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Baala Kaanda - Sarga 18
The story moves quite far along in this Sarga. I wish it was divided into four small Sargas and the third one was elaborated. Anyway, it is what it is and it has four parts.
The first part is about the winding up of the Yajñas. The second part is about the all-important event of the birth of the four brothers. The third part is about their growing up to marriageable age. The fourth part is about the arrival of Viṡwāmitra and Daṡaratha offering hospitality.
The story moves quickly, but as always, Vālmeeki pauses to adorn the narrations and make noteworthy points that are essential to the nature of mankind and society, prompting me to add several comments on the side bar.
Interestingly, Vālmeeki closes down this Sarga, leaving us in suspense about the purpose of Viṡwāmitra’s visit! This technique of 'leaving the audience in suspense' is not invented by writers of TV serials in modern times. It was there right in the first ever Kāvya that mankind knows!
Enjoy, and then be left with a nice suspense!
1.18.1
निर्वृत्ते तु क्रतौ तस्मिन्
हयमेधे महात्मनः ।
प्रतिगृह्य सुरा भागान्
प्रतिजग्मुर्यथागतम् ॥
The Yajñas started by the Mahātma Daṡaratha
came to an end. The Dēvas took
their share of Havis and departed to their respective places.
Certainly, quite a different mood descends upon you when a huge event winds down. Everyone is relieved from the stress of preparations and management. Every one leaves. Everyone reminisces on the happenings of the event. Every one relishes the honors and gifts they have received, token or substantial. Vālmeeki tries to capture that mood here.
1.18.2
समाप्तदीक्षानियमः
पत्नीगणसमन्वितः ।
प्रविवेश पुरीं राजा
सभृत्यबलवाहनः ॥
The king and his wives ended the
Deeksha and related formalities.
They returned to the city along
with all the armies, guards, servants and retinue.
1.18.3
यथार्हं पूजितास्तेन
राज्ञा वै पृथिवीश्वराः ।
मुदिताः प्रययुर्देशान्
प्रणम्य मुनिपुङ्गवम् ॥
All the invited kings were pleased with the
appropriate hospitality they received from the king
and left to their respective places
after paying respects to the eminent Muni (Vasishṭha).
1.18.4
श्रीमतां गच्छतां तेषाम्
स्वपुराणि पुरात्ततः ।
बलानि राज्ञां शुभ्राणि
प्रहृष्टानि चकाशिरे ॥
It was a feast to the eyes
to see the lines of armies of the many kings
marching back to their respective cities
in gleeful mood after the celebrations and festivities.
1.18.5
गतेषु पृथिवीशेषु
राजा दशरथस्तदा ।
प्रविवेश पुरीं श्रीमान्
पुरस्कृत्य द्विजोत्तमान् ॥
After the kings left, the cultured king Daṡaratha
entered the city with Brāhmaṇas leading the retinue.
1.18.6
शान्तया प्रययौ सार्धम् 
ऋश्यशृङ्गः सुपूजितः ।
अन्वीयमानो राज्ञाऽथ
सानुयात्रेण धीमता ॥
Ṛṡyaṡṛṅga left along with Ṡānta and with the
smart King Rōmapāda and his retinue,
after receiving a befitting farewell.
1.18.7
एवं विसृज्य तान् सर्वान्
राजा सम्पूर्णमानसः ।
उवास सुखितस्तत्र
पुत्रोत्पत्तिं विचिन्तयन् ॥
After thus bidding farewell to all the kings,
the king bided his time happily in anticipation
of the sons that he would beget.
1.18.8-11a
ततो यज्ञे समाप्ते तु
ऋतूनां षट् समत्ययुः ।
ततश्च द्वादशे मासे
चैत्रे नावमिके तिथौ ।
नक्षत्रेऽदितिदैवत्ये
स्वोच्चसंस्थेषु पञ्चसु ।
ग्रहेषु कर्कटे लग्ने
वाक्पताविन्दुना सह ।
प्रोद्यमाने जगन्नाथम्
सर्वलोकनमस्कृतम् ।
कौसल्याजनयद्रामम्
सर्वलक्षणसंयुतम् ।
विष्णोरर्धं महाभागम्
पुत्रमैक्ष्वाकुवर्धनम् ॥
Six seasons passed since completion of the Yajña.
On the twelfth month after completion,
on the ninth day of the Caitra month,
when the five planets were in high position,
as the Moon and Bṛihaspati were rising along with
the star (Punarvasu) that was presided over
by Aditi in the Karkātaka Lagna,
Kousalyā gave birth to a son by name Rāma,
who would enhance the stature and
reputation of the Ikshwāku dynasty,
with auspicious features, boding splendid fortunes,
endowed with half as many aspects,
qualities and powers of Vishṇu,
the Lord of worlds saluted by all beings.
