bAla kANDa

Book I : Bala Kanda - The Youthful Majesties

Chapter [Sarga] 20
Verses converted to UTF-8 - Sep 2009


On enquiring details about those dangerous demons that are ravaging sage's ritual, King Dasharatha refuses to send young Rama along with Sage Vishvamitra on many an account, and thus confronts the Sage's wrath.

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तच्छ्रुत्वा राजशार्दूलो विश्वामित्रस्य भाषितम् |
मुहूर्तमिव निस्सज्ञः सज्ञावानिदमब्रवीत् || १-२०-१

1. raajashaarduulaH = the tigerly king; vishvaamitrasya tat bhaaSitam shrutvaa = Vishvamitra's, that, spoken, on hearing; muhuurtam iva nissanj~naH = for a time, thus, became senseless; sanj~naavaan idam abraviit = said this gaining senses.

On hearing what is spoken by Vishvamitra the tigerly-king Dasharatha became insensate for a time, and on redeeming senses he said this. [1-20-1]

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ऊनषोडशवर्षो मे रामो राजीवलोचनः |
न युद्धयोग्यतामस्य पश्यामि सह राक्षसैः || १-२०-२

2. raajiivalochanaH = lotus eyed one; me raamaH = my, Rama; uunaSoDashavarSaH = is less than sixteen years [of age]; asya raakShasaiH saha = his, with, demons; yuddhayogyataam = warring aptitude; na pashyaami = I don't see.

""Less than sixteen years of age is my lotus-eyed Rama, and I see no warring aptitude to him with the demons. [1-20-2]

This particular statement uunaSoDashavarSaH less than sixteen years, has evoked a spate of commentaries in deciding the age of Rama at this juncture of going along with Sage Viswamitra, i.e., at the time of his marrying Seeta and at the time of his exile to forests etc. His age is said to be twelve years as of now. And this is confirmed by Mareecha while advising Ravana, that 'as a boy of twelve Rama, killed my mother and brother, and hit me out' as at 3-38-6, uunadvaadashavarSaH Or, baalo dvaadashavarSo ayam as per other versions of the same verse.

Ramayana has some bearing on the number twelve. The Books or Kaanda-s are 6, half of twelve. The total verses are 24 thousand, two folds of twelve thousand. Rama is born in twelfth month. Vishvamitra's arrival, or better said as Seethaa-kalyaaNa , Seetha's marriage with Rama, is in the twelfth year. His stay in Ayodhya before crown prince ceremony and exile is for twelve years. The years of Rama's exile are twelve, plus two years stay in Panchavati, of the total fourteen years of exile. In Uttara Ramayana Seetha's exile in the hermitage of Valmiki is for twelve years. So on...

Some others said that because Rama has not yet attained all the sixteen phases like full moon, he is not a full-fledged person, chaaru SoDashakalaasahitaH Again in saying: raajiivalochana lotus-eyed one - petals of lotuses close down by night, so Rama's eyelids too close by night for a boyish sleep. Then how can such a boy war with night-active demons? In answer to this Sage Vishvamitra uses the same wording in previous chapter at 1-19-18, dasharaatram; raamam raajiivalocanam where the wording raajiivalocana is used by Vishvamitra in the sense that the petals of a lotus spread out on the first rays of sun. So also the very opening of the lotus-petal eyelids of Rama will eradicate the nightly menace of demons with his Omniscient Sun-Moon-Fire eyes, suuryachandraagnilochanaH , that can see even in night.

A Kshatriya of sixteen years age is unfit to war with any one, as he is still a childhood baalaH aaSoDashaavarSaH . But Rama is under sixteen, and he is being requisitioned for war. Can he combat even if he is under aged? Yes, he can, says Govindaraja as per the nyaya /syndrome, tejasaam hi na vayaH samiikShyate 'dextrous person's age is not to be reckoned' As such, though Rama appears to be under aged he can do wonders in eliminating the vice. This is again rounded off with Vishvamitra's wording in last chapter: aham vedmi mahaatmaanam raamam raajiivalocanam.

