Bala Kandam

Sargam [Chapter]: 12
Aswamedha Sacrifice Planning

[In consultation with sage Rishya Sringa and several other sages, a decision was taken to perform the Aswamedha sacrifice and arrangements were made to perform this great sacrifice.]

After spending a long charming time like this, the pretty spring season arrived and the desire to perform the fire sacrifice arose in the mind of the king. 12.1

Then after bowing his head to the god like Brahmin and after pleasing him told, "let us conduct the fire sacrifice so that children are born and the continuity of the family can be assured". Then he chose him as his official priest. 12.2

The well honoured Brahmin assented and requested the King to collect the required materials and also release the horse. 12.3

Thereafter the King spoke the following words to the best of his ministers Sumanthra, "Oh Sumanthra, please summon immediately Suyajna, Vamadeva, Jabali, Kashyapa and family priest Sage Vasishta along with foremost among the Brahmins who are well versed in Vedas to act as official priests." 12.4-12.5

There upon the fast moving Sumanthra went with great speed, gathered and brought all those Brahmins who had completely mastered the Vedas. 12.6

Then the soul of Dharma, the King Dasaratha, worshipped all of them with Dharma and wealth and said the following gracious words to them. 12.7

"I am suffering with intense sorrow due to the need for sons and because of that there is no happiness for me. It is my intention to perform the horse sacrifice for realization of my wish." 12.8

"For that reason, I am desirous of performing the fire sacrifice according to Vedic specifications and I shall obtain fulfillment of my desire by the grace of sage Rishya Sringa." 12.9

The Brahmins lead by sage Vasishta, hearing the words of the king, praised him and blessed that the Fire sacrifice would be well done. 12.10

Then the priests lead by sage Rishya Sringa said, "Let the materials needed be procured and let the horse be released." 12.11

"It is good, that the righteous thought of begetting sons has entered your mind. Surely you would get four sons of immense prowess." 12.12

Hearing the words of the Brahmin, the King was mightily pleased and he spoke these auspicious words to his ministers. 12.13

"As per the orders of our Teachers [Gurus], all material needed may please be procured and a horse may be released under the protection of able warriors and let a priest accompany them." 12.14

"The hall for conducting fire sacrifice may be erected according to well laid procedures of Kalpa, on the northern side of river Sarayu and let auspicious rites be performed there uninterrupted." 12.15

"In this best of sacrifices omissions and difficulties should not happen and all kings should be able to fulfill their desires by it." 12.16

"In this sacrifice conducted by learned men, the Brahma Rakshasas would be looking to find faults and if they find they would destroy the doer as well as the sacrifice immediately." 12.17

"Because of that it should be done in the manner as specified by the scriptures and arrangements are to be made to complete it properly as you are experts in this matter." 12.18

Then all the ministers said that they would do accordingly and as ordered, the fire sacrifice would be performed. 12.19

Then the Brahmins praised the great King who was a master in Dharmas and after being permitted went back to their places. 12.20

Then after the Brahmins had departed, the great and glorious King sent away his ministers and entered the palace. 12.21

This is the end of Twelfth Sarga of Bala Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

Sargam [Chapter]: 13
Aswamedha Sacrifice Arrangements

[In consultation with Vasishta all arrangements for conducting the Aswamedha sacrifice is being done.]

After one year, spring came again and the valiant King Dasaratha, for begetting a son, entered the sacrificial pavilion to perform the Horse Sacrifice. 13.1

After saluting and worshipping the great Brahmin Vasishta, according to the prescribed procedure for begetting children said with humility. 13.2

"Oh foremost among sages, Oh Brahmins, may this sacrifice be performed according to rules prescribed, so that no obstruction to it will ever arise." 13.3

"You are affectionate towards me and also a friend. Be my spiritual guide and you alone should take over the burden of performing this sacrifice." 13.4

In answer to what was told by the king, that great among Brahmins told, "All things would be done as you had planned." 13.5

Then Sage Vasishta summoned venerable Brahmins experienced in fire sacrifice related activities, venerable and most righteous people well versed in architecture, skilled workers, makers of bricks, carpenters, diggers, men adept in calculation, artisans, dancers and actors, men having a clean background, people well versed in scriptures, well informed and knowledgeable people and told them, "The commencement of the fire sacrifice is very near and all of you as per the orders of the king, quickly bring thousands of bricks and also engage yourselves in all the subsidiary activities. 13.6-13.9

"Let many homes for the Brahmins be erected and let them be provided with all comforts and food in them." 13.10

"And also for citizens of other towns engaged in many works, houses may be erected along with food as well as entertainment " 13.11

"And in the same way, extremely good food be provided for the commoners attending the function as per rules and they all be treated well and not shabbily or carelessly." 13.12

"People from other castes also should be treated honourably and they should not be insulted to lust or anger." 13.13

"Those people who are busy with ritual related activities and the sculptors should be properly honoured and taken care of; all of them should be made contended by giving enough money. Without leaving out any activity, everything should be managed well and in that manner should take care of everything with your whole heart full of love and affection. Then all of them approached Vasishta and told him like this, "Everything will be well arranged and nothing would be left out and we will attend to it as instructed, No activity would be such that people would tease us about it." 13.14-13.17

Then Vasishta summoned Sumanthra and told him, "Invite all righteous kings to this function." 13.18

"Bring in Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Merchants and Sudras in thousands from all countries with due honour and convene them here." 13.19

"I am informing you to go and personally invite Janaka, the King of Mithila, who is courageous person of true valour, proficient in all scriptures, expert in Vedas and an ancient ally of King Dasaratha with due honours." 13.20-13.21

"Afterwards, you please go and bring the lion among kings, the King of Kasi who is affectionate and talks sweetly." 13.22

"Then, please bring the old King of Kekaya, who is a great observer of Dharma and who is the father in law of King Dasaratha, along with his sons." 13.23

"Then you should bring Romapada, the prosperous King of Anga and a very close friend of Dasaratha, with due honours." 13.24

"Please invite kings from countries on the east side, Kings of Sindhu and Sanvera countries, kings of Saurashtra and kings of South with due honours." 13.25

"Please also invite the kings of other countries, who are friendly with us, along with retinues, relatives and friends." 13.26

Hearing these words of Vasishta, the truly valorous Sumanthra speedily dispatched virtuous and auspicious men to bring the kings. 13.27

Honouring the words of the sage Sumanthra himself set out to personally invite King Janaka and other kings. 13.28

All the workers involved in the fire sacrifice, having completed the task assigned to them informed about it to the very great sage Vasishta. 13.29

Then the well pleased great Brahmin sage Vasishta told addressing all of them, "No gift should be given casually or with insult or with contempt. If done, it results in the destruction of the donor." 13.30

Kings of several countries travelling day and night arrived in the city of Ayodhya carrying with them various kinds of gifts. Then the well pleased Vasishta addressed Dasaratha and told, "Oh lion among men, as per your invitation many noble kings of various places have arrived and I have honoured them according to their merit." 13.31-13.33

"Oh King, arrangements for the fire sacrifice has been completed by well-balanced experts. Now you can leave to the hall of Fire sacrifice to perform the Yagna." 13.34

"Oh King, please visit the hall of fire sacrifice where all your desires of the mind have been given shape and is constructed in such a way, that it deserves to be seen." 13.35

According to the words of Vasishta, Rishya Sringa and King of the world entered the sacrificial hall on an auspicious day, when there was an auspicious star." 13.36

Then the great sage Vasishta and other great Brahmins entered the sacrificial hall in accordance with Sasthra and in accordance with tradition and then sage Rishya Sringa began the sacrificial rites. 13.37

This is the end of Thirteenth Sarga of Bala Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

Sargam [Chapter]: 14
Aswamedha Sacrifice

[Here all particulars of the Aswamedha sacrifice is given. After conducting it, Dasaratha requests Rishya Sringa to help him by rituals to get sons and he agrees.]