Six seasons of two months each are observed in the Indian Subcontinent, as opposed to four seasons in temperate zones of the planet. The six seasons are: Vasanta (Spring), Greeshma (Summer), Varsha (Monsoon), Ṡarad (Post monsoon), Hēmanta (Winter) and Ṡiṡira (Fall).
Caitra is the first month of the year and the first of the two months of Spring.
Karkātaka Lagna means the ascendant is in Cancer.
The five planets in high position: Surya (Sun) in Mēsha (Aeries), Kuja (Mars) in Makara (Capricorn), Bṛhaspati (Jupiter) in Cancer, Ṡukra (Venus) in Pisces, Ṡani (Saturn) in Tula (Libra).
Based on this astronomical information, calculations by the advanced tools of today give us the following dates regarding the birth of Rāma and other events in Rāmāyaṇa.



All dates below are BCE.

5114 Jan 10: Birth of Rāma.
5114 Jan 11: Birth of Bharata.
5089 Jan 4: Pre-coronation eve.
5077 Oct 7: Khara, Dūshaṇa Vadha.
5076 Apr 3: Vāli Vadha.

5076 Sep 12: Hanuman's visit to Lanka.
5076 Sep 14: Hanuman's return from Lanka.
5076 Sep 20: Army march to Lanka.
5076 Oct 12: March to Rāvaṇa's fort.
5076 Nov 24: Meghanātha killed.
1.18.11b-12a
कौसल्या शुशुभे तेन
पुत्रेणामिततेजसा ।
यथा वरेण देवानां
अदितिर्वज्रपाणिना ॥
Kousalyā, with that son of supreme radiance,
glowed like Aditi with Indra, the wielder of Vajra
and the foremost among the Dēvas.
Aditi is the mother of Dēvas.
Vajra is the weapon of Indra.
1.18.12b-13a
भरतो नाम कैकेय्याम्
जज्ञे सत्यपराक्रमः ।
साक्षाद्विष्णोश्चतुर्भागः
सर्वैः समुदितो गुणैः ॥
Kaikēyee gave birth to a son by name Bharata,
of true prowess and endowed with
one fourth as many aspects, qualities and powers of Vishṇu.
1.18.13b-14a
अथ लक्ष्मणशत्रुघ्नौ
सुमित्राजनयत्सुतौ ।
सर्वास्त्रकुशलौ वीरौ
विष्णोरर्धसमन्वितौ ॥
Then, Sumitrā gave birth to the
heroic Lakshmaṇa and Ṡatrughna

who were skilled in the use of all weapons
endowed with half as many aspects,
qualities and powers of Vishṇu.
1.18.14b-15a
पुष्ये जातस्तु भरतो
मीनलग्ने प्रसन्नधीः ।
सार्पे जातौ च सौमित्री
कुलीरेऽभ्युदिते रवौ ॥
Bharata, of pristine intellect was born
when the moon was with the star Pushya.
The children of Sumitrā were born the
next morning when the moon was with the star Aṡlēsha.
Meena Lagna: Ascendant is in Pisces.
1.18.15b-16a
राज्ञः पुत्रा महात्मानः
चत्वारो जज्ञिरे पृथक् ।
गुणवन्तोऽनुरूपाश्च
रुच्या प्रोष्ठपदोपमाः ॥
Thus, four sons with all the adorable and desirable qualities
were successively born to the great king Daṡaratha,
shining like the stars Pūrvābhādra and Uttarābhādra.
1.18.16b-18
जगुः कलं च गन्धर्वा
ननृतुश्चाप्सरोगणाः ।
देवदुन्दुभयो नेदुः
पुष्पवृष्टिश्च खाच्च्युता ।
उत्सवश्च महानासीत्
अयोध्यायां जनाकुलः ।
रथ्याश्च जनसम्बाधा
नटनर्तकसङ्कुलाः ।
गायनैश्च विराविण्यो
वादनैश्च तथाऽपरैः ॥
At that moment, Gandharvas sang melodiously,
Apsaras danced with joy,
celestial drums were sounded,
flowers showered from the sky.
Ayōdhyā became festive with people moving all around.
Major pathways were clogged with boisterous crowds
entertained by singers, musicians, dancers, actors and the like.
1.18.19
प्रदेयांश्च ददौ राजा
सूतमागधवन्दिनाम् ।
ब्राह्मणेभ्यो ददौ वित्तम्
गोधनानि सहस्रशः ॥
The king gave many gifts to
bards, eulogists and genealogists.
He gave thousands of cows and money to Brāhmaṇas.
It is universal phenomena, that at a time of joy or plenty or even with any other kind of elation, people feel like giving. (In fact, psychologists Larry Sanna, Edward Chang, Paul Miceli and Kristjen Lundberg recently found that people who come up an escalator in a shopping mall are more likely to drop money in a donation box, than people who come down an escalator).
