
8. puruSarSabha = oh, man the best; etat = for this - loss of animal; mahat praayaHcittam = a great, making amends - is to be done; naram vaa pashum = man, or, [as ritual] animal; shiighram aanayasva = quickly, be fetched; karma yaavat pravartate = ritual-deeds, until [only after that,] will continue.
" 'Oh, the best man among men, you have to make great amends for the loss of animal as that animal alone which was intended but now missing shall be used in ritual. Or, a man may be fetched as ritual-animal, and only after that the deeds of the ritual can be continued.' Thus, the priests of the ritual said to king Ambariisha. [1-61-8]
upādhyāya vachaḥ śhrutvā sa rājā puruṣharṣhabha |
anviyeṣha mahābuddhiḥ paśhum gobhiḥ sahasraśhaḥ || 1-61-9
9. puruSa rSabha = oh, man the best, Rama; mahaa buddhiH saH raajaa = highly intelligent [obedient king to rules,] king; upaadhyaaya vacaH shrutvaa = teachers', words, on hearing; sahasrashaH gobhiH = with thousands, of cows [in barter]; pashum anviyeSa = [human] animal, searched - he tried for.
"On hearing the words of his teacher, oh, the best one among men, Rama, he that highly rule-obedient king tried for a human-ritual-animal for a barter of thousands of cows. [1-61-9]
deśhān janapadān tān tān nagarāṇi vanāni cha |
āśhramāṇi cha puṇyāni mārgamāṇo mahīpatiḥ || 1-61-10
sa putra sahitam tāta sa bhāryam raghunaṃdana |
bhṛgutuṃge samāsīnam ṛchīkam saṃdadarśha ha || 1-61-11
10, 11. taata = oh, dear, Rama; raghunandana = oh, Raghu's, legatee; saH mahii patiH = he that land, lord - that king Ambariisha; taan taan deshaan = those, those, provinces; janapadaan = villages; nagaraaNi vanaani ca = townships, forests, also; puNyaani aashramaaNi ca = pious hermitages, even; maargamaaNaH = while searching; bhR^igutunge = on Mt. Bhrigutunga; putra sahitam = sons, along with; sa bhaaryam = with, wife; sam aasiinam = well, seated [settled]; R^iciikam sam dadarsha ha = at Sage Raiciika, well, he has seen, indeed.
"While that king is searching those and those provinces, villages, forests, townships, and even the pious hermitages, oh, dear Rama, the legatee of Raghu's dynasty, that king has indeed seen Sage Riciika, who is well settled on Mt. Bhrigutunga along with his sons and wife. [1-61-10, 11]
tam uvācha mahātejāḥ praṇaṃya abhiprasādya cha |
maharṣhim tapasā dīptam rājarṣhiḥ amita prabhaḥ || 1-61-12
pṛṣhṭvā sarvatra kuśhalam ṛchīkam tam idam vachaḥ |
12, 13a. mahaatejaaH = great-resplendent; a mita prabhaH = not, limitable, in brilliance; such a; raajarSiH = kingly sage [King Ambariisha ]; tapasaa diiptam = by ascesis, brilliant [Sage Riciika]; tam maharSim praNamya = him, great-sage Riciika, on reverencing; abhiprasaadya ca = obtaining his grace, also; sarvatra kushalam pR^iSTvaa = in every aspect, wellbeing, on asking; tam R^iciikam = him, to Sage Riciika; idam vacaH uvaaca = this, word, said - King Ambariisha said.
"On reverencing and on obtaining the grace of ascetically brilliant great Sage Riciika, and even on asking him about his wellbeing in every aspect, that kingly sage Ambariisha, who is with great resplendence and whose brilliance is illimitable, said this word to that sage. [1-61-12, 13a]
gavām śhata sahasreṇa vikrīṇīṣhe sutam yadi || 1-61-13
paśhoḥ arthe mahābhāga kṛta kṛtyo asmi bhārgava |
13b, 14a. mahaa bhaaga = oh, godlike sage; bhaargava = oh, successor of Bhrigu; gavaam shata sahasreNa = cows, by hundred, thousand; sutam = [your] son; pashoH arthe = ritual-animal, for purpose of; vikriiNiiSe yadi = you bargain, if; kR^ita kR^ityaH asmi = done, deed [achieved ends,] I will be.