After completion of one year, when the sacrificial horse has reached back to the sacrificial hall constructed on the northern side of Sarayu River, the ceremonies of the sacrifice commenced. 14.1

The Aswamedha sacrifice of that great King Dasaratha was conducted by the great sage Rishya Sringa, who was the best among the Brahmins. 14.2

The chief priests who were expert in Vedas carried out the rituals fully according to the tradition and according to law laid down in the scriptures. 14.3

The Brahmins having done Pravargya according to the Shastras did Upasada as well as other ceremonies as per rules. 14.4

Then the overjoyed great ascetics after morning ablations started worshipping the celestial beings and performed rituals as per rules. 14.5

The sacrificial offering to Indra was offered in the fire daily according to the tradition and faultless soma plant was pressed for taking out the juice and later ablations for the mid-day was performed as per sequence. 14.6

In the same manner, those eminent Brahmins, in conformity with shastras and after seeing by the great king, did the third pressing of soma in the evening. 14.7

In that sacrifice, omissions did not take place; there were no defects or mistakes and everything addressed to god which appeared as safe were performed. 14.8

During those days, nowhere was there a hungry or tired man. No ignorant Brahmin was seen anywhere and all Brahmins seen were followed by hundreds of disciples. 14.9

Brahmins, servants and ascetics as well as monks were found taking food. 14.10

Aged people, sick persons, women and children were also seen to be happily eating. 14.11

In the sacrificial ground, food and various kinds of clothes were continuously being handed over to those in charge of distributing these. 14.12

The heaps of food which were kept ready for distribution and which looked like Mountains were seen everywhere, daily. 14.13

The great man arranged for entertainment of men and women who have arrived there from various countries. 14.14

Dasaratha continuously heard the greetings of greatly satisfied Brahmins after they had tasted the well-cooked tasty food. 14.15

Well decorated men were seen serving food to the Brahmins and people wearing ornaments and gems assisted them. 14.16

In between the ceremonies, the learned Brahmins engaged themselves in discussion of scriptures and some very eloquent and intelligent Brahmins were aiming at victory. 14.17

In that year, daily some very intelligent Brahmins, persuaded by Vasishta performed all the duties of fire sacrifice as per tradition. 14.18

In that sacrificial ceremony, there was no one who was not learned in the six Vedangas; there were none who were not faithful to the vows that they had taken; there were none who were not learned and there were no body among the king's assistants who were not good in debate based on Vedas. 14.19

In that sacrifice, when the time came to erect the pillars, six pillars made of Bilwa wood, equal number of pillars made of Khadire wood as well as six pillars of Parni wood, one made of sleshamathaka, two made of Devadaru, were erected in such a way that there was a distance of two outstretched hands maintained. 14.20-14.21

All the posts were got made by people with knowledge of Sasthra and experts in yajna and all the posts were decorated with gold for elegance. 14.22

Twenty one pillars each measuring twenty one Aartni distance [distance between elbow to little finger] was well decorated with twenty one cloths, each cloth decorating one pillar. 14.23

All pillars, each having eight sides were well carved and decorated by sculptors, had finely chiselled surfaces and were erected as per tradition. 14.24

Decorated with cloths, sandal paste and flowers, all pillars were strong, possessing extreme brightness and shined like the seven sages star in the sky. 14.25

The sacrificial fire place was constructed there as per Sasthras, by placing of bricks, by accomplished Brahmins using the art of measurement by rope. 14.26

The sacrificial altar, constructed by the intelligent Brahmins for Dasaratha, who was a lion among kings, was like an eagle with golden wings, with three ranges, each range having six fire places. 14.27

As prompted by tradition, animals, serpents and birds were kept ready, each intended for a different deity. 14.28

When the time came to sacrifice the animals, according to the tradition, the chief priest tied up the horse first and aquatic animal next. 14.29

Then, those three hundred animals and the sacred horse from the best stable of Dasaratha were bound to the sacrificial posts. 14.30

After Kausalya served the horse from its four directions and after worshipping it with glee by three strokes of the scimitar, its head was severed. 14.31

Then with a stable mind and with great devotion to her duty Kausalya spent one night near the horse. 14.32

Women known as Hota, Advaryu, Udgatha, Mahishi [Chief Queen], Parivruthya [overlooked wife], Parvruthi, Vaavathaa, Aparaam [lady attender] and Palakali [the other woman] touched with their hand the sacrificial horse. 14.33

The official priest blessed with restrained senses and also very knowledgeable, having removed the marrow of the horse, cooked it according to scriptures. 14.34

At the proper time, Dasaratha, as laid out in the scriptures, got rid of all his sins by inhaling the scent of the burnt marrow. 14.35

All those sixteen officiating priests, who were Brahmins, offered those limbs, as per rule, to the fire. 14.36

Unlike other fire sacrifices where oblations are offered using branches of Palasa tree, in this case, cane creeper was chosen to offer one oblation. 14.37

According to Kalpa Suthra, Aswamedha sacrifice is completed in three days and on the first day Chathushta homa is carried out. 14.38

Ukthya is performed on the second day and on the third day athirathram is performed. As per Sastra many other sacrifices were performed along with this. 14.39

Jyothish homa and Ayur yaga were performed along with Athirathram and Abhijit. Viswajit and Asoryaga were also performed in the prescribed manner. 14.40

With a view to promote his clan, King Dasaratha gave away eastern region to Hothra, western side to Adhivaryu, southern side to Brahmana and northern side to Udagatha as prescribed and fixed long ago by Lord Brahma in case of a mighty horse sacrifice. 14.41-14.42

King Dasaratha, the leader of men and one who increased the fame of his clan, after concluding the sacrifice, according to law, offered entire earth as gift to the priests. 14.43

But the priests told King Dasaratha, who has been purged of all sins, that he alone deserves to be the protector of the earth. 14.44

"Oh ruler of earth, we are incapable of ruling the earth and have nothing to do with ruling it and we are indeed dedicated to the study of Vedas. So you may kindly offer some other gift instead of this." 14.45

"Oh great man, give us gold or gems or cows whichever is readily available, as we do not have any use with the earth." 14.46

The great man, King Dasaratha, having been addressed by those scholars of Vedas like this, gave them ten hundred thousand cows, hundred crores of gold coins and four times that much of silver coins. 14.47-14.48

Thereafter, those priests collectively offered all that they got to the great Rishya Sringa and the sage Vasishta. 14.49
Then those great Brahmins, who were highly pleased, distributed the wealth given to them equally. 14.50

After that, with great earnestness Dasaratha offered one crore of gold coins to those Brahmins who have come to see the fire sacrifice. 14.51

