|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
Translated by P. R. Ramachander
Translated by P. R. Ramachander
[This is the first chapter of Ramayana. In this chapter Valmiki who is in search of a suitable hero, whose exploits he wants to write as an epic, asks Sage Narada for suggestions. Narada suggests that Valmiki should write about Rama and also tells him in brief the story of Rama. It is believed by reading this chapter, one can get the same blessing as one who reads Ramayana in full.]
1. The great sage Valmiki asked Sage Narada who always is busy in meditation and mastering the Vedas and who is the greatest among people who knows Vedas: -
(Sage Narada is the son of Brahma and a great devotee of Vishnu. He is a constant traveler and travels through all the worlds. It is believed that he creates tension so that good will result.)
2. "Who exists at present in this world who has all good qualities, who is valorous, who is the one devoted to just action, who is grateful and who tells only truth in all circumstances?"
3. "Who is that man who has all the good characters, who does only good to all animals, who is extremely knowledgeable, who is capable of doing rightly all actions and who only shows love outside?"
4. "Who is that man who attracts minds of others, who has won over his anger, who is sparkling, who does not have jealousy and who in war even makes devas fear struck?"
5. "I am extremely anxious to know about such a person. Hey, sage, only you are capable of telling me about a man with all these qualities."
6. Sage Narada who knows every thing that happens in all the three worlds, after hearing all the words of Valmiki, with happiness addressed Valmiki and started telling "Be pleased to hear."
7. "Those characteristics that you have narrated are very many and very rare. I would think over and tell you about a man who has all these qualities."
8. "There is a prince, who is born in the Ikshuvaku clan, who is called "Rama", who is famous among people, who keeps his mind under control, who is a great hero, who is shining, who is firm in his resolves and who attracts others."
9. "He is knowledgeable, just, good orator, gentleman, killer of his enemies, having thick shoulders and long hands, who has conch like neck and who has pretty cheeks."
10. "He has a broad chest, is a great archer, has hidden shoulder bones, suppresses his enemies, and has long hands, good head, handsome forehead and pretty gait."
11. "He has proportionate height and other organs, he has equally divided organs, he is of black colour, he is famous, he has a thick chest, broad eyes and pretty body and is a symbol of good omen"
12. "He knows Dharma (just action), he has taken an oath to speak truth, he is interested in the welfare of his people, he is famous, he knows everything, he is pure, he is approachable to those who depend on him, he takes care in saving people who are dependent on him, he is equal to the god Brahma, he is wealthy, he is capable of protecting everyone and he can destroy his enemies."
13. "He protects all animals, he protects the various castes, he observes his own dharma (just action) and he protects his own people."
14. "He knows the essence of four Vedas and six Vedangas, he has great knowledge of the science of archery, he has great and minute knowledge of all sciences, he has clear understanding of everything and he quickly understands things."
15. "He is dear to all the world, soft natured, capable and is attained by good people similar to the rivers like Sindhu (River Indus) attaining the sea."
16. "He is fit to be worshipped, treats every one as equals, always appears as lovable, increases the happiness of Kausalya and is one with all good qualities."
17. "He is immense in stature like the ocean, he is great in his courage like the Himalaya Mountains, he is as valorous like Lord Vishnu, and as pleasant to see as the full moon."
18. "His anger is like the fire at the time of deluge, his patience is like mother earth, his sacrifice is equal to that of Kubhera and in his truthfulness he is like the God of death."
(Yama the God of death is supposed to be the epitome of Dharma.)
19-20. "The king Dasaratha with a loving wish to do good to the people wanted to make Rama who has all the above qualities, who is a great hero, who has all sterling qualities, who wanted to do good to his people, who is a dear and who is eldest son, as the future king."
(During those times in India, it was a custom to designate the crown prince as Yuva Raja-the young king.)
21. "Hearing about the various preparations for his coronation, Dasaratha's wife Kaikeyi reminded him of the two boons he had given her and requested that Rama should be sent to the forest and that Bharatha should be crowned."
(Dasaratha gave these two boons during a war in which when the axle of his chariot broke, Kaikeyi who was with him maintained the balance using her thumb.)
22. "That king Dasaratha bound by justice to obey his promise. ordered his son Rama to go and live in the forest."
23. "Because of the order of his father and love towards Kaikeyi that valorous Rama went to the forest to protect the truth."
24. "It seems that Lakshmana who is humility personified, who increases the happiness of Sumithra, who is a dear brother, and who does good to his brother, exhibiting affection towards his brother, accompanied his brother who was going to the forest."
25-26. "That Sita, who is the darling wife of Rama, who is a reflection of his soul, who does happy deeds to him, who was born in the family of Janaka, who was created by the illusion of Gods, who is the epitome of perfection and who is the greatest among women, accompanied Rama like Rohini accompanies the moon God."