Whom does one give to? Traditionally, there are three constituents of recipients:
1) Performing artists, so that they are patronized
2) Dependents, because they depend on you for their care
3) Brāhmaṇas, for pursuing noble, long term and highest pursuits of humanity.
In modern times the constituents have changed:
1) Performing artists - they are mostly wage based than honorarium based, which is 'demeaning' to the artists and the arts as well.
2) Dependents - the word dependent is equated with 'loss of individuality and dignity', than 'being a part of family or social unit, with a sense of belonging' - hence giving to this constituency is now considered 'demeaning'.
3) Brāhmaṇas - people no more believe that there are souls who are dedicated to noble pursuits and 'it is an honor to honor them' - hence giving to this constituency is going out of fashion.
4) Religious institutions - this is a newly found constituency for receiving in the past couple of millennia.
5) Needy people - the poor (i.e., not self-sufficient) is also a newly found constituency, as the global economy and social structure, weighed down by legal and administrative structures is creating more and more families and communities that are no more financially self-sufficient.
The demise of the first three and the rise of the last two is an indication that the society is moving in the wrong direction. In an ideal society, the 4th and 5th constituencies should not exist in the first place.
1.18.20-21
अतीत्यैकादशाहं तु
नामकर्म तथाऽकरोत् ।
ज्येष्ठं रामं महात्मानम्
भरतं कैकयीसुतम् ।
सौमित्रिं लक्ष्मण इति
शत्रुघ्नमपरं तथा ।
वसिष्ठः परमप्रीतो
नामानि कृतवांस्तदा ॥
After eleven days passed, Vasishṭha
performed the naming ceremony
for the new borns with delight.
He named the great eldest son as Rāma,
the son of Kaikēyee as Bharata and
the sons of Sumitrā as Lakshmaṇa and Ṡatrughna.
1.18.22-23a
ब्राह्मणान् भोजयामास
पौरांजानपदानपि ।
अददद्ब्राह्मणानां च
रत्नौघममितं बहु ।
तेषां जन्मक्रियादीनि
सर्वकर्माण्यकारयत् ॥
With the Brāhmaṇas, city folks and rural folks feasted,
and Brāhmaṇas bestowed with gifts of precious stones,
the different rituals of the naming ceremony came to a close.
1.18.23b-24a
तेषां केतुरिव ज्येष्ठो
रामो रतिकरः पितुः ।
बभूव भूयो भूतानाम्
स्वयम्भूरिव सम्मतः ॥
The eldest of them, Rāma, stood out among all
and became the obsession of his father.
He became as naturally acceptable to everyone
as the creator of the worlds, Brahma.
1.18.24b-25a
सर्वे वेदविदः शूराः
सर्वे लोकहिते रताः ।
सर्वे ज्ञानोपपन्नाश्च
सर्वे समुदिता गुणैः ॥
All of them learned the Vēdas and
became knowledgeable in all subjects.
They were endowed with all the desirable qualities.
They learned to share with everyone and care about everybody.
1.18.25b-26a
तेषामपि महातेजा
रामः सत्यपराक्रमः ।
इष्टः सर्वस्य लोकस्य
शशाङ्क इव निर्मलः ॥
Among all of them, Rāma stood out
with his supreme radiance and true valor.
He endeared himself to everyone like a spotless moon.
Being radiant like the Sun and endearing like the Moon is a rare combination.
The Moon is so pleasing to everyone, in spite of spots and smears on his face. Imagine how nice and more pleasing the Moon would be, sans those spots and smears?
That is what Rāma was, to beholders.
(Moon is referred to as a male by Indian civilization. There are other civilizations which refer to Moon as a female.)
1.18.26b-27a
गजस्कन्धेऽश्वपृष्ठे च
रथचर्यासु सम्मतः ।
धनुर्वेदे च निरतः
पितुः शुश्रूषणे रतः ॥
They always liked to be around their father and help him.
They rode on the backs of horses and on the
shoulders of elephants and became experts in driving cars.
And they could not get their hands off shooting arrows.
The word 'car', here, is used in the sense of Ratha or chariot.
This Ṡlōka depicts exactly what a teenager would indulge in even today, except that the scene of sons being around the father is becoming rare, as the schools are claiming the time of children.
1.18.27b-28a
बाल्यात् प्रभृति सुस्निग्धो
लक्ष्मणो लक्ष्मिवर्द्धनः ।
रामस्य लोकरामस्य
भ्रातुर्ज्येष्ठस्य नित्यशः ॥
Lakshmaṇa, the harbinger of prosperity
had always been close to Rāma,
his elder brother who was loved by everyone.