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इयमक्षौहिणी पूर्णा यस्याहं पतिरीश्वरः |
अनया संवृतो गत्वा योद्धाहं तैर्निशाचरैः || १-२०-३

3. puurNaa iyam akShouhiNii = this full-fledged one - here is, battalion [of ancient Indian warfare]; yasya aham patiH = for which, I am, the leader; iishwaraH = controller; anayaa samvR^itaH = surrounded - [fortified by] by this [battalion] ; gatvaa = having gone; aham taiH nishaacharaiH yoddhaa = I can encounter with those night walkers [demons] .

"Here is the full-fledged battalion, called akShouhiNii senaa , for which I am the leader and controller, and fortified by this army I will go there to encounter those demons. [1-20-3]

One pankti row, is the first unit of ancient military, which consists of 1 chariot, 1 elephant, 3 cavalry, and 7-foot soldiers. Multiples of this first unit become an akShouhiNii troop, which consists of 21,870 chariots and the same number of elephants, 65,610 cavalry, and 1,09,350 of foot soldiers.

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इमे शूराश्च विक्रान्ता भृत्या मेऽस्त्रविशारदाः |
योग्या रक्षोगणैर्योद्धुं न रामं नेतुमर्हसि || १-२०-४

4. me bhR^ityaaH = my, subordinates - soldiers; ime shuuraaH cha = these, brave ones, also; vikraantaaH = daring ones; astravishaaradaaaH = experts in weaponry ; rakShogaNaiH = with hordes of demons; yoddhum yogyaaH = suitable to combat; raamam = Rama; netum = to take along; na arhasi = not, apt of you.

"Brave and daring are these soldiers of mine, and as experts in weaponry they are the appropriate ones to combat the hordes of demons, but, it will be ungentle of you to take Rama with you. [1-20-4]

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अहमेव धनुष्पाणिर्गोप्ता समरमूर्धनि |
यावत् प्राणान् धरिष्यामि तावद्योत्स्ये निशाचरैः || १-२०-५

5. aham eva = I, alone; dhanuSpaaNiH = having bow in hand; goptaa = I can protect [ritual]; yaavat praaNaan dhariSyaami = as long as, lives, I bear; taavat = so long; samaramuurdhani = in war's forefront; nishaacharaiH yotsye = I war with nightwalkers [demons] .

"I alone with bow in my hand can protect your ritual, and as long as I bear my lives so long I war with those nightwalkers staying in the van of war. [1-20-5]

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निर्विघ्ना व्रतचर्या सा भविष्यति सुरक्षिता |
अहं तत्रागमिष्यामि न रामं नेतुमर्हसि || १-२०-६

6. aham tatra aagamiSyaami = I wish to come over there; saa vratacharyaa = that, ritual work; surakShitaa = well guarded; nirvighnaa = without impediments; bhaviSyati = it will be; raamam netum na arhasi = inapt of you to take Rama with you .

" I myself wish to come over there thereby the works of ritual will be well-guarded and unimpeded, but, taking Rama with you will be ungracious of you. [1-20-6]

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बालो ह्यकृतविद्यश्च न च वेत्ति बलाबलम् |
न चास्त्रबलसंयुक्तो न च युद्धविशारदः || १-२०-७
न चासौ रक्षसां योग्यः कूटयुद्धा हि ते ध्रुवम् |

7, 8a. hi = why because; [Rama] baalaH = a boy; akR^itavidyaH cha = not done [unschooled,] in education; balaabalam = strengths and weaknesses; na vetti cha = not, knows, also; na astrabalasamyuktaH = he has no the equipage of arsenal; yuddhavishaaradaH cha = he is an expert in warfare, also; na = he is not; asau rakShasaam yogyaH = as a match equal to those demons; na = he is not; te dhruvam kuuTayuddhaaH hi = those, definitely, with deceitful warfare, isn't it.