And then when one Brahmin asked for alms, King Dasaratha gave him, his excellent bracelet. 14.52

Then that mighty King Dasaratha, who was affectionate towards Brahmins, who were highly pleased with him, bowed before them with eyes full of joy. 14.53

Thereafter the charitable and valorous King Dasaratha prostrated before them and the Brahmins uttered the words of blessing to him. 14.54

They told that the sacrifice destroys sins, takes the performer to heaven and no other King except Dasaratha can perform it. The King was greatly pleased for having performed that great sacrifice. 14.55

Thereafter King Dasaratha addressed sage Rishya Sringa and told him, "Oh strict follower of vows, how can I ensure the continuity of my clan?" 14.56

The best of Brahmins, Rishya Sringa Said, "Let it happen", and he further said, "Oh king, your race would continue with the birth of Four sons." 14.57

This is the end of Fourteenth Sarga of Bala Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

Sargam [Chapter]: 15
Puthreshti and Story of Ravana

[Sage Rishya Sringa starts the Putra Ishti according to Atharva Veda. Devas, who have assembled there, complain about the problems being created by Ravana due to his boon. Lord Brahma assures that he can be killed by a man and devas request Lord Vishnu to be born as four sons of Dasaratha.]

That great intellectual [Rishya Sringa], who was a great expert in Vedas, then thought for a while and after he got the results of his search, he told the King: 15.1

For the sake of getting sons for you, I will perform according to the traditions, the Puthreshti sacrifice as detailed in the Atharva Seersha part of the Vedas, which is capable of fulfilling your desire to have a son. 15.2

That Rishya Sringa, with great luster, commenced the fire sacrifice aimed at begetting sons chanted the Manthras and poured oblations in the fire according to rules so that the King would beget sons. 15.3

All devas, Sidhas, Gandharwas and great sages assemble there to get their share from the sacrifice. 15.4

Having assembled there as per the custom, those devas told as follows to Lord Brahma, the creator of the world. 15.5

"Oh God, a Rakshasa called Ravana, having obtained great powers through your blessings, is creating problems to us and we are not capable of punishing him." 15.6

"Oh God, in olden times, pleased with his penance, you had granted him a boon and honouring the boon, we are enduring his cruelty towards us." 15.7

"That evil minded one is inflicting pain on the people of the three worlds. He hates the guardians of earth and is greatly desirous of assaulting Indra who is our King." 15.8

"That one, who is difficult to oppose, because of your boons, becoming proud, he is attacking sages, Yakshas, Gandhrawas, Devas and Brahmins." 15.9

"The sun does not burn him, the wind which blows becomes still once he sees Ravana." 15.10

"Due to his terrible looks, he creates great fear in us. Oh lord, you have to find out some means to kill him." 15.11

Having greatly reflected on the words spoken by devas, Lord Brahma said, "The means of destruction of that bad soul is already known." 15.12

When he wanted that he should not be killed by Devas, Asuras, Gandharwas and Yakshas, I said "so be it." 15.13

"That Rakshasa, due to his poor opinion of man, did not include them in his wish. For that reason, he is fit to be killed by a man and no one else." 15.14
Hearing those dear words uttered by Brahma, devas and sages felt happy. 15.15

At this time, Lord Vishnu carrying conch, wheel and mace, dressed in yellow silk, arrived there with great luster. 15.16

Having met Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu stayed there with a composed mind. Devas prostrated before him and told him as follows. 15.17

"Oh Lord Vishnu, desirous of doing well to the world, we are making this request. The King of Ayodhya, oh lord, is a righteous, generous, equal to sages in luster. His wives are like Hri [modesty], Sree [auspiciousness] and Kirthi [fame] who are the daughters of Daksha. You please divide yourself in to four forms and be born as their sons." 15.18-15.19

"Oh Lord Vishnu, being born in the form of a man, you can slay in a war Ravana, who is greatly arrogant, destroyer of the people and one who cannot be killed by gods." 15.20

"That cruel Rakshasa Ravana, by his great strength is troubling Devas, Sidhas, Gandharwas and great sages." 15.21

"That terrible one is reported to have tortured sages, Gandarwas and apsaraas in Nandanavana." 15.22

"We, the siddhas, gandarwas, yakshas along with sages have come here requesting for the death of Ravana and for that reason we have taken refuge in you." 15.23

"Oh Lord Vishnu, who troubles his enemies, you are the supreme refuge to all of us. Please resolve your mind to be born in the world of humans and destroy the enemies of devas." 15.24

Lord Vishnu, the foremost among the Gods whom all the world and the King of devas salute, who was properly addressed in this manner by all the devas led by Lord Brahma in the path of righteousness, told. 15.25-15.26

"Leave out all your fear. My blessings for the welfare of you all. For the good of devas and sages, I will kill the cruel and dreadful Ravana along with all his sons and grandsons and also along with his ministers, friends and allies in a great war and then live and rule this world for ten thousand years." 15.27-15.28

Lord Vishnu, the highest soul, after talking like this to devas and giving them boons, thought about which part of the world, he should be born as a man." 15.29

After that, the god with eyes like lotus petals divided himself in to four ways and chose to be born to King Dasaratha whom he liked. 15.30

Then devas along with Rudras, sages, Gandharwas, group of apasras, praised the holy form of the god who was the killer of Madhu. 15.31

"You, please uproot that dreadful Ravana who has fearful luster, who is insolent, who hates the King of devas, a source of trouble to the ascetics and one who causes agony to the three worlds by his insolence." 15.32

"After killing the mighty Ravana who has great manliness, who is causing distress to this world along with his forces and relation and after removing all problems for the celestial region ruled by Indra and freeing it from all faults and sins, you may please return. 15.33

This is the end of Fifteenth Sarga of Bala Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

Sargam [Chapter]: 16
Puthra Kameshti

[Lord Vishnu agrees to the proposal. From the fire, a divine being emerges and gives a pot of Payasam and requests Dasaratha to distribute it among his wives. Kausalya gets half, Kaikeyi gets another portion and Sumathra gets two shares. After some time all the queens become pregnant.]

Having been thus requested by the best of the Devas, Lord Narayana, though he was aware of everything, spoke in a soft voice addressing them. 16.1

"What strategies should be adopted by us so that I am able to kill Ravana and protect the sages?" 16.2

When devas were addressed in this way by the imperishable Lord Vishnu, they replied, "You should adopt a human form and then kill Ravana in a war?" 16.3

"Oh destroyer of enemies, that Ravana did very severe penance for a very long time, the creator of the world, who was born before the world, was extremely pleased with it." 16.4

"That Lord, mightily pleased by Ravana, gave him a boon that he will not have fear of death from several beings other than man as he had ignored man while seeking the boon." 16.5

"Having obtained the boon from Lord Brahma, Ravana became filled with pride, destroyed the three worlds, carried away women by violence and for those reasons, Oh great God, he needs to be killed." 16.6-16.7

Having heard all these words of the devas, Lord Vishnu with great knowledge, chose to be born to King Dasaratha. 16.8

At this time, King Dasaratha, the destroyer of enemies, who had great luster, who has no sons, was performing Purthakameshti for being blessed with sons. 16.9