1.18.28b-29a
सर्वप्रियकरस्तस्य
रामस्यापि शरीरतः ।
लक्ष्मणो लक्ष्मिसम्पन्नो
बहिः प्राण इवापरः ॥
Lakshmaṇa, the embodiment of prosperity would
do anything for Rāma, even giving up his life, if needed.
He became the alter ego of Rāma.
1.18.29b-30a
न च तेन विना निद्राम्
लभते पुरुषोत्तमः ।
मृष्टमन्नमुपानीतम्
अश्नाति न हि तं विना ॥
He would not eat food or go to sleep
without Rāma, the best among men, ever beside with him.
1.18.30b-31a
यदा हि हयमारूढो
मृगयां याति राघवः ।
तदैनं पृष्ठतोऽभ्येति
सधनुः परिपालयन् ॥
As Rāma went hunting on horseback,
he would follow him with bow and arrows.
1.18.31b-32a
भरतस्यापि शत्रुघ्नो
लक्ष्मणावरजो हि सः ।
प्राणैः प्रियतरो नित्यम्
तस्य चासीत्तथा प्रियः ॥
Similarly, Ṡatrughna, the brother of Lakshmaṇa,
and Bharata were close and friendly with each other.
1.18.32b-33a
स चतुर्भिर्महाभागैः
पुत्रैर्दशरथः प्रियैः ।
बभूव परमप्रीतो
देवैरिव पितामहः ॥
With those four pleasing and richly endowed sons,
king Daṡaratha was as happy as Brahma with Dēvas.
1.18.33b-35a
ते यदा ज्ञानसम्पन्नाः
सर्वे समुदिता गुणैः ।
ह्रीमन्तः कीर्तिमन्तश्च
सर्वज्ञा दीर्घदर्शिनः ।
तेषामेवम्प्रभावानाम्
सर्वेषां दीप्ततेजसाम् ।
पिता दशरथो हृष्टो
ब्रह्मा लोकाधिपो यथा ॥
As each one of them was becoming learned,
developing great virtues and a wonderful disposition,
building a reputation for themselves yet being humble,
and as they always kept a forward looking attitude
and shined with brilliant radiance,
the king Daṡaratha felt very happy,
as if he were the king of Brahma Lōka.
Indeed, which father wouldn't feel on top of the world, if the children were growing up like stars!
1.18.35b-36a
ते चापि मनुजव्याघ्रा
वैदिकाध्ययने रताः ।
पितृशुश्रूषणरता
धनुर्वेदे च निष्ठिताः ॥
Those tigers among men were earnestly and equally interested
in the study of Vēdas and in learning the skill of archery
and in seeking and following the guidance of their parents.
Vālmeeki does not go into the detail of what Rāma and his brothers learned, here. But throughout Rāmāyaṇa, especially in the Ayōdhyā and Araṇya Kāṇḍas you will come to know about the rich body of knowledge that Rāma possesses.
1.18.36b-37a
अथ राजा दशरथः
तेषां दारक्रियां प्रति ।
चिन्तयामास धर्मात्मा
सोपाध्यायः सबान्धवः ॥
The Dharmātma king Daṡaratha, then,
along with the high priest and relatives
pondered about their marriage.
The adjective Dharmātma is used throughout Rāmāyaṇa for many characters. It indicates a person who is conscious of Dharma all the time, doing the right thing at the right time, as needed or as expected.
Here Daṡaratha is referred to as Dharmātma, because he thinks of performing the marriage of his sons, as is expected and necessary.
1.18.37b-38a
तस्य चिन्तयमानस्य
मन्त्रिमध्ये महात्मनः ।
अभ्यागच्छन्महातेजा
विश्वामित्रो महामुनिः ॥
As that Mahātma Daṡaratha
was discussing about their marriages with the ministers,
the supremely radiant and great Muni Viṡwāmitra arrived.
1.18.38b-39a
स राज्ञो दर्शनाकाङ्क्षी
द्वाराध्यक्षानुवाच ह ।
शीघ्रमाख्यात मां प्राप्तम्
कौशिकं गाधिनन्दनम् ॥
He wanted to see the king and said to the guards at the gate:
"Would you tell immediately that the son of Gādhi,
from the lineage of Kuṡika has arrived?"
1.18.39b-40a
तच्छ्रुत्वा वचनं तस्य
राज्ञो वेश्म प्रदुद्रुवुः ।
सम्भ्रान्तमनसः सर्वे
तेन वाक्येन चोदिताः ॥
Hearing that, the guards felt nervous and apprehensive
and immediately dashed to the king in the palace.
1.18.40b-41a
ते गत्वा राजभवनम्
विश्वामित्रमृषिं तदा ।
प्राप्तमावेदयामासुः
नृपायैक्ष्वाकवे तदा ॥
They went into the palace and told
the king of Ikshwāku dynasty about the arrival
of the Ṛshi Viṡwāmitra.