"Why because, Rama is boy! And he is unschooled in his princely education; does he know the strengths and weaknesses of opponents - no; has he got the equipage of arsenal - no; has he any expertise in warfare - no; is he an equal to the demons - no; be that as it may, those demons definitely conduct a deceitful warfare, isn't it. [1-19-7, 8a]

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विप्रयुक्तो हि रामेण मुहूर्तमपि नोत्सहे || १-२०-८
जीवितुं मुनिशार्दूल न रामं नेतुमर्हसि |

8b, 9a. raameNa = with Rama; viprayuktaH [vi-pra-yuktaH] = [I am] alienated from; muhuurtam api = for a moment, even; jiivitum na utsahe = not inclined to live; munishaarduula = the tigerly sage; raamam netum na arhasi = unapt of you to take Rama with you.

"Alienated from Rama I am disinclined to live even for a moment, oh, tigerly sage, hence taking Rama with you will be unjust. [1-20-8b, 9a]

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यदि वा राघवं ब्रह्मन्नेतुमिच्छसि सुव्रत || १-२०-९
चतुरंगसमायुक्तं मया सह च तं नय |

9b, 10a. suvrata = oh one with best vows; brahman = oh Brahman; vaa = otherwise; raaghavam netum icChasi yadi = if you wish to take away Rama; chaturangasamaayuktam = along with four kinds of troops; mayaa saha ca = along with me, also; tam naya = him [Rama,] you lead forth - take.

"Otherwise, oh, Brahman with best vows, if you so wish to take Rama along with you, you lead him off along with me, and along with my four kinds of troops. [1-20-9b, 10a]

The four kinds of troops are: chariots, elephants, cavalry, and foot soldiers.

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षष्टिर्वर्षसहस्राणि जातस्य मम कौशिक || १-२०-१०
कृच्छ्रेणोत्पादितश्चायं न रामं नेतुमर्हसि |

10b, 11a. koushika = oh Vishvamitra; jaatasya mama = birthed, for me [from my birth]; SaSTiH varSasahasraaNi = sixty thousand years [passed] ; ayam = this one [Rama]; kR^icChreNa = with tribulations; utpaaditaH cha = is produced given birth, also; raamam netum na arhasi = unapt of you to take Rama with you.

"Sixty thousand years have passed from my birth, oh! Vishvamitra, and this Rama is engendered at this age, that too with tribulations, hence taking Rama with you will be inappropriate of you. [1-20-10b, 11a]

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चतुर्णामात्मजानां हि प्रीतिः परमिका मम || १-२०-११
ज्येष्ठे धर्मप्रधाने च न रामं नेतुमर्हसि |

11b, 12a. chaturNaam aatmajaanaam = for four, of my soul born sons; mama paramikaa priitiH hi = to me, exceptional, affection is there, isn't it; jyeSThe = eldest one; dharmapradhaane cha = significance in view of rightness [of descent], also - as he is the next king, do not butcher him now; raamam netum na arhasi = unapt of you to take Rama with you.

"I will have exceptional affection for all of my four sons, isn't it, and among them Rama has a significance in the matter of his descent as an eldest son, hence taking Rama with you will be unjust of you. [1-20-11b, 12a]

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किं वीर्या राक्षसास्ते च कस्य पुत्राश्च के च ते || १-२०-१२
कथं प्रमाणाः के चैतान् रक्षन्ति मुनिपुंगव |

12b, 13a. munipungava = oh the eminent sage; te raakShasaaH kim viiryaaH = of what fortitude are those demons; kasya putraaH cha = whose, sons, also; te ke = they, who; katham pramaaNaaH = of what, size; ke cha etaan rakShanti = also who is protecting all of them.

