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.
विश्वामित्रो महातेजाः प्रस्थितान् वीक्ष्य तान् ऋषीन् |
अब्रवीत् नरशार्दूल सर्वान् तान् वन वासिनः || १-६१-१
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]
महाविघ्नः प्रवृत्तो अयम् दक्षिणाम् आस्थितो दिशम् |
दिशम् अन्याम् प्रपत्स्यामः तत्र तप्स्यामहे तपः || १-६१-२
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]
पश्चिमायाम् विशालायाम् पुष्करेषु महात्मनः |
सुखम् तपः चरिष्यामः परम् तत् हि तपो वनम् || १-६१-३
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]
एवम् उक्त्वा महातेजाः पुष्करेषु महामुनिः |
तप उग्रम् दुराधर्षम् तेपे मूल फल अशनः || १-६१-४
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]
एतस्मिन् एव काले तु अयोध्या अधिपतिः महान् |
अंबरीष इति ख्यातो यष्टुम् समुपचक्रमे || १-६१-५
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]
तस्य वै यजमानस्य पशुम् इन्द्रो जहार ह |
प्रणष्टे तु पशौ विप्रो राजानम् इदम् अब्रवीत् || १-६१-६
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]
पशुः अभ्याहृतः राजन् प्रणष्टः तव दुर्नयात् |
अरक्षितारम् राजानम् घ्नन्ति दोषा नरेश्वर || १-६१-७
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]
प्रायः चित्तम् महत् हि एतत् नरम् वा पुरुषर्षभ |
आनयस्व पशुम् शीघ्रम् यावत् कर्म प्रवर्तते || १-६१-८
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]
उपाध्याय वचः श्रुत्वा स राजा पुरुषर्षभ |
अन्वियेष महाबुद्धिः पशुम् गोभिः सहस्रशः || १-६१-९
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]
देशान् जनपदान् तान् तान् नगराणि वनानि च |
आश्रमाणि च पुण्यानि मार्गमाणो महीपतिः || १-६१-१०
स पुत्र सहितम् तात स भार्यम् रघुनंदन |
भृगुतुंगे समासीनम् ऋचीकम् संददर्श ह || १-६१-११
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]
तम् उवाच महातेजाः प्रणंय अभिप्रसाद्य च |
महर्षिम् तपसा दीप्तम् राजर्षिः अमित प्रभः || १-६१-१२
पृष्ट्वा सर्वत्र कुशलम् ऋचीकम् तम् इदम् वचः |
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]
गवाम् शत सहस्रेण विक्रीणीषे सुतम् यदि || १-६१-१३
पशोः अर्थे महाभाग कृत कृत्यो अस्मि भार्गव |
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]
सर्वे परिगता देशा यज्ञियम् न लभे पशुम् || १-६१-१४
दातुम् अर्हसि मूल्येन सुतम् एकम् इतो मम |
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]
एवम् उक्तो महातेजा ऋचीकः तु अब्रवीत् वचः || १-६१-१५
न अहम् ज्येष्ठम् नर श्रेष्ठ विक्रीणीयाम् कथंचन |
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]
ऋचीकस्य वचः श्रुत्वा तेषाम् माता महात्मनाम् || १-६१-१६
उवाच नर शार्दूलम् अंबरीषम् इदम् वचः |
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]
अविक्रेयम् सुतम् ज्येष्ठम् भगवान् आह भार्गवः || १-६१-१७
मम अपि दयितम् विद्धि कनिष्ठम् शुनकम् प्रभो |
तस्मात् कनीयसम् पुत्रम् न दास्ये तव पार्थिव || १-६१-१८
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]
प्रायेण हि नरश्रेष्ठ ज्येष्ठाः पितृषु वल्लभाः |
मातॄणाम् च कनीयांसः तस्मात् रक्षे कनीयसम् || १-६१-१९
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...'
उक्त वाक्ये मुनौ तस्मिन् मुनि पत्न्याम् तथैव च |
शुनःशेपः स्वयम् राम मध्यमो वाक्यम् अब्रवीत् || १-६१-२०
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]
पिता ज्येष्ठम् अविक्रेयम् माता च आह कनीयसम् |
विक्रेतम् मध्यमम् मन्ये राजपुत्र नयस्व माम् || १-६१-२१
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]
अथ राजा महाबाहो वाक्य अन्ते ब्रह्म वादिनः |
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]
अंबरीषः तु राजर्षी रथम् आरोप्य सत्वरः |
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]
इति वाल्मीकि रामायणे आदि काव्ये बाल काण्डे एक षष्टितमः सर्गः
© Mar, 2003, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : December 04]