1.18.41b-42a
तेषां तद्वचनं श्रुत्वा
सपुरोधाः समाहितः ।
प्रत्युज्जगाम तं हृष्टो
ब्रह्माणमिव वासवः ॥
Having heard them, the king felt very happy
and earnestly went along with the priests to
receive him, as Indra would receive Brahma.
1.18.42b-43a
तं दृष्ट्वा ज्वलितं दीप्त्या
तापसं संशितव्रतम् ।
प्रहृष्टवदनो राजा
ततोऽर्घ्यमुपहारयत् ॥
With happiness exuding in his face upon seeing
that brilliant, radiant and highly disciplined Ṛshi,
he paid respects to him by giving him water to drink.
Informal vs. formal. Intimacy vs. courtesy.
People close to each other by virtue of growing together or living together or working together on a daily basis, would develop intimacy, and meetings among them would have an informal air.
Whereas, people who do not have such a close relationship but know each other because of their positions or roles, have to take the help of established protocol in honoring each other. As is indicated in this Ṡlōka, even offering water and accepting it is a part of the protocol.
And it should be noted that the word Ṡāstra has a wide ranging meaning. It includes everything from the Vēdas to books on any given subject such as cooking to archery to manuals about making sculptures, to procedures for performing Yajña, to documented protocols for various occasions.
1.18.43b-44a
स राज्ञः प्रतिगृह्यार्घ्यम्
शास्त्रदृष्टेन कर्मणा ।
कुशलं चाव्ययं चैव
पर्यपृच्छन्नराधिपम् ॥
The Ṛshi accepted the water from the king as
per the protocol laid out in Ṡāstras
and enquired about his wellbeing.
1.18.44b-45a
पुरे कोशे जनपदे
बान्धवेषु सुहृत्सु च ।
कुशलं कौशिको राज्ञः
पर्यपृच्छत्सुधार्मिकः ॥
The Dhārmika from the lineage of Kuṡika,
also enquired about the wellbeing of
the king's city, treasury, country, kith and kin.
Dhārmika is same as Dharmātma. It means a Dharma minded person.
These two Ṡlōkas, in that order are very illustrative. If you are meeting someone formally, or meeting after a long time, the order in which you enquire about their wellbeing should be 'from generic to specific'. The first of these two Ṡlōkas is about general wellbeing. The second is about specific wellbeing.
And the enquiry should depend on the Varna of the person. A king (Kshatriya) should be enquired about doing well from a 'control' perspective. A businessman (Vaiṡya) should be enquired about doing well from the 'cash flow and profits' perspective.
1.18.45b-46a
अपि ते सन्नताः सर्वे
सामन्ता रिपवो जिताः ।
दैवं च मानुषं चापि
कर्म ते साध्वनुष्ठितम् ॥
"I hope all the provincial kings are well under your control.
I hope all the detractors are subdued.
I hope you are doing all that is appropriate
to please the Dēvas and your subjects!"
1.18.46b-47a
वसिष्ठं च समागम्य
कुशलं मुनिपुङ्गवः ।
ऋषींश्चान्यान् यथान्यायम्
महाभागानुवाच ह ॥
The eminent Muni enquired about the wellbeing
of the great Vasishṭha and other great Ṛshis.
1.18.47b-48a
ते सर्वे हृष्टमनसः
तस्य राज्ञो निवेशनम् ।
विविशुः पूजितास्तत्र
निषेदुश्च यथार्हतः ॥
All of them, pleased with each other,
entered the palace of the king and took their seats
after being received formally.
1.18.48b-49a
अथ हृष्टमना राजा
विश्वामित्रं महामुनिम् ।
उवाच परमोदारो
हृष्टस्तमभिपूजयन् ॥
The pleased, generous and kind king
paid due respects to the great Muni and said to him:
1.18.49b-51a
यथाऽमृतस्य सम्प्राप्तिः
यथा वर्षमनूदके ।
यथा सदृशदारेषु
पुत्रजन्माप्रजस्य च ।
प्रणष्टस्य यथा लाभो
यथा हर्षो महोदये ।
तथैवागमनं मन्ये
स्वागतं ते महामुने ॥
"Your arrival here is like obtaining Amrita,
like rains in the places affected by drought,
like the birth of a son through
a dear wife, for a childless man,
like the repossession of a lost object,
and is like the delight accompanying great achievement!
Welcome to thee, O great Muni!"
1.18.51b-52
कं च ते परमं कामम्
करोमि किमु हर्षितः ।
पात्रभूतोऽसि मे ब्रह्मन्
दिष्ट्या प्राप्तोऽसि धार्मिक ।
अद्य मे सफलं जन्म
जीवितं च सुजीवितम् ॥
"I am very happy, my life has found its purpose,
and my life is enriched with your visit!
