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 तानृषीन् |
अब्रवीन्नरशार्दूल सर्वांस्तान् वनवासिनः || १-६१-१
1. narashaarduula = oh tigerly man, Rama; mahaatejaaH vishvaamitraH = great-resplendent, Vishvamitra; prasthitaan = those who started to go back; vanavaasinaH = forest dwellers; taan sarvaan R^iSiin = them, all, sages; viikshya = on seeing - giving them farewell; taan = to them - to remaining sages; abraviit = said.
"Oh, tigerly man 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]
महान् विघ्नः प्रवृत्तोऽयं दक्षिणामास्थितो दिशम् |
दिशमन्यां प्रपत्स्यामस्तत्र तप्स्यामहे तपः || १-६१-२
2. dakSiNaam disham aasthitaH = depending upon southern quarter; ayam mahaan vighnaH pravR^ittaH = this [Trishanku's episode,] a gross, hindrance, cropped up; anyaam disham prapatsyaamaH = we journey on another direction ; tatra tapaH tapsyaamahe = there, we perform ascesis.
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]
पश्चिमायां विशालायां पुष्करेषु महात्मनः |
सुखं तपश्चरिष्यामः परं तद्धि तपोवनम् || 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, we undertake ascesis; tat param tapovanam 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]
एवमुक्त्वा महातेजाः पुष्करेषु महामुनिः |
तप उग्रं दुराधर्षं तेपे मूलफलाशनः || १-६१-४
4. mahaatejaaH = most brilliant; mahaamuniH = great-saint Vishvamitra; evam uktvaa = thus, on saying; puSkareSu = in holy lakeside - after reaching them; muulaphalaashanaH = eating [subsisting on] tubers and fruits ; duraadharSam ugram tapaH tepe = performed unhindered rigorous ascesis.
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]
एतस्मिन्नेव काले तु अयोध्याधिपतिर्महान् |
अंबरीष इति ख्यातो यष्टुं समुपचक्रमे || १-६१-५
5. etasmin kaale eva = in this, time, only; ambariiSaH iti khyaataH = Ambariisha, thus, renowned [king]; ayodhyaadhipatiH [nR^ipaH] mahaan = the great lord[king] of Ayodhya; yaSTum samupacakrame = embarked on to perform Vedic-ritual .
In the meanwhile the great king of Ayodhya, renowned as Ambariisha, embarked on to perform a Vedic-ritual. [1-61-5]
तस्य वै यजमानस्य पशुमिन्द्रो जहार ह |
प्रणष्टे तु पशौ विप्रो राजानमिदमब्रवीत् || १-६१-६
6. yajamaanasya tasya pashum = ritual animal of his, the principal [of ritual] ; indraH jahaara ha = Indra, stole [impounded,] indeed; pashau praNaSTe sati = while animal is lost [really vanished] ; vipraH raajaanam idam abraviit = the officiant of ritual spoke this to king.
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]
पशुरभ्याहृतो राजन् प्रणष्टस्तव दुर्नयात् |
अरक्षितारं राजानं घ्नन्ति दोषा नरेश्वर || १-६१-७
7. raajan = oh king; pashuH = ritual-animal; abhyaahR^itaH [abhi-aahR^itaH] = fetched [by you] here; praNaSTaH = verily lost [gone astray]; nareshvara = oh king; tava durnayaat = by your, bad-conduct [incautiousness]; arakSitaaram = not guarded [ritual items]; raajaanam doSaaH ghnanti = blemishes will destruct the king.
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]
प्रायश्चित्तं महद्ध्येतन्नरं वा पुरुषर्षभ |
आनयस्व पशुं शीघ्रं यावत् कर्म प्रवर्तते || १-६१-८
8. puruSarSabha = oh man the best; etat = for this - loss of animal; mahat praayashcittam = a great, making amends - is to be done; naram vaa pashum = man, or, [as ritual] animal; shiighram aanayasva = quickly, be fetched; karma yaavat pravartate = until [only after that] ritual-deeds 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]
उपाध्यायवचः श्रुत्वा स राजा पुरुषर्षभ |
अन्वियेष महाबुद्धिः पशुं गोभिः सहस्रशः || १-६१-९
9. puruSarSabha = oh the best man, Rama; mahaabuddhiH saH raajaa = highly intelligent [obedient king to rules,] king; upaadhyaayavacaH 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 जनपदांस्तांस्तान्नगराणि वनानि च |
आश्रमाणि च पुण्यानि मार्गमाणो महीपतिः || १-६१-१०
स पुत्रसहितं तात सभार्यं रघुनंदन |
भृगुतुंगे समासीनमृचीकं संददर्श ह || १-६१-११
10, 11. taata = oh dear, Rama; raghunandana = oh Raghu's legatee; saH mahiipatiH = 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; putrasahitam = along with sons; sabhaaryam = with wife; samaasiinam = well seated [settled]; R^iciikam sam dadarsha ha = he has well seen at Sage Raiciika, 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]
तमुवाच महातेजाः प्रणम्याभिप्रसाद्य च |
महर्षिं तपसा दीप्तं राजर्षिरमितप्रभः || १-६१-१२
पृष्ट्वा सर्वत्र कुशलमृचीकं तमिदं वचः |
12, 13a. mahaatejaaH = great-resplendent; amitaprabhaH = not limitable in brilliance; such a; raajarSiH = kingly sage [King Ambariisha ]; tapasaa diiptam = brilliant by ascesis [Sage Riciika]; tam maharSim praNamya = on reverencing him, great-sage Riciika; abhiprasaadya ca = obtaining his grace, also; sarvatra kushalam pR^iSTvaa = on asking wellbeing in every aspect; tam R^iciikam = him, to Sage Riciika; idam vacaH uvaaca = said this word - 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]
गवां शतसहस्रेण विक्रीणीषे सुतं यदि || १-६१-१३
पशोरर्थे महाभाग कृतकृत्योऽस्मि भार्गव |
13b, 14a. mahaabhaaga = oh godlike sage; bhaargava = oh successor of Bhrigu; gavaam shatasahasreNa = by hundred thousand cows; sutam = [your] son; pashoH arthe = for purpose of ritual-animal; vikriiNiiSe yadi = if you bargain; kR^itakR^ityaH asmi = I will be achieved ends.