27. "That soul of Dharma (Just action) was accompanied by all the citizens and his father Dasaratha for a long distance, reached the place of Guha, the chief of hunters and a very dear friend, and send back the chariot driver at a place called Sringipura."
28. "Rama along with Sita, Lakshmana and Guha stayed there."
29-30. "Those three traveling from that forest to another and crossing several rivers full of flowing waters, under the instruction of Sage Bharadwaja reached a place called Chitra Koota, and constructed a pretty temporary forest house (literally house made of leaves) and lived there happily."
31. "When Rama reached Chitra Koota afflicted by sorrow of parting with his darling son, Dasaratha went to heaven sorrowing for his son."
32. "After his death though sages like Vasishta requested him to become the king, that very strong Bharatha did not wish to be the king."
33. "Wishing for the blessings of Rama, he started to the forest."
34. "Bharatha who is the first among people who wanted to follow Dharma humbly requested Rama, with a broad vision and a true hero.."
35. "You who know Dharma is truly our king." But Rama who is merciful, who had a smiling face, who was famous and who was very strong, did not wish for the kingdom as per the orders of his father."
36. "But Rama who was the elder brother of Bharatha gave his foot wear as his representative to rule the kingdom, and sent back Bharatha from there."
37. "Bharatha whose desire was not fulfilled, started serving the foot wear of Rama and started ruling the kingdom from Nandigrama and started waiting for Rama's return."
38. "As soon as Bharatha went back Rama who was truthful, who has control over his senses and who was firm in his resolve, fearing the return of more people from the town entered the Dandaka forest."
39. "It seems that lotus eyed Rama after entering the forest and killing an Asura called Viradha visited sages like Sarabhanga, Suthheeeshna and Agasthya."
40. "As per the wishes of Agasthya he happily received with happiness the bow, sword and two inexhaustible quivers belonging to Indra." 40
41. "All the great sages along with people of the forest approached Rama who was living in the forest with a request for killing of Asuras and rakshasas."
42. "He promised them that he would do according to their wish."
43. "Rama took an oath to kill rakshasa in war to the great sages living in Dandakaranya forest who were equal to the fire God."
44. "Surpanakha, who can assume any form she likes and who was living in a place called Janasthana in the forest was disfigured by Rama who was also living there."
(But in the main book, it is mentioned that Lakshmana disfigured her)
45. "Afterwards he killed Khara, Trishiras and Dhooshana along with their followers who came to attack him hearing the words of Surpanaka."
46. "Rama who was living in that forest also killed fourteen thousand Rakshasas who were living in Janasthana."
47. "Hearing about the killing of his relatives, Ravana loosing his senses due to extreme anger, requested the rakshasa called Mareecha to help him."
48. "Hey, Ravana, enmity with Rama who is extremely strong is not good " told Mareecha to Ravana."
49. "Led by the God of death, Ravana kicked off his advice and went to the hermitage of Rama along with Mareecha."
50. "After leading those two princes far away using the help of Mareecha who was an adept in magic and after killing Jatayu the hawk, Ravana abducted Sita who was the wife of Rama."
(In the main story the killing of Jatayu was after the abduction.)
51. "Seeing the death of the hawk Jatayu and from him hearing that Ravana has abducted Sita, Rama became pained with sorrow and cried and became agitated."
52-53. "Rama along with that sorrow cremated the hawk Jatayu and when he was searching for Sita in the forest saw a Rakshasa called Kabanda who was having an ugly ferocious look."
54. "Rama who was very strong killed that Rakshasa and also cremated him. That rakshasa went to heaven."
55. "Then that Rakshasa stood for some time in the sky and advised Rama to contact Sabari who was knowledgeable of Dharma. who was following its percepts and who had renounced the world."
56. "That resplendent one who killed his foes went and saw Sabari and she duly worshipped Rama, the son of Dasaratha."
57. "Then he was seen by the monkey Hanuman on the shores of river Pampa. As per the advice of Hanuman he signed a treaty with Sugreeva."
58. "That very strong Rama related his story from the beginning especially the part which happened to Sita to Sugreeva."
59. "That monkey Sugreeva after hearing everything, signedwith pleasure the treaty with fire as witness."
60. "Afterwards that sorrowful king of monkeys told with love towards Rama, about his enmity with Bali and other news."
61. "At that time Sugreeva specially told about the strength of Bali and Rama promised that he would kill Bali."
62. "But Sugreeva had doubts about Rama's prowess to kill Bali.
63. "He showed him the mountain like skeleton of the Asura Dundhbhi who was killed by Bali, so that he could gain more confidence in Rama."