O Brahman, O descendant of Kuṡika,
please let me know if there is anything I can do for you!
It is my good fortune that you are here.
And it is my honor to fulfill your desire!"
1.18.53
पूर्वं राजर्षिशब्देन
तपसा द्योतितप्रभः ।
ब्रह्मर्षित्वमनुप्राप्तः
पूज्योऽसि बहुधा मया ॥
"You were well known as the
great Rājarshi in the past.
Now you have become a Brahmarshi
after performing monumental Tapa.
It is my privilege to honor you!"
Changing the Varna in a life time is next to impossible, since Varna indicates the hard-wired proclivities and instincts. (Varna is not the community or caste that one belongs to - as people often mistake.)
Changing one’s Varna is as difficult as changing the blood group. It would take a miraculous operation to change one's blood group, if at all possible. In a similar way, it would take a deep surgery of the mind to change one's basic instincts and proclivities.
Viṡwāmitra is known to have changed such hard-wired instinctual makeup of his mind, from that of Kshatriya to Brāhmaṇa. It is not easy for a Kshatriya living in the midst of riches and people and for whom control and power is second nature, to transform into a Brāhmaṇa, who loves to be in the Vanas and indulge perpetually in the study of esoteric subjects.
Later on, in this Bāla Kāṇḍa, we will learn the details of how Viṡwāmitra changed his Varna (i.e., changed his instinctual make-up).
1.18.54
तदद्भुतमिदं ब्रह्मन्
पवित्रं परमं मम ।
शुभक्षेत्रगतश्चाहम्
तव सन्दर्शनात्प्रभो ॥
"O Lord, therefore, it is nothing short of a miracle,
that I have the good fortune and privilege of this sacred moment.
Being in your presence is equivalent to being
at many auspicious places simultaneously."
1.18.55
ब्रूहि यत्प्रार्थितं तुभ्यम्
कार्यमागमनं प्रति ।
इच्छाम्यनुगृहीतोऽहम्
त्वदर्थपरिवृद्धये ॥
"Let me know the reason for your visit here.
I would feel blessed to do anything you need."
1.18.56
कार्यस्य न विमर्शं च
गन्तुमर्हसि कौशिक ।
कर्ता चाहमशेषेण
दैवतं हि भवान् मम ॥
"O descendent of Kuṡika, do not
hesitate to lay out what you need.
I shall fulfill your need in full. You are like a Dēva to me."
1.18.57
मम चायमनुप्राप्तो
महानभ्युदयो द्विज ।
तवागमनजः कृत्स्नो
धर्मश्चानुत्तमो मम ॥
Great is my good fortune that you have come,
and supremely great and complete the Dharma
that must come in its wake.
1.18.58
इति हृदयसुखं निशम्य वाक्यं
श्रुतिसुखमात्मवता विनीतमुक्तम् ।
प्रथितगुणयशा गुणैर्विशिष्टः
परमऋषिः परमं जगाम हर्षम् ॥
Upon hearing those humble and genuine words from the king
that were like music to the ears and pleasing to the heart,
the eminent Ṛshi of great virtues and
qualities that were well known, felt extremely happy.
इत्यार्षे वाल्मीकीये
श्रीमद्रामायणे आदिकाव्ये
बालकाण्डे अष्टादशः सर्गः ॥
Thus concludes the eighteenth Sarga
in Bāla Kāṇḍa of the glorious Rāmāyaṇa,
the first ever poem of humankind,
composed by Vālmeeki.
Baala Kaanda - Sarga 19
In the previous Sarga, Viṡwāmitra arrived in Daṡaratha's court and was received with great honor.
In this Sarga, the Ṛshi Viṡwāmitra asks king Daṡaratha to send his son Rāma along with him to protect his Yajña from the Rākshasas.
This is one of the most concise Sargas in Rāmāyaṇa. It requires no modifications, before it can be turned into a lesson on 'Proposal Making' for executives, diplomats and sales persons or before it is offered as part of a curriculum in an MBA course.
1.19.1
तच्छ्रुत्वा राजसिंहस्य
वाक्यमद्भुतविस्तरम् ।
हृष्टरोमा महातेजा
विश्वामित्रोऽभ्यभाषत ॥
Hearing those nice, elaborate and acquiescing words
of the lion among kings (Daṡaratha),
the supremely radiant Muni had goose bumps and said:
1.19.2
सदृशं राजशार्दूल
तवैतद्भुवि नान्यथा ।
महाकुलप्रसूतस्य
वसिष्ठव्यपदेशिनः ॥
There is no wonder you spoke thus, and not unusual,
considering the great lineage that you are born into
and considering the able guidance you get from Vasishṭha!