"Oh, eminent sage, of what fortitude are those demons? Whose sons are they? Who are they? How is their size and shape? Also who protects all of them? [1-20-12b, 13a]

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कथं च प्रतिकर्तव्यं तेषां रामेण रक्षसाम् || १-२०-१३
मामकैर्वा बलैर्ब्रह्मन् मया वा कूटयोधिनाम् |

13b, 14a. brahman = oh Brahman; kuuTayodhinaam = deceitful militants; teSaam rakShasaam = in respect of those, demons; raameNa = by Rama; maamakaiH balaiH vaa = my own, forces, or; mayaa vaa = by me, or; katham pratikartavyam = how to, retaliate.

"Oh, Brahman, how Rama, or my forces, or I myself have to retaliate those demons that are deceitful militants. [1-20-13b, 14a]

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सर्वं मे शंस भगवन् कथं तेषां मया रणे|| १-२०-१४
स्थातव्यं दुष्टभावानां वीर्योत्सिक्ता हि राक्षसाः |
तस्य तद्वचनं श्रुत्वा विश्वामित्रोऽभ्यभाषत || १-२०-१५

14b, 15. bhagavan = oh,god; duSTabhaavaanaam = evil minded ones; teSaam raNe katham mayaa sthaatavyam = how to stand by me with them in war - to carry out; sarvam me shamsa = you inform all to me; raakShasaaH viiryotsiktaaH hi = demons will be delirious by audacity, isn't it; tasya tat vachanam shrutvaa = his [Dasharatha's,] on hearing that words; Vishvamitra; abhyabhaaSata = spoke.

"Tell me all that, oh, god, how I have to carry on when warring with those evil minded demons, for the demons will be delirious by their audacity, isn't it..." Thus Dasharatha asked Vishvamitra insistently. On hearing those words Sage Vishvamitra replied this way. [1-20-14b, 15]

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पौलस्त्यवंशप्रभवो रावणो नाम राक्षसः |
स ब्रह्मणा दत्तवरस्त्रैलोक्यं बाधते भृशम् || १-२०-१६
महाबलो महावीर्यो राक्षसैर्बहुभिर्वृतः |

16, 17a. paulastyavamshaprabhavaH = born in Pulastya dynasty; raaavaNaH naama raakShasaH = Ravana, named, demon [is there]; mahaabalaH mahaaviiryaH = greatly mighty, greatly brave; saH = he; brahmaNaa dattavaraH = given boon by Brahma ; bahubhiH raakShasaiH vR^itaH = surrounded with [accompanied with] many demons; trailokyam bhR^isham baadhate = highly [contemptuously] torturing three worlds.

"One born in Paulastya dynasty, an extremely mighty and exceedingly brave demon named Ravana is there, and he with the boon given by Brahma, and accompanied with many other demons is torturing the triad of worlds, contemptuously. [1-20-16, 17a]

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श्रूयते च महाराजा रावणो राक्षसाधिपः || १-२०-१७
साक्षाद्वैश्रवणभ्राता पुत्रो विश्रवसो मुनेः |

17b, 18a. mahaaraajaa = oh exalted king Dasharatha; saakShaat vaishravaNabhraataa = unequivocally, Kubera's brother; vishravasaH muneH putraH = son of sage Vishravasa; raakShasaadhipaH = demon's chief; shruuyate = he is being heard so.

"Unequivocally that chief of demons is the brother of Kubera and the son of sage Vishravasa, thus we hear. [1-20-17b, 18a]

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यदा न खलु यज्ञस्य विघ्नकर्ता महाबलः || १-२०-१८
तेन संचोदितौ तौ तु राक्षसौ च महाबलौ |
मारीचश्च सुबाहुश्च यज्ञविघ्नं करिष्यतः || १-२०-१९

18b, 19. mahaabalaH = great mighty - formidable Ravana; yadaa yaj~nasya vighnakartaa na khalu = when, rituals, hindrances - devastation causer, not, indeed; tena samchoditaH = by him, instigated; maariicaH ca subaahuH ca = Mareecha, and, Subaahu, also; tau mahaabalau raakShasau tu = those, very mighty, demons, but; yaj~navighnam kariSyataH = will cause ritual hindrance.