Having taken the decision, Lord Vishnu, who was being worshipped by devas, took leave of Lord Brahma and disappeared. 16.10

At that time, while King Dasaratha was performing the fire sacrifice, from the fire emerged a red faced great being with unmatched power, with great strength and valour, clad in a blackish red garment, having a voice like a drum, with soft beard, tawny hair and lion like mane, endowed with all auspicious signs, adorned with divine ornaments, resembling in height a peak of a Mountain, walking like an arrogant tiger, with a luster of a sun, who was looking like the crest of a raging fire, with both hands holding, a pure large golden vessel containing Payasam [kheer] and covered with a silver lid. His hands resembled the hands of the wife of Dasaratha and appeared to be created of illusion. 16.11-16.15

Having seen King Dasaratha, that being told, "Oh king, please know me as the person sent by Lord of all beings, Lord Brahma." 16.16

After that, the King replied with folded hands, "Oh Lord, welcome to you, how can I be of service to you?" 16.17

At that time, the person sent by the lord of all beings replies in return, "Ok king, having worshipped devas, you have got this blessed offering." 16.18

"Oh best among the kings, please receive this Payasam from me, which has been prepared to bestow progenies to you as well as bless you with affluence and health." 16.19

"Oh King, who has performed this sacrifice for getting children, please give this to your wives who match with you and request them to consume it." 16.20

With bowed head, the King went round that person and received the golden vessel, sent by devas, in which was the food prepared by devas. 16.21

After saluting that wonderful looking being, who was very nice to behold, that King with great joy went round that being again and again. 16.22

After that, Dasaratha, having obtained that Payasam prepared by devas, was as pleased like a poor person who had obtained great wealth. 16.23

Then that shining being, with a wonderful luster, having finished the task assigned to him, disappeared from there. 16.24

The private apartment of the king got brightened with rays of happiness and it shined like a sky of autumn with a shining full moon. 16.25

The King after entering his private apartment addressed Kausalya and told, "Please receive this Payasam which is capable of giving you sons." 16.26

Then the King gave half the Payasam, which was like nectar, to his wife Kausalya and then half of the remaining part to his wife Sumathra for getting him sons and gave half of the remaining part to his wife Kaikeyi. On further thinking, he gave whatever was left out to Sumathra. This way that King distributed the entire Payasam among his wives. 16.27-16.29

Those very best wives of the king were extremely delighted to receive the Payasam and felt greatly honoured. 16.30

Then those excellent consorts of the king, who were glowing like the fire and sun, consumed the divinely blessed Payasam separately and after a short gap of time became pregnant. 16.31

Then the King having seen his pregnant wives, developed a mind of gratefulness and became delighted like Lord Vishnu, who was worshipped by Indra, Sidhas and sages. 16.32

This is the end of Sixteenth Sarga of Bala Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

Sargam [Chapter]: 17
Creation of Monkeys

[As per the instruction of Lord Brahma each of the Devas, Gandharwas as well as great sages created Monkeys to assist Lord Rama in his task.]

When Lord Vishnu decided to be born as the son to the great king, Lord Brahma, who had made himself, spoke these words to the devas: 17.1

"You may create a group of strong assistants, who can assume any form they wish, to assist Lord Vishnu who keeps up his promise, valorous and wants to help others." 17.2

"You may create using the body of chief Apasaras and Gandharwa women, yourself in the form of supernatural, brave and intelligent monkeys, who are an experts in illusion, who are equal to wind God in speed, who are knowledgeable of administration, who are as valorous as lord Vishnu, who would complete the job entrusted to them, who had knowledge of various tricks of warfare, who can resist all sort of weapons and resembling the devas who subsist on amrita. 17.3-17.5

Earlier, I had created Jambhavan, who is a great bear, from my face when I was yawning. 17.6

All of them, having been instructed in this manner by God Brahma, agreed to the proposal and gave birth to sons with the monkey form. 17.7

The great sages, Sidhas, Vidhyadharas,Yakshas and Charanas caused heroic monkey sons, who were forest dwellers, born to them. 17.8

Indra created Vali with a mighty and great body and made him the chief of monkeys and he lived in Mahendra Mountain and Sun God created Sugreeva. 17.9

Lord Guru created the intelligent Tara, whom no monkey can surpass among the monkey chiefs. 17.10

Khubera created a glorious monkey called Gandhamadhana and Viswakarma begot a monkey called Nala. 17.11

Neela was the son of fire god and equalled fire in his luster and due to his great power surpassed all other monkeys. 17.12

Endowed with wealth of beauty, Aswini Devas created Maindha and Dvividha, who were well known for their handsome form. 17.13

Varuna created a monkey warrior called Sushena and Parjanya created the very strong Sarabha. 17.14

The wind God Vayu created dignified and graceful Hanuman, who had great prowess, wisdom and courage, who had a body as hard as a Diamond and could travel as fast as Garuda. 17.15

Several thousands of courageous with immeasurable strength, who were capable of assuming any form and who were desirous of helping in killing of Ravana, were created. 17.16

Having the bodies similar to Meru and Mandhara Mountain, great monkeys, bears and cow tail monkeys came quickly in to being. 17.17

All those sons, who could never be defeated, took the form and prowess of the gods who created them. 17.18

Some persons of highly honoured valour were born to monkeys with tails and some were born to female bears and female Kinnaras. 17.19

Devas, Sages, Gandarwas, Garudas, Yakshas, renowned serpents, kimpurushas, Sidhas, Vidhyadharas, many well pleased beings, Uragas who were there and Apasras, Vidhyadharis, Nagas and Gandharwas created large number of gigantic monkeys who were wandering in the forest. 17.20-17.22

They were of great strength and could assume any form they liked and could get whatever they desire to be done, were like lions and tigers in arrogance and strength. 17.23

All of them could strike with rocks and all of them could fight with trees as weapons; they used nail and teeth as weapons even though they were capable of using any weapon. 17.24

They all could move Mountains, uproot huge deep rooted trees and with great speed cause disturbance to the ocean, which is the lord of all rivers. 17.25

They could cause holes on the earth with their feet; they could cross the mighty ocean with one leap; they could even enter the sky and seize a cloud. 17.26

They could even capture the wild elephants living in the forest and with their roaring sounds, they could make flying objects to fall down. 17.27

One crore of monkeys, which can assume any form they wish, eminent monkeys which could command forces, were created. 17.28

Those monkey commanders created many heroic monkeys, who could become chief of monkey clans, who later on became great clan leaders. 17.29

Some monkeys and thousands of bears occupied top of the Mountains and plateaus and yet others lived in various types of forests and Mountains. 17.30

The leaders of monkey forces Nala, Neela, Hanuman and others dwelt near the two brothers Sugreeva [son of Sun God] and Vali [son of Indra]. 17.31

They, who were having the strength of Garuda and all of them well versed in war fare, tormented lions, tigers and serpents which were moving around due to their pride. 17.32

Vali, the mighty armed leader who had great strength, protected all of them as well as the bears and cow tailed monkeys. 17.33

They, who were valiant, could assume any form they liked with various characteristic of the body, formed tribes and lived in Mountains, forests and oceans. 17.34

Resembling masses of clouds and Mountain peaks and endowed with great strength, they, with their fearful forms and countenances with their monkey forces, covered the earth in order to assist Rama. 17.35

This is the end of Seventeenth Sarga of Bala Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

Sargam [Chapter]: 18
Dasaratha's Sons Birth and Education

[Dasaratha bids farewell to all the guests including Rishya Sringa. Rama was born to Kausalya, Bharatha to Kaikeyi and Lakshmana and Sathrugna to Sumithra. They are well educated in all Vedas as well as warfare. One day when Dasaratha was talking about the marriage of his sons, Sage Viswamithra comes to Ayodhya. The King promises that he would fulfill any requirement of sage Viswamithra.]