1.19.3
यत्तु मे हृद्गतं वाक्यम्
तस्य कार्यस्य निश्चयम् ।
कुरुष्व राजशार्दूल
भव सत्यप्रतिश्रवः ॥
O tiger among kings!
I hope you will be able to fulfill
the request that is in my mind
and do accordingly, without fail!
1.19.4
अहं नियममातिष्ठे
सिद्ध्यर्थं पुरुषर्षभ ।
तस्य विघ्नकरौ द्वौ तु
राक्षसौ कामरूपिणौ ॥
O bull among men! I am following
specific discipline and rigor
in the pursuit of certain objectives.
But two Rākshasas, that can change their form at will,
are causing obstructions.
1.19.5-6a
व्रते मे बहुशश्चीर्णे
समाप्त्यां राक्षसाविमौ ।
मारीचश्च सुबाहुश्च
वीर्यवन्तौ सुशिक्षितौ ।
समांसरुधिरौघेण
वेदिं तामभ्यवर्षताम् ॥
As I was drawing to a close of that Vrata,
two powerful and well trained Rākshasas
by name Māreecha and Subāhu have
poured blood and dumped meat on the altar.
Aṡwamēdha Yajña, performed by kings involves animal sacrifice. Whereas, any presence of blood or meat is considered sacrilegious in the case of Yajñas performed by Munis.
It is my conjecture, that
1. Yajñas done for the sake of material gains (such as by kings) may involve animal sacrifice and pomp, and are performed in the middle of a huge number of attendees.
2. But Yajñas done for the sake of gaining spiritual energies (such as by Munis) are done in an ascetic manner and in the midst of quiet and serene Vanas.
1.19.6b-7a
अवधूते तथाभूते
तस्मिन्नियमनिश्चये ।
कृतश्रमो निरुत्साहः
तस्माद्देशादपाक्रमे ॥
Having my discipline, determination and effort thus spoiled,
I felt de-motivated and abandoned it and came away.
1.19.7b-8a
न च मे क्रोधमुत्स्रष्टुम्
बुद्धिर्भवति पार्थिव ।
तथाभूता हि सा चर्या
न शापस्तत्र मुच्यते ॥
I could not even get angry at them, because
the stipulations of the Vrata, demand calmness.
Further, I could not even curse them
because I was in the middle of the Yajña.
1.19.8b-9a
स्वपुत्रं राजशार्दूल
रामं सत्यपराक्रमम् ।
काकपक्षधरं शूरम्
ज्येष्ठं मे दातुमर्हसि ॥
O tiger among kings!
Please give me your eldest son,
the heroic and truly valorous Rāma
with beautiful side-locks!
The reference to beautiful side-locks implies youthfulness!
1.19.9a-10b
शक्तो ह्येष मया गुप्तो
दिव्येन स्वेन तेजसा ।
राक्षसा ये विकर्तारः
तेषामपि विनाशने ॥
He, with his own divine brilliance
and acting under my direction and protection,
will be the right person to destroy those Rākshasas
that are obstructing my work!
1.19.10b-11a
श्रेयश्चास्मै प्रदास्यामि
बहुरूपं न संशयः ।
त्रयाणामपि लोकानाम्
येन ख्यातिं गमिष्यति ॥
Please be assured that I will bring
a multitude of great things upon him and that
his fame will reach the far corners of all three worlds.
These nine Ṡlōkas (10b-19a) lay out a 9-point template for successful 'proposal making'.
Viṡwāmitra wants Daṡaratha to send Rāma along with him. This may sound like a simple request. But, if you read through these 9 Ṡlōkas carefully, you will see it as a well-crafted and well delivered proposal.
This 9 point template for 'proposal making' is very illustrative and can be used by you in any situation.
For example, let us say you want to request your friend to invest more than half of his retirement savings in your business. (You are like Viṡwāmitra, your friend is like Daṡaratha. The 'retirement savings' are like Rāma).
How do you make your friend part with his 'retirement savings'?
Follow the 9 points below, as laid out in each of these 9 Ṡlōkas, for maximum effect:
1. (Ṡlōka 10b-11a) Speak about the returns on investment. (Answer the ‘What is in it for me' question!)
2. (Ṡlōka 11b-12a) Explain how uniquely your friend is positioned for the opportunity and that there is no risk. (Boost the ego of your friend, and trivialize the risk).
3. (Ṡlōka 12b-13a) Explain that the timing is perfect and everything is falling in place. (Draw attention to the 'timing', and again trivialize the risk).
4. (Ṡlōka 13b-14a) Calm down knee-jerk apprehensions. ("Don't let small things come in your way. Trust me, everything is well thought out").