"That formidable Ravana is not a devastator of rituals by himself, even so, two very mighty demons called Mareecha and Subaahu will cause devastating hindrances to rituals, instigated by him." Thus Sage Vishvamitra said to Dasharatha. [1-20-18b, 19]

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इत्युक्तो मुनिना तेन राजोवाच मुनिं तदा |
न हि शक्तोऽस्मि संग्रामे स्थातुं तस्य दुरात्मनः || १-२०-२०

20. iti tena muninaa uktaH = thus, one who is said by that sage; raajaa tadaa munim uvaacha = king Dasharatha, then, spoke to sage; sangraame = in war; tasya duraatmanaH = him, evil minded one Ravana; sthaatum na shaktaH asmi hi = in truth I am not capable to stand [against him]; annex: where is the question of deputing my young Rama to confront him.

Thus when he is said so by that sage Vishvamitra, then the king Dasharatha spoke to the sage, "I myself am not capable of standing against that evil minded Ravana, in truth, where is the question of deputing my young Rama to confront him? [1-20-20]

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स त्वं प्रसादं धर्मज्ञ कुरुष्व मम पुत्रके |
मम चैवाल्पभाग्यस्य दैवतं हि भवान् गुरुः || १-२०-२१

21. dharmaj~naH = probity knower; saH = such as you are; tvam = you; mama putrake = on my, boyish son; alpabhaagyasya mama cha eva = less fortunate one, me, also, thus; prasaadam kuruSva = benevolence, you bestow; guruH bhavaan daivatam hi = mentor, you are, god, indeed.

"You are the knower of probity, such as you are, you may please bestow benevolence upon my boyish son, as well on a less fortunate one like me too, and as our mentor you are indeed a god of ours. [1-20-21]

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देवदानवगंधर्वा यक्षाः पतगपन्नगाः|
न शक्ता रावणं सोढुं किं पुनर्मानवा युधि || १-२०-२२

22. devadaanavagandharvaaH = gods, demons and celestials; yakshaaH = yaksha-s; patagapannagaaH = winged beings [birds] and reptile beings; yudhi = in war; raavaNam = Ravana's; soDhum = bear [the brunt of]; na shaktaa = not, capable of; kim punaH maanavaaH= why, again [tell, about] humans.

"Gods, demons, celestial beings like gandharva-s, yaksha-s, winged and reptile beings are incapable to bear the brunt of that Ravana in fight, why tell again about humans. [1-20-22]

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स तु वीर्यवतां वीर्यमादत्ते युधि रावणः |
तेन चाहं न शक्तोऽस्मि संयोद्धुं तस्य वा बलैः || १-२०-२३
सबलो वा मुनिश्रेष्ठ सहितो वा ममात्मजैः |

23, 24a. saH raavaNaH tu = he, that Ravana, but; yudhi = in battle; viiryavataam viiryam aadatte = depletes valorous ones' valour; munishreSTha = oh the eminent sage; sabalaH vaa = with my [entire] forces, either; mama aatmajaiH sahitaH vaa = along with my sons, or; aham tena = I, with him [individually]; tasya balaiH vaa = with his, forces, or; samyoddhum = to grapple with; shaktaH na asmi = not capable - inadequate, I am.

"But that Ravana depletes the valour of valorous opponents in a battle, oh, eminent sage, either with my entire forces, or with all my sons I am inadequate to grapple with all his forces, or with him, individually. [1-20-23, 24a]

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कथमप्यमरप्रख्यं संग्रामाणामकोविदम् || १-२०-२४
बालं मे तनयं ब्रह्मन्नैव दास्यामि पुत्रकम् |

24b, 25a. brahman = oh Brahman; amaraprakhyam = godlike [for Rama is still a boy]; sangraamaaNaam = in wars; akovidam = not experienced; baalam = just a boy; putrakam = a son who alleviates hell of sonless fathers; me tanayam = my, son; katham api = in any wise; na eva daasyaami = not, thus, I handover.