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 यज्ञियं न लभे पशुम् || १-६१-१४
दातुमर्हसि मूल्येन सुतमेकमितो मम |
14b, 15a. sarve deshaaH parigataa = all, provinces, went over; yaj~niyam pashum na labhe = not obtained ritual's animal; itaH = from [among your sons]; ekam sutam = one, son; muulyena = for a value; daatum arhasi = apt of you to give.
'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]
एवमुक्तो महातेजा ऋचीकस्त्वब्रवीद्वचः || १-६१-१५
नाहं ज्येष्ठं नरश्रेष्ठ विक्रीणीयां कथंचन |
15b, 16a. evam uktaH = thus, who is addressed; mahaatejaaH = great-resplendent sage; R^iciikaH tu = Riciika, on his part; vacaH abraviit = said word ; narashreSTha = oh the best man - king Ambariisha; aham kathamcana = I, in anyway; jyeSTham na vikriiNiiyaam = not possibly sell eldest [son].
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 तेषां माता महात्मनाम् || १-६१-१६
उवाच नरशार्दूलमंबरीषमिदं वचः |
16b, 17a: R^iciikasya vacaH shrutvaa = on hearing Riciika's words; mahaatmanaam = of great souled [sons]; teSaam maataa = their [sons',] mother; narashaarduulam ambariiSam = to tigerly man, to Ambariisha; idam vacaH uvaaca = said this word.
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]
अविक्रेयं सुतं ज्येष्ठं भगवानाह भार्गवः || १-६१-१७
ममापि दयितं विद्धि कनिष्ठं शुनकं प्रभो |
तस्मात् कनीयसं पुत्रं न दास्ये तव पार्थिव || १-६१-१८
17b, 18. bhagavaan = reverential one; bhaargavaH = sage from Bhaargava dynasty [namely Riciika]; jyeSTham sutam avikreyam = 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 = I will not give to you.
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 |
मातॄणां च कनीयांसस्तस्माद्रक्षे कनीयसम् || १-६१-१९
19. narashreSTha = oh best one among men - oh king; praayeNa = generally; jyeSThaaH pitR^iSu vallabhaaH hi = eldest [sons] are favourites for father , isn't it; maatR^INaam ca kaniiyaamsaH [vallabhaaH] = youngest ones for mothers [favourites], also; 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-parvaNi sahadevam prati kuntiivaakyam - sahadeva nivartasva nanu tvam asi me priyaH | shariiraat api maadreyaa maamatyakShiiH kuputravat | - aashramavaase dharmaputram prati kuntiivaakyam - sahadevamaaraaja 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...'
उक्तवाक्ये मुनौ तस्मिन् मुनिपत्न्यां तथैव च |
शुनःशेपः स्वयं राम मध्यमो वाक्यमब्रवीत् || १-६१-२०
20. raama = oh Rama; tasmin munau = by that sage; uktavaakye = said so sentence; munipatnyaam tathaa eva ca = sage's wife [sentence] in that way, only; madhyamaH shunaHshepaH = intermediate [son,] Shunashepa; svayam vaakyam abraviit = personally spoke sentence.
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 ज्येष्ठमविक्रेयं माता चाह कनीयसम् |
विक्रेतं मध्यमं मन्ये राजपुत्र नयस्व माम् || १-६१-२१
21. raajaputra = oh prince; pitaa jyeSTham avikreyam aaha = father is telling eldest one as un-sellable; maataa ca kaniiyasam = mother, also [said the same, about] youngest son; madhyamam = intermediate - son; vikretam manye = sellable, I deem; maam nayasva = you lead forth me.
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 वाक्यान्ते ब्रह्मवादिनः |
हिरण्यस्य सुवर्णस्य कोटिभी रत्नराशिभिः || १-६१-२२
गवां शतसहस्रेण शुनःशेपं नरेश्वरः |
गृहीत्वा परमप्रीतो जगाम रघुनंदन || १-६१-२३
22, 23. mahaabaaho = oh dextrous Rama; raghunandana = oh Raghu's legatee, Rama; atha raajaa = then, king; brahmavaadinaH = advocate of Brahma [Veda-s] ; vaakyaante = end of sentence [when he finished his speech]; hiraNyasya suvarNasya = of gold, of silver; koTibhiH = crores of [ten million]; ratnaraashibhiH = heaps of gemstones; [dattvaa = on giving]; gavaam shatasahasreNa = hundred thousand cows; nareshvaraH = king Ambariisha; shunaHshepam = Shunashepa is; gR^ihiitvaa = on taking; paramapriitaH = 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 Raghu, that king Ambariisha went away highly gladdened to take Shunashepa with him. [1-61-22, 23]
अंबरीषस्तु राजर्षी रथमारोप्य सत्वरः |
शुनःशेपं महातेजा जगामाशु महायशाः || १-६१-२४
24. mahaatejaaH = great-resplendent - king; mahaayashaaH = highly renowned - king; raajarSiH ambariiSaH tu = kingly sage, Ambariisha, on his part; satvaraH = with haste; shunaHshepam ratham aaropya = ascending Shunashepa, on chariot; 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 वाल्मीकिरामायणे आदिकाव्ये बालकाण्डे एकषष्टितमः सर्गः
© Mar, 2003, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : December 04]