When the great King Dasaratha completed his horse sacrifice, devas received their share and returned to their places. 18.1

After completing the rules of penance of the yaga, along with his queens, King Dasaratha returned to Ayodhya along with his servants, army and chariots. 18.2

The other very pleased kings, honoured fittingly by King Dasaratha, after saluting the great sage Vasishta returned to their own countries. 18.3

After those blessed kings left to their own places, the armies of the kings, the dignified army of Dasaratha shined. 18.4

When the kings have departed, the great Dasaratha, preceded by the greatest among Brahmins, entered his city. 18.5

After that, Rishya Sringa, who was duly honoured, along with Santha his wife, accompanied the great King Romapada, left to his country. 18.6

After sending back all his guests, the King with a balanced mind started thinking about begetting sons and living happily. 18.7

Six seasons were over after the fire sacrifice and in the twelfth month which was Chithra, on the Navami day [ninth phase of rising moon], on the star belonging to Adhithi Devatha [Punarvasu] when five of the nine planets were in exalted position, in the Karkitaka Lagna, when planet Guru was with moon, Kausalya gave birth to the Lord of Universe, who was blessed with all good signs and who was a part of Lord Vishnu and he was received by all the world and was there to perpetuate the Ikshuvaku clan. 18.8-18.10

With a son of immeasurable luster Kausalya glowed with luster like Adithi, who had earlier become mother to Lord Indra, who wielded the Vajrayudha. 18.11

Really valorous Bharatha was born to Kaikeyi, who was one fourth part of all virtues of Lord Vishnu. 18.12

Sumithra gave birth to Lakshmana and Shatrugna, who were skilled in use of all weapons and having some facets of Lord Vishnu. 18.13

The treasure of graciousness Bharatha was born in the Meena Lagna and in Pushya [poosa] Nakshatra. On the following day Lakshmana and Shatrugna were born in Karkaraka Lagna in Aslesha [Aayilyam] star. 18.14

Endowed with all good qualities, worthy and bright resembling the Poorva Bhadra [Poororathi] and Uthara Bhadra [Uthrattathi] stars, four sons were born to the great king. 18.15

At that time Gandharwas sang melodiously, groups of Apsaras danced in great joy, sound of celestial drums were heard from the sky and there was rain of flowers from the sky. In Ayodhya, there was a great tumult among men and festivities took place. 18.16-18.17

The highways, which was crowded by men, was thronged by actors and dancers. Vocalists and musicians singing on instruments raised great and loud music. 18.18

The King distributed gifts to the bards, eulogists and genealogists and gave Brahmins charities in thousands. 18.19

After eleven days were completed, the eldest illustrious son was given the name Rama, the son of Kaikeyi was given the name Bharatha, one son of Sumathra was called Lakshmana and the other son was called Shatrugna by Vasishta, who was greatly liked. 18.20-18.21

Brahmins and other citizens were offered meals and Brahmins were given heaps of unlimited and abundant jewels and other rituals normally done at birth were performed. 18.22

Among them, the eldest Rama was like a torch to his father and gave him extreme pleasure, like the highly revered Brahma giving pleasure to all beings. 18.23

All the sons of Dasaratha were greatly heroic and gained great expertise in Vedas and all of them were interested in the welfare of the people and had great knowledge with great virtues. 18.24

Among all of them, Rama was greatly lustrous, truly valorous and pure; looked like moon and was liked by the entire world. 18.25

It was acknowledged that he was an expert in riding on elephant, riding on the back of the horse, driving a chariot and was also a great archer. He was always devoted to his parents and served them. 18.26

Lakshmana was prosperous, from his childhood was attached to his elder brother Rama, remained always friendly and was greatly liked by all people. 18.27

He was auspicious and did service to his brother; he offered even his body to him and he was like the soul of Rama moving in another body. 18.28

Rama, the greatest among men, did not get sleep without Lakshmana by his side and if presented with good food, will not eat it, unless Lakshmana was by his side. 18.29

Whenever Rama went for hunting in the forest on a horse back, Lakshmana followed behind him holding his bow and arrow. 18.30

Similarly Shatrugna, the younger brother of Lakshmana, became dearer than life to Bharatha and also liked him more than his soul. 18.31

Dasaratha was greatly pleased by his four sons like Brahma was pleased by devas. 18.32

They, who were enriched with knowledge having all good qualities, were modest and knew everything, were far sighted. Dasaratha, the King of the world, rejoiced for having these glorious sons and looked like Lord Brahma. 18.33-18.34

They, who were like tigers among men, were engaged in studies of Vedas, did service to their parents and were greatly proficient in archery. 18.35

The soul of Dharma, Dasaratha was discussing about their marriage along with his priests and relatives. 18.36

One day, when the illustrious and noble King was discussing about this with his counsellors, the mighty sage Viswamithra arrived there. 18.37

He, desirous of seeing the King, told the gate keepers, "Go and inform the King about the arrival of Viswamithra, son of Gadhi, born in the Koushika clan." 18.38

Having heard those words all of them became excited, hastened to the king's apartment out of fear. 18.39

They, having reached the royal palace, informed the King Dasaratha, belonging to the Ikshuvaku race, about the arrival of sage Viswamithra. 18.40

Having heard those words, King Dasaratha was greatly pleased and went to receive that Indra like Brahmin along with his ministers. 18.41

Then seeing the shining lustrous sage Viswamithra, who had fully completed his penances, with a cheerful frame of mind, made offerings to the sage with respect. 18.42

Having received the offerings, which were as per the scriptures, the sage enquired about the welfare of the kingdom and his own prosperity. 18.43

Viswamithra, who was a great follower of Dharma, then enquired about the king's treasury and the welfare of his subjects, relatives and friends. 18.44

Then he asked, "Are the tributary kings submissive to you? Whether all enemies have been conquered? And whether the rites needed for propitiating the gods and human beings are properly performed? 18.45

That great sage, Viswamithra, according to the protocol, approached sage Vasishta and other distinguished sages and enquired about their welfare. 18.46

All of them, with a joyful heart, entered the king's palace and were duly honoured by the king, each according to his merit. 18.47

Then the very generous Dasaratha, who was greatly pleased with the arrival of sage Viswamithra, after worshipping him, spoke. 18.48

"Oh great sage, your coming is like a man with a parched land getting nectar and a birth of son through his wife to one without children, recovery of lost wealth and a very great achievement to me. Welcome to you." 18.49-18.50

"Oh Viswamithra, the model of righteousness, what are the things that I should do to satisfy you? I consider your arrival as lucky to me. I consider today that my birth and life have become fruitful and I have accomplished all objectives of my life." 18.51-18.52

"Formerly you were called a royal sage and with your great austerities you have obtained the status of a Brahmin sage; in several ways you are worthy of my worship." 18.53

"Oh sage, your arrival has caused me wonderment; t has conferred great purity to me. By your coming, I have attained the effect of undertaking a pilgrimage." 18.54

"I desire that you tell me the purpose of your visit and I am be blessed to achieve the objects of your desire." 18.55

"You need not have any hesitation to tell me as to what you desire and since you are my God, I shall fulfill the same to you." 18.56

"Oh Brahmin, I have obtained great merit today. By your coming here, I have realized my Dharma." 18.57

Having heard what Dasaratha spoke in a very humble manner which was comfortable to the mind and which was very pleasant to the ears, the great and divine sage experienced great delight. 18.58

This is the end of Eighteenth Sarga of Bala Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

Sargam [Chapter]: 19
Viswamithra's Request

[Sage Viswamithra says that he is troubled by Asuras who stop his Yagna. Since he cannot get angry nor curse them, he requests for assistance of Rama.]