" 'Oh, godlike sage, if you bargain your son with a hundred thousand cows for the purpose of a ritual-animal, oh, the successor Sage Bhrigu, I deem my ends are achieved. [1-61-13b, 14a]
sarve parigatā deśhā yajñiyam na labhe paśhum || 1-61-14
dātum arhasi mūlyena sutam ekam ito mama |
14b, 15a. sarve deshaaH pari gataa = all, provinces, over, went [went over]; yaj~niyam pashum na labhe = ritual's, animal, not, obtained; itaH = from [among your sons]; ekam sutam = one, son; muulyena = for a value; daatum arhasi = to give, apt of you.
" 'All the provinces are went over but unobtainable is that animal of the ritual, hence it will be apt of you to give me one son from among your sons, for a value.' Thus, king Ambariisha bargained with the sage. [1-61-14b, 15a]
evam ukto mahātejā ṛchīkaḥ tu abravīt vachaḥ || 1-61-15
na aham jyeṣhṭham nara śhreṣhṭha vikrīṇīyām kathaṃchana |
15b, 16a. evam uktaH = thus, who is addressed; mahaatejaa = great-resplendent sage; R^iciikaH tu = Riciika, on his part; vacaH abraviit = word, said; nara shreSTha = oh, man, the best - king Ambariisha; aham kathamcana = I, in anyway; jyeSTham na vikriiNiiyaam = eldest [son,] not, possibly sell.
"When that great-resplendent Sage Riciika is addressed thus, he said this word, 'oh, best of men, I cannot possibly sell my eldest son, in anyway.' [1-61-15b, 16a]
ṛchīkasya vachaḥ śhrutvā teṣhām mātā mahātmanām || 1-61-16
uvācha nara śhārdūlam aṃbarīṣham idam vachaḥ |
16b, 17a: R^iciikasya vacaH shrutvaa = Riciika's, words, on hearing; mahaa aatmanaam = of great souled [sons]; teSaam maataa = their [sons',] mother; nara shaarduulam ambariiSam = to manly tiger, to Ambariisha; idam vacaH uvaaca = this, word, said.
"On hearing the words of Sage Riciika the mother of those great-souled sons spoke this word to the tigerly-man Ambariisha. [1-61-16b, 17a]
avikreyam sutam jyeṣhṭham bhagavān āha bhārgavaḥ || 1-61-17
mama api dayitam viddhi kaniṣhṭham śhunakam prabho |
tasmāt kanīyasam putram na dāsye tava pārthiva || 1-61-18
17b, 18. bhagavaan = reverential one; bhaargavaH = sage from Bhaargava dynasty [namely Riciika]; jyeSTham sutam a vikreyam = eldest son, not, sellable; [iti = thus]; aaha = said; paarthiva = oh, king; shunakam kaniSTham = Shunaka [Shunaka named,] youngest [son]; mama dayitam = mine, as a cherished [son]; viddhi = [thereof you must] know; prabho = oh, lord; = tasmaat = therefore; kaniiyasam putram api = youngest, son, either; tava na daasye = to you not, I will give.
"The most reverential sage and the one from Bhaargava dynasty, my husband, said that the eldest son is un-sellable. Thereof oh, lord, you must know that my youngest son, namely Shunaka, is a cherished one for me. Therefore oh, king, I will not give my youngest son to you, either. [1-61-17b, 18]
prāyeṇa hi naraśhreṣhṭha jyeṣhṭhāḥ pitṛṣhu vallabhāḥ |
mātṝṇām cha kanīyāṃsaḥ tasmāt rakṣhe kanīyasam || 1-61-19
19. narashreSTha = oh, best one among men - oh, king; praayeNa = generally; jyeSThaaH pitR^iSu vallabhaaH hi = eldest [sons,] for father, favourites, isn't it; maatR^INaam ca kaniiyaamsaH [vallabhaaH] = for mothers, also, youngest ones, [favourites]; tasmaat rakSe kaniiyasam = therefor, I [have to] tend, youngest one.