5. (Ṡlōka 14b-15a) Deflect the focus away from yourself and put yourself in good company. ("It is not just me, other eminent people also agree with me").
6. (Ṡlōka 15b-16a) Shift the focus to him and away from you. ("It is in your long term interest, you should do this").
7. (Ṡlōka 16b-17a) Deflect the burden of decision making from him to his trusted advisors. ("Check with your confidants").
8. (Ṡlōka 17b-18a) Give the specifics only after you have raised some comfort level and say, some feel-good words. (Such as: 'of course, it is your hard-earned money').
9. (Ṡlōka 18b-19a) Mention the urgency ('offer is void if not acted upon within a certain time frame') and turn yourself into a counselor, from being a requester.
1.19.11b-12a
न च तौ राममासाद्य
शक्तौ स्थातुं कथञ्चन ।
न च तौ राघवादन्यो
हन्तुमुत्सहते पुमान् ॥
Those two (Rākshasas) cannot stand against Rāma.
No one other than Rāma, the Prince
of Raghu Dynasty, can kill them.
1.19.12b-13a
वीर्योत्सिक्तौ हि तौ पापौ
कालपाशवशं गतौ ।
रामस्य राजशार्दूल
न पर्याप्तौ महात्मनः ॥
O tiger among kings!
The end of those two wretched souls,
that are emboldened by their raw muscle, is near.
They are no match for the great Rāma.
1.19.13b-14a
न च पुत्रकृतस्नेहम्
कर्तुमर्हति पार्थिव ।
अहं ते प्रतिजानामि
हतौ तौ विद्धि राक्षसौ ॥
I hope you will not back out because of your love for Rāma.
Consider those two Rākshasas as already killed by him.
And, repose complete faith in my words.
1.19.14b-15a
अहं वेद्मि महात्मानम्
रामं सत्यपराक्रमम् ।
वसिष्ठोऽपि महातेजा
ये चेमे तपसि स्थिताः ॥
I am confident about the true capabilities of the great Rāma.
So do the radiant Vasishṭha and other Munis.
1.19.15b-16a
यदि ते धर्मलाभं च
यशश्च परमं भुवि ।
स्थितमिच्छसि राजेन्द्र
रामं मे दातुमर्हसि ॥
If you want to further the cause of Dharma and
if you want to enhance your reputation in this world,
please do not waver about sending Rāma with me.
1.19.16b-17a
यदि ह्यनुज्ञां काकुत्स्थ
ददते तव मन्त्रिणः ।
वसिष्ठप्रमुखाः सर्वे
राघवं मे विसर्जय ॥
O descendant of Kākutstha!
Please check with your ministers and Vasishṭha
and only upon their good advice,
should you send Rāma with me!
1.19.17b-18a
अभिप्रेतमसंसक्तम्
आत्मजं दातुमर्हसि ।
दशरात्रं हि यज्ञस्य
रामं राजीवलोचनम् ॥
For the duration of the ten nights of the Yajña,
please send your dearest, shiny lotus eyed Rāma, without delay.
1.19.18b-19a
नात्येति कालो यज्ञस्य
यथाऽयं मम राघव ।
तथा कुरुष्व भद्रं ते
मा च शोके मनः कृथाः ॥
O prince of Raghu dynasty!
Please act in time for my Yajña.
Everything will be alright and you
will not have anything to worry about.
1.19.19b-20a
इत्येवमुक्त्वा धर्मात्मा
धर्मार्थसहितं वचः ।
विरराम महातेजा
विश्वामित्रो महामुनिः ॥
The Dharmātma, the Muni, the supremely radiant Viṡwāmitra,
thus stated his legitimate purpose.
Dharma = legitimate, fair and reasonable. Artha = Purpose.
1.19.20b-21a
स तन्निशम्य राजेन्द्रो
विश्वामित्रवचः शुभम् ।
शोकमभ्यगमत्तीव्रम्
व्यषीदत भयान्वितः ॥
The good opportunity that Viṡwāmitra laid out
Did not help that king of kings
from sinking with grief and fear.
1.19.21
इति हृदयमनोविदारणं
मुनिवचनं तदतीव शुश्रुवान् ।
नरपतिरभवन्महांस्तदा
व्यथितमनाः प्रचचाल चासनात् ॥
The words of Viṡwāmitra tore his heart into pieces.
The mind of the lord of men went out of shape.
And he almost jumped out of his throne.
इत्यार्षे वाल्मीकीये
श्रीमद्रामायणे आदिकाव्ये
बालकाण्डे एकोनविंशः सर्गः ॥
Thus concludes the nineteenth Sarga
in Bāla Kāṇḍa of the glorious Rāmāyaṇa,
the first ever poem of humankind,
composed by Vālmeeki.
Meaning, notes and commentary by: Krishna Sharma.