Hearing the astonishing detail from the lion among kings, Sage Viswamithra with hairs standing erect on his body said: 19.1

"Oh tiger among kings, since you having been born in a illustrious lineage and also having been taught by sage Vasishta, these words that you spoke suits you and it cannot be otherwise." 19.2

"Oh tiger among kings, I will tell you about the purpose which is in my mind and please take a decision which is suitable to your words. " 19.3

"Great man, for the successful completion of the yaga, which I propose to conduct, I shall be abiding by great discipline and two Rakshasas who can assume any shape they want would create impediments for its conduct." 19.4

"When I am about to complete the fire sacrifice, two well trained Rakshasas called Mareecha and Subahu would rain blood and flesh on the fire altar." 19.5

"When thus my solemn vow and resolve has been interrupted, I got greatly discouraged and left from that place." 19.6

"Oh king, my mind does not permit me to vent my wrath and the rules of sacrifice forbids me from cursing them." 19.7

"Oh king, it would be proper for you to entrust the protection of the Yagna to the valiant Rama with great prowess and who has side locks of hair." 19.8

"Rama would be protected by me as well by his divine power; he is capable of destroying those Rakshasas who cause those impediments." 19.9

"I would give him several types of blessings for his well-being and I am sure, he will also attain great fame in all the three worlds." 19.10

"Mareecha and Subahu would not be able to withstand Rama in anyway and there is no one except Raghava who would be capable of destroying them. " 19.11

"Those two wicked people, who are proud of their strength, have already been tied by the God of Death and Oh king, they are no match to Rama." 19.12

"It is not proper for you to show any hesitation due to your parental affection; I can assure you that those two Rakshasas will perish." 19.13

"I know Rama is great and truly valorous and this is known to sage Vasishta and other sages who are here." 19.14

"Oh king, if you are looking forward to earn Dharma and also yearn for great fame in this world, it is only proper for you to give Rama to me," 19.15

"King belonging to the clan of Kakustha, if all your advisors, sage Vasishta being foremost among them, agree to this, then only you can relieve Rama." 19.16

"You may relieve the lotus eyed and detached Rama for a period of ten nights to protect this great sacrifice." 19.17

"Oh descendent of Raghu, act in such a manner that my fire sacrifice does not get delayed in any manner and do not indulge in grief in your mind. Prosperity to you." 19.18

That sage Viswamithra who is of great luster and a soul of Dharma having spoken these words which are essentially dharmic, then became silent. 19.19

That great King, after listening to the auspicious words of Viswamithra, fell in to intense grief out of fear and became despondent. 19.20

The heart of the great King, after having listened to the great sage in this manner, became greatly broken, mentally agitated and felt as if he was shaken from his throne. 19.21

This is the end of Nineteenth Sarga of Bala Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

Sargam [Chapter]: 20
Dasaratha's Reluctance

[Dasaratha feels that Rama is too young to oppose these great Rakshasas. He requests the sage to take him along with the army. The sage gets very angry.]

Having heard the words of Viswamithra, that great king, for a little time lost his senses, quickly regained and spoke as follows: 20.1

"My lotus eyed Rama is less than sixteen years of age and I do not think that he has ability to fight with Rakshasas." 20.2

"An Akshouhini of army is under my command and control. I would go along with them and will fight with those night rangers [Rakshasas]." 20.3

"My army servants are warriors, mighty, powerful, skilled in use of weapons and are fit to fight with Rakshasas in a battle; Rama does not fit to do battle with them." 20.4

"I myself, with a bow in hand, would engage in a battle with Rakshasas and protect the fire sacrifice till I have life in me." 20.5

"I shall personally come there, protect you for doing the penances and see that the sacrifice goes ahead without any obstacles as Rama is not fit to lead that job." 20.6

"Rama is a child, not learned in warfare, does not know the strength and weaknesses of the army, has not acquired strong weapons and is not proficient in warfare with Rakshasa who use deceit." 20.7

"I do not like to live even a moment separated from Rama and Oh tiger among sages, Rama is not fit to take lead in the battle." 20.8

"Oh Brahmin with excellent penance, If you are intending to take Rama with you, please also take me and my army with you." 20.9

"Oh Kausika, sixty thousand years have passed since I was born and I obtained Rama with great deal of efforts and so it is not proper for you to take him. " 20.10

"Among my four sons, I have greatest affection to Rama and being the eldest one with more responsibility according to Dharma, does not merit to be taken." 20.11

"Oh great sage, how powerful are those Rakshasas? Whose sons are they? Who are they? What is their size? Who is giving them protection?" 20.12

"Oh Brahmin, how can Rama or me retaliate against those treacherous and deceitful Rakshasas?" 20.13

"Oh God like person, how can Rama or me stay and fight against those wicked natured Rakshasas who are proud of their strength?" Having heard the words of the King, the sage Viswamithra spoke: 20.14-15

"Oh noble one, born in the Poulasthya clan, there is a Rakshasa named Ravana, who is of great strength and valour. He has been granted many boons by Lord Brahma. Accompanied by several other Rakshasas, he is troubling the world." 20.16

"It is heard that he is brother of Lord Khubera and son of a great sage called Visrawas and he is the King of all Rakshasas with great valour." 20.17

"Though possessed of great strength, he himself never created any impediments to the fire sacrifice but he is prompting two Rakshasa Subahu and Mareecha to create obstacles." 20.18-20.19

When the sage spoke in this manner, addressing the sage, King Dasaratha told, "I am myself not capable to fight with that evil minded one." 20.20

"Oh great follower of Dharma, please extend your favour to my unfortunate little son and also me. You are my Guru as well as God." 20.21

"Even devas, asuras, yakshas, birds and great serpents are not capable of enduring Ravana in a battle. What to say of men?" 20.22

"Those Rakshasas pull out the power of the warriors with whom they fight, Oh great sage, either with my forces or with my sons, I would not be able to fight with him or his forces." 20.23

"Oh Brahmin, though my son resembles devas, he is not experienced in a war fare and I would not be able to part with my dear child and send him with you." 20.24

"Further, those destroyers of Yagna named Subahu and Marrecha, who are the sons of Sundha and Upasundha resemble Yama, the God of death and so I will not send my son with you." 20.25

"Mareecha and Subahu are great warriors; they are well instructed in warfare. But I, along with my friends, can combat one of them only." 20.26

That King of Brahmins, Kaushika, hearing these prattling of the King flew into very great ire and resembled a sage in the form of a raging fire ball kindled with clarified butter and other offerings. 20.27

This is the end of Twentieth Sarga of Bala Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

Sargam [Chapter]: 21
Viswamithra's Anger and Vasishta's Advice

[Viswamithra gets angry with Dasaratha and then sage Vasishta tells about how great and strong Viswamithra is and how he will take care of the children.]