64. "That very strong Rama who had long hands which reached his thighs, examined the huge skeleton and using his thumb of the right foot threw the skeleton for a distance of ten yojanas without any effort."
65. "Not only that with a single arrow he split into two, the seven Sala trees and also the nearby mountain and the underworld."
66. "Convinced by these actions, the monkey chief who had a happy frame of mind took him to the cave called Kishkinda."
67. "Then that monkey chief Sugreeva who had a colour similar to gold roared and hearing that huge sound the king of monkeys Bali came out."
68. "After consoling Tara (that Rama will not kill an innocent one) when he fought with Sugreeva, Raghava killed him with one single arrow."
69. "After killing Bali as per the wishes of Sugreeva, Raghava made Sugreeva the king of that kingdom."
70. "That king of monkeys Sugreeva called all monkeys and send them to different directions to locate Sita."
71. "Hearing the words of the hawk Sampathi, Hanuman jumped and crossed the great ocean which is one hundred yojanas broad."
72. "After reaching the city of Lanka ruled by Ravana, he saw Sita who was always thinking about Rama in the Asoka forest."
73. "He gave the ring of Rama to Sita, told her all the news including the treaty with Sugreeva, consoled her and destroyed the tower in Asoka forest."
74. "After killing five commander in chiefs, seven sons of ministers and the great hero Akshaya Kumara, Hanuman was caught by them."
75-76. "Because of, the boon of Brahma, knowing that he was free from the tie of the arrow and tolerating those rakshasas leading him, that valorous Hanuman and after burning the entire city of Lanka except Sita, reached back to inform the good news to Rama."
77. "That Hanuman who was having immeasurable strength and intelligence, after reaching Rama, went round him and told him the good news that he has seen Sita."
78. "After that Rama along with Sugreeva reached the shores of the great ocean and created a turmoil in the ocean by his arrows which were equal to the power of Sun."
79. "The lord of the ocean presented himself in his true form before him and as per his words Sri Rama built a bridge to the ocean with the help of Nala."
(Nala was the son of the deva architect Viswa Karma)
80. "Reaching the city of Lanka by that bridge, Rama rescued Sita after killing Ravana but felt very much ashamed."
81. "He told Sita very hard words in front of the assembly of men and Sita unable to tolerate the words jumped in to the fire."
82. "At that time knowing from the God of fire that Sita is without any blemish, Rama after being worshipped by all devas became very happy."
83. "By this great action of Raghava all the three worlds including movable and immovable beings, devas, sages and others became very happy."
84. "Wonder of wonders, Rama without any worry and filled with happiness, became very much contented after installing Vibhishana as the king of Rakshasas and thus completing his duties."
85. "After giving life to all monkeys by the boon of devas. Rama surrounded by all his friends, started towards Ayodhya in the Pushpaka Vimana.."
86. "After reaching the hermitage of sage Bharadwaja, Rama who was truly valorous sent Hanuman to Bharatha."
87. "Then along with Sugreeva, conversing about the stories of the past Rama traveled in Pushpaka Vimana and reached Nandi Grama."
88. "That very holy Rama, along with his brothers removed the Jata (matted hair),* and along with Sita assumed the kingship."
* In the forest life Rama did not get his hair cut and made in to a mass called Jata
89. "The people of Ayodhya became filled with happiness and satisfaction, and were looked after well, became very just, were devoid of any diseases, were very healthy and were devoid of any fear of scarcity."
90. "Men never saw the death of their children and women were always Sumangalis* and Virtuous."
* Lady whose husband is alive.
91-92. "In the kingdom of Rama there was no fear from fire, no beings died by drowning in water, there was no fear from wind, similarly no fear from fever, there was no problems due to hunger and there was no fear of thieves."
93. "Towns and countries were full of wealth and grains and all people lived happy daily like those in Krutha Yuga."*
* An ion when every thing is good.
94-95. "This Rama with immense fame, having performed one hundred horse sacrifices. having given in charity lot of gold, having given ten thousand crores of cows and lot of wealth to Brahmins is going to attain the world of Brahma."
96. "This Rama is going to establish one hundred times more royal families. He is going to make the four fold castes to engage themselves in the duties of their caste."
97. "After ruling this world for ten thousand years, he is going to attain the world of Brahma."
98. "Those who read this story of Rama which is holy, which is capable of removing sins, which gives holy deeds and which is equivalent to Vedas would get rid of all their sins."
99. "Those who read this history of Rama which gives life, would along with their sons, grand sons, relatives and friends would live in heaven after their death."
100. "A Brahmin who reads this will attain mastery over words, Kshatriya will get land, Vysya would get more business and Shudra would get more fame."
Thus ends the first chapter of Bala Kanda called "Summary of Ramayana" which is in the Ramayana which is the first epic written by Valmiki.