"My boyish son is godlike and unfledged in warfare, oh, Brahman, and he is the one who alleviates me from punnama naraka the hell of sonless fathers... no, I cannot spare my son in anyway. [1-20-24b, 25a]

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अथ कालोपमौ युद्धे सुतौ सुन्दोपसुन्दयोः || १-२०-२५
यज्ञविघ्नकरौ तौ ते नैव दास्यामि पुत्रकम् |

25b, 26a. atha = further; te yaj~navighnakarau = sabotage causers of your ritual - saboteurs; tau = those two - Mareecha, Subaahu; sundopasundayoH sutau = sons of [ viz., descendants of] demons Sunda, Upasunda; yuddhe kaalopamau = in war, Death-god in simile; putrakam na eva daasyaami = not in any way I spare my son.

"Further, those saboteurs of your ritual namely Mareecha and Subaahu, are similar to Death-god and the descendents of the earliest demons and subverters of rituals, namely Sunda and Upasunda, no, I cannot spare my son, in any case. [1-20-25b, 26a]

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मारीचश्च सुबाहुश्च वीर्यवन्तौ सुशिक्षितौ || १-२०-२६
तयोरन्यतरं योद्धुं यास्यामि ससुहृद्गणः |
अन्यथा त्वनुनेष्यामि भवन्तं सह बान्धवैः || १-२०-२७

26b, 27. maariicaH ca subaahuH ca = Mareecha, also, Subaahu, also; viiryavantau sushikSitau = valorous ones, well-trained ones; sasuhR^idgaNaH = along with friendly forces; tayoH anyataram yoddhum = to war with one only [either of the two demons,] ; yaasyaami = I will proceed; anyathaa = otherwise; saha baandhavaiH = with relatives; bhavantam = your [order, in turning down]; tvam anuneSyaami = I implore upon you.

"Mareecha and Subaahu are well-trained and valorous ones, hence I will proceed with all my friendly forces to war with either of those two demons, otherwise, I along with all my relatives implore upon you for your exoneration in my failure to comply my own promises. [1-20-26b, 27]

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इति नरपतिजल्पनाद्द्विजेन्द्रं
कुशिकसुतं सुमहान् विवेश मन्युः |
सुहुत इव मखेऽग्निराज्यसिक्तः
समभवदुज्वलितो महर्षिवह्निः || १-२०-२८

28. iti = that way; narapatijalpanaat = by incongruous talk of peoples' lord[king's] ; dwijendram = outstanding Brahman - Vishvamitra; kushikasutam = to sage Kushi's, son - to Vishvamitra; sumahaan manyuH vivesha = overwhelmed with very high anger; maharShivahniH = glorious sage[called] the fire; makhe suhutaH = in ritual, well oblated; aajyasiktaH = drenched with ghee [clarified butter] ; agniH iva = fire, like; ujwalithaH = flared up [tongues of fire]; samabhavat = has happened [flared up.]

Thus, by the incongruous talk of Dasharatha, the outstanding Brahman and son of Sage Kushi, namely sage Vishvamitra is overwhelmed with outrageous anger by his mentation, and that fire-like glorious sage looked like the ritual fire into which many inflammable oblations are offered, and which is drenched with a lot of clarified butter, whereby it is flaring up its tongues. [1-20-28]

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इति वाल्मीकिरामायणे आदिकाव्ये बालकाण्डे विंशः सर्गः ||

Thus, this is the 20th chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Verse Locator for Book I : Bala Kanda - The Youthful Majesties : Chapter 20

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© 1999, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised: April 04]

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