Hearing the extremely tottering words of Dasaratha due to his great love to his son, that sage Kaushika replied in great anger. 21.1

"Having promised to me earlier, now you are repudiating the promise and is not at all proper to a King born in the clan of Raghu." 21.2

"If this is what you want to do, I would return as I have come and oh King of Kakustha clan, with your false promises, you can live happily with person who are related to you" 21.3

When that sage Viswamithra was caught in anger, the entire earth trembled and fear entered in to the mind of the Devas. 21.4

Then the courageous Vasishta, who has observed great penance, afraid at seeing the appearance of the world, said the following words to the king. 21.5

"Born in the clan of Ikshuvaku, you are the real defender of Dharma, a staunch person, one who does great penance and also a gentleman and it does not suit you to forsake Dharma." 21.6

"Oh Dasaratha, being renowned in all the three worlds as upholder of Dharma, you adhere to dharma and it is not proper for you to do an unrighteous act." 21.7

"Ok King of the Raghu clan, as promised this deed should be carried out, as Veda says that we should act as promised and so permit Rama." 21.8

"Whether Rama is trained or not trained in using of weapons, as long as Sage Kaushika protects him like the fire protecting the Nectar, Rakshasas cannot do any harm to him." 21.9

"He is the personification of Dharma and a blessed hero; there is no one to match his intelligence and he is considered as greatest among the sages." 21.10

"He is an expert in various types of weapons and in the world of moving and unmoving things; there is no one who knows as much as him." 21.11

"None of the devas, sages, those without death, Rakshasas, the clan members of Yakshas and Gandarwas, Kinnaras as well as great serpents can equal him." 21.12

"The great upholder of dharma, the son of Krusasva, knows all weapons, when he was ruling over a country." 21.13

"He being the son of the daughter of Krusasva Prajapathi, got all weapons from him; they are all of various types, dazzling and assurer of victories. " 21.14

"Jaya and Suprabha, daughters of Daksha Prajapathi, gave birth to a hundred shining weapons and arrows." 21.15
"On getting Jaya as wife, Krusasva Prajapathi got five hundred best valorous and formless sons so that he can completely destroy the army of asuras." 21.16

"Suprabha also gave birth to another five hundred sons; they were the valorous, mighty and unconquerable eliminators." 21.17

"And this son of Kushika, knows well about all those weapons and being a strict follower of Dharma, he again was capable of creating un-assailable new weapons." 21.18

"And so there is nothing, even little, which is unknown of what has happened and what is going to happen to this great sage, who is a great soul of Dharma." 21.19

"Oh king, because of this, it is not proper that you should have doubt of whatsoever about Rama accompanying this very great sage." 21.20

"And this great son of Kushika himself can kill those Rakshasas and he is asking for your sons, only with the aim of bestowing further good to him." 21.21

Having become composed and happy after hearing the words of the sage, that great King of the Raghu dynasty, wholeheartedly agreed for the departure of Rama along with the great son of Kushika. 21.22

This is the end of Twenty First Sarga of Bala Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

Sargam [Chapter]: 22
Viswamithra's Teaching to Rama and Lakshmana

[Rama and Lakshmana accompany sage Viuswamithra. He teaches them two great manthras called Bala and Athibala which will keep off hunger, thirst, sleep and tiresomeness from them.]

Having listened to the words of Vasishta, King Dasaratha, with a satisfied face, sent word to Rama and Lakshmana. 22.1

After being blessed by their mother and father, after being blessed by chanting of Vedic Manthras by their Guru Vasishta, King Dasaratha hugged his sons, smelled their head and with a well pleased heart entrusted them to the son of Kushika. 22.2-22.3

The wing gave a pleasant touch and the clouds poured water seeing the lotus eyed ones accompanying sage Viswamithra. 22.4

The drums of devas made sound; there was a rain of flowers. Those great ones left to the sound of conches and drums. 22.5

Viswamithra went in the front and was followed by the greatly famous Rama wearing black hair locks; Lakshmana went last. 22.6

With quivers and bow in hand, making all the ten directions shine, they resembled three serpents with Viswamithra. It also looked like Lord Brahma being followed by Asvini Kumaras. 22.7

Those youngsters decorated well, carried the bow, had covered their fingers with leather caps, were carrying a shining sword and they were having pretty bodies and those brothers Rama and Lakshmana, who were following, shined like fire and Lord Shiva; appeared like the sons of the sage. 22.8-22.9

After walking to a distance of one and half yojanas, by the southern bank of River Sarayu, Sage Viswamithra in a sweet voice called "Hey Rama". 22.10

"Hold the water, Oh boy, then learn and master the two Manthras called Bala and Athibala without any further lapse of time. 22.11

"From the time of receiving it, there would not be tiredness, no fever, no problem to the looks, no sleep and no attack by Rakshasas." 22.12

"As of now, no one can equal the strength of your arms in this earth and once you learn it, there will not be any one equal to you in the three worlds." 22.13

"So my dear Rama, if you learn Bala and Athibala, no one would be able to equal you in fortune and looks; no one will be there of your strength, knowledge, mental caliber, in replying and rebutting." 22.14-22.15

"On getting the knowledge of this two, there will not be any one like you; for Bala and Athibala are the mother of all knowledge." 22.16

Oh Great among men, there would not be problems due to thirst and hunger, when you recite Bala and Athibala." 22.17

"Oh Son of Raghu clan, please take these Manthras which have been hidden from the world; for these two, if practised on earth, would give you limitless fame as they are the two sparkling daughters of Lord Brahma. I am giving them to you as you resemble the Kakustha. 22.18

Viswamithra said, "Though without any doubt, you are blessed with many good qualities in abundance, nurtured by penance, these would give results in several forms." 22.19

Then Rama touched the water and with face blessed with joy learnt that knowledge from the sage, who had a contemplative soul. 22.20

Blessed by that knowledge, Rama, the greatly valorous one, who resembled the Sun God with thousand rays, performed all duties due to the teacher, to the son of Kushika; those three stayed that night with happiness on the banks of Sarayu. 22.21-22.22

Those note-worthy sons of Dasaratha slept on the unsuitable bed of grass that night, but it became pleasant with the simple words that poured forth from the son of Khusika. 22.23

This is the end of Twenty Second Sarga of Bala Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

Sargam [Chapter]: 23
Lord Shiva's Hermitage

[They reach the confluence of Sarayu and Ganges rivers. They come across a holy hermitage. On query from Rama, Viswamithra tells him that it is the Hermitage of Lord Shiva.]