"Generally eldest sons are fathers' favourites, oh, best king among men, and mothers' favourites are the youngest, isn't it! Therefor, I have to tend my youngest son.' Thus, wife Sage Ruciika said to Ambariisha. [1-61-19]
The wife of the Sage Ruciika is Satyavathi, the sister of Vishvamitra whose legend was narrated by Vishvamitra in Bala Ch. 34. This longing for youngest sons by a mother is reflected in Maha Bharata, where Kunti pleads for leaving Sahadeva, the youngest Pandava, from going to forest exile, along with her in the city. In sabhaa parva she says: sabhaa parvaaNi sahadevam prati kuntii vaakyam - sahadeva nivartasva nanu tvam asi me priyaH | shariiraat api maadreya maamatyakShiiH kuputravat | - aashrama vaase dharma putram prati kuntii vaakyam - sahadeva maaraaja maa pramaadam kR^ithaa | - dk Kunti, the mother of Pandava-s says: 'oh, Sahadeva, you refrain from going on exile as you are a dear son of mine, though Maadri gave you a bodily birth, you are my favourite...' Also, in the period of forest exile she says to Yudhishtar: 'oh, king, let no danger occur to Sahadeva... as he is my cherished son...'
ukta vākye munau tasmin muni patnyām tathaiva cha |
śhunaḥśhepaḥ svayam rāma madhyamo vākyam abravīt || 1-61-20
20. raama = oh, Rama; tasmin munau = that, by sage; ukta vaakye = said so, sentence; muni patnyaam tathaiva ca = by sage, wife's, in that way, only; madhyamaH shunaHshepaH = intermediate [son,] Shunashepa; svayam vaakyam abraviit = personally, sentence, spoke.
"Oh, Rama, when that sage's sentence is so, and his wife's sentence is also in that way only, their intermediate son, namely Shunashepa, personally spoke this sentence. [1-61-20]
pitā jyeṣhṭham avikreyam mātā cha āha kanīyasam |
vikretam madhyamam manye rājaputra nayasva mām || 1-61-21
21. raajaputra = oh, prince; pitaa jyeSTham a vikreyam aaha = father eldest one, as un-sellable one, he is telling; maataa ca kaniiyasam = mother, also [said the same, about] youngest son; madhyamam = intermediate - son; vikretam manye = sellable, I deem; maam nayasva = me, you lead forth.
" 'Father said that the eldest son is un-sellable, mother also said the same about youngest one. Then I deem that the intermediary son is sellable. Hence, oh, prince, you may lead me forth. [1-61-21]
atha rājā mahābāho vākya ante brahma vādinaḥ |
hiraṇyasya suvarṇasya koṭibhī ratna rāśhibhiḥ || 1-61-22
gavām śhata sahasreṇa śhunaḥśhepam nareśhvaraḥ |
gṛhītvā parama prīto jagāma raghunaṃdana || 1-61-23
22, 23. mahaabaaho = oh, dextrous Rama; raghu nandana = oh, Raghu's, legatee, Rama; atha raajaa = then, king; brahma vaadinaH = of Brahma [Veda-s,] advocate of; vaakya ante = sentence, end of [when he finished his speech]; hiraNyasya suvarNasya = of gold, of silver; koTibhii = crores of [ten million]; ratna raashibhiH = gemstones, heaps of, [dattvaa = on giving]; gavaam shata sahasreNa = cows, hundred, thousand; nareshvaraH = king Ambariisha; shunaHshepam = Shunashepa is; gR^ihiitvaa = on taking; parama priitaH = highly, gladdened; jagaama = went away.
"Oh, dextrous Rama, when that advocate of Veda-s, namely Shunashepa finished his speech, then the king gave gold, silver, and gemstones, each in ten million heaps, and even a hundred thousand cows, and oh, Rama, the legatee of Ragu, that king Ambariisha went away highly gladdened to take Shunashepa with him. [1-61-22, 23]
aṃbarīṣhaḥ tu rājarṣhī ratham āropya satvaraḥ |
śhunaḥśhepam mahātejā jagāma āśhu mahāyaśhāḥ || 1-61-24
24. mahaatejaa = great-resplendent - king; mahaayashaaH = highly renowned - king raajarSii ambariiSaH tu = kingly sage, Ambariisha, on his part; sa tvaraH = with, haste; shunaHshepam ratham aaropya = Shunashepa, on chariot, ascending; aashu jagaama = hastily, proceeded.
"That great resplendent and highly renowned king Ambariisha on his part proceeded hastily after ascending Shunashepa onto the chariot that hastily." Thus Sage Shataananda continued his narration. [1-61-24]
iti vālmīki rāmāyaṇe ādi kāvye bāla kāṇḍe eka ṣhaṣhṭitamaḥ sargaḥ
© Mar, 2003, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : December 04]