When the sun rose at dawn, that great sage Viswamithra told the descendants of Kakushta sleeping on the bed. 23.1

"Oh Rama, the darling son of Kausalya, the early dawn has come out. Oh Lion among men, perform your morning rituals." 23.2

Those kings, who were great men, hearing the pleasing words of the saint, bathed, offered water ablations and chanted the divine prayer. 23.3

Those greatly valorous ones, after performing the morning rituals with great joy, went to sage Viswamithra, saluted him and got ready for further journey. 23.4

Then those two heroic ones travelled further and reached the auspicious confluence of Sarayu River with River Ganges, which goes in three ways. 23.5

They saw there the hermitage of contemplative ascetics, who were doing penance for thousands of years. 23.6

Becoming extremely happy to see those blessed hermitages, Rama asked the great soul Viswamithra: 23.7

"Whose blessed hermitage is this? Which great celebrated sage lived here? Both of us are curious and inquisitive to know about this." 23.8

Hearing those words, the great sage smiled and said, "Oh Rama, I will tell you who lived in this hermitage." 23.9

"When the god of love had a body, he was called by the name of Kama [passion] by wise people. He with a naughty intention, once braved with Shiva, the God of Gods Lord Shiva, who was doing deep penance according to rules here and Lord Shiva roared at the god of love disapprovingly at this spot." 23.10-23.11

"Oh son of Raghu clan, the angry Shiva saw him with his third eye which destroyed the evil minded love god and all his limbs fell down from his body." 23.12

"That great soul Lord Shiva completely burnt down Kama's body and Kama became one without body by the great anger of the god of gods." 23.13

"Oh Rama, thereafter, he became very famous as Ananga [bodyless] and the place where he gave up his body [anga] is known as Anga Desa." 23.14

"Oh Rama, his hermitage is blessed and from olden times the sages, who were his disciples, did penance here; sin can never occur in this place." 23.15

"Oh Rama, who is auspicious to look at, let us spend the night here, which is in between two holy rivers and then we will cross the river." 23.16

"Oh best among men, we will take bath, chant our prayers, do the oblations in fire and enter this divine hermitage completely purified so that we can live here comfortably." 23.17

Those sages with their distant sight perceived their discussion and they became extremely happy; On their approaching, gave them water to wash their feet, water to drink and then offered great hospitality to sage Viswamithra. 23.18-23.19

Then later, they accorded hospitality to Rama and Lakshmana; Sage Viswamithra applauded them for their great hospitality. 23.20

Those saints, with a balanced mind, did rituals and meditation of the dusk. they were followed by Rama and others. Then those sages, who observed good penance, took those guests in to their hermitage. The guests stayed in the hermitage of Shiva there comfortably. 23.21

That eminent observer of Dharma, sage Viswamithra, entertained those attractive sons of the King with delightful stories. 23.22

This is the end of Twenty Third Sarga of Bala Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.

Sargam [Chapter]: 24
Saryu-Ganga Confluence and Thataka Forest

[Rama and Lakshmana travel by boat and reach the confluence of Sarayu-Ganges and a great sound is heard. Viswamithra explains the origin of Sarayu. After crossing that, they reach uninhabited horrible forest of Thataka. The sage also tells them about cruel Thataka.]

Those destroyers of their enemy, Rama and Lakshmana, did their fresh morning ablations and sage Viswamithra completed his morning rituals. They arrived at the river bank keeping the sages in front of them. 24.1

All those great souls, who were doing combined penance, positioned the auspicious boat near the shore and told like this. 24.2

"Please get in to the boat along with the princes and go on your prosperous way without any time lag." 24.3

Viswamithra said "so be it" to those sages and showed his reverence to them in return. He along with the princes crossed the river which was going to join the sea. 24.4

Then in the middle of the journey, the intelligent Rama along with his brother heard a roaring sound similar to the sound of water gushing out and was curious to know its significance. 24.5

Rama, in the middle of their journey, asked the great sage, "What is that great noise, resembling the gushing of water?" 24.6

Hearing the query of Rama with great inquisitiveness, that soul of Dharma started telling about the significance of that sound. 24.7

"Oh Rama, who is tiger among men, on top of Mount Kailasa, once, Lord Brahma created a lake by his mind and that was called Manasa Saras." 24.8

"From that lake flows our river Sarayu, which surrounds the town of Ayodhya. Since it originates from a lake [Saras], it was called as Sarayu. Since it flows from the lake of Brahma, it is considered as a sacred river. This gushing noise is the sound of River Sarayu joining the River Ganges and Oh Rama, offer your salutations to these rivers." 24.9-24.10

After saluting those two rivers, those virtuous and agile princes reached the southern shore. 24.11

That son of the great king, belonging to the Ikshuvaku dynasty, seeing the horrible and uninhabited forest, enquired to that great sage. 24.12

"Alas, this forest which is difficult to cross is full of crickets and other insects and it is full of brutish predators, vultures and is filled with horrendous sounds." 24.13

"Different types of vultures are screeching with fierce sounds and it is shining with lions, tigers and elephants." 24.14

"What is this wretched forest with trees such as Dhavaa [mimosa family], Aswakarna [Arjuna tree], Kakubha [another type of Arjuna tree], Bilva, Tin Duka [Thamalaa], Paatalia [Bigonia tree] and Badarri [Zizhyphus tree]?" 24.15

That great sage, with great luster, replied, "Oh son of Kakustha dynasty, please hear about this wretched forest." 24.16

"Oh great man, this area was once populated by ordinary people, which was constructed by devas and called Maladha and Karooshaa." 24.17

"Oh Rama due to killing of Vruthra, who was a Brahmin, Indra was stained by human excreta and filth." 24.18

"Great sages and those who were rich in penance started bathing Indra by taking water in a pot for removing all that filth." 24.19

"When all that filth from the body of Indra was put in this earth, devas became glad." 24.20

"After getting rid of his filth and hunger, Indra became happy with this landfill and gave a matchless boon to this place." 24.21

"This place of residence of ordinary people would become famous in the world, because it got all the dirt from my body; will be known as Maladha and Karrosha." 24.22

The Devas said "Great, great" about Indra, the controller of Paaka, on seeing the honour accorded by Indra to those places. 24.23

"Oh controller of enemies, Rama, that lord of the common people Maladha and Karrosha for a long time was affluent and people were happy with plenty of grains and wealth." 24.24

"Then this area was occupied by a Yakshi called Thataka, who could assume any form she likes, who had the strength of one thousand elephants, who was clever one, who was the wife of great Sunanda and whose son was Mareecha." 24.25-24.26

"The Rakshasa Mareecha had round shoulders, huge head, broad mouth, gigantic body and mammoth shape and troubled all people." 24.27

"Rama, that Thataka, who is of bad character, daily destroys Maladha and Karoosha and also the people living there." 24.28

"She who blocks this way, lives about three miles from here and because of that it is called Thataka's forest; some action needs to be taken." 24.29

"Depending only on your strength, you have to kill this evil doer and free this province from its great misery." 24.30

"Nobody has the strength to enter in to this forest, which you are seeing, destroyed by the yakshi, who is invincible. Please make this habitable." 24.31

"I have told you the entire story of how the Yakshi Thataka destroyed this forest and how she is making it inhabitable even today." 24.32

This is the end of Twenty Fourth Sarga of Bala Kanda which occurs in Holy Ramayana composed by Valmiki as the First Epic.