We enter the capital of the Emperor Dasharatha. The pomp and glory of his capital is depicted along with its town planning and grandeur of the city, and its residents.
सर्वा पूर्वमियं येषामासीत्कृत्स्ना वसुंधरा |
प्रजापतिमुपादाय नृपाणां जयशालिनाम् ||१-५-१
येषां स सगरो नाम सागरो येन खानितः |
षष्टिः पुत्रसहस्राणि यं यान्तं पर्यवारयन् ||१-५-२
इक्ष्वाकूणामिदं तेषां रज्ञां वंशे महात्मनाम् |
महदुत्पन्नमाख्यानं रामायणमिति श्रुतम् || १-५-३
1-3. iyam kR^itsnaa vasundharaa = this, entire, earth; sarvaa = (sakaladwiipaatmaka) = with all islands; upaadaaya prajaapatim = starting from, Prajapati; jayashaalinaam = victorious ones; yeSaam nR^ipaaNam = [under] which, kings; puurvam aasiit = once, it is there; yena saagaraH khaanitaH = by whom, oceans, deepened; yam yaantam = whom, while setting out in battles; SaSTiH putrasahasraaNi = sixty-thousand, sons; paryavaarayan = [going with him] fencing in; yeSaam = in which kings; saH saagaraH naama = he, that Sagara, named [king was there]; teShaam mahaatmanaam = such of those, great-souled; IkShwaakuuNaam raaj~naam vamshe = Ikshvaku, kings', dynasty; raamaayaNam = Ramayana; iti shrutam = thus, heard [reputed]; idam mahat aakhyaanam utpannam = this, highly revered, epic, originated.
Once upon a time, under which victorious kings, starting from Prajapati-s, this entire earth with all its islands is there, among which kings one king named Sagara is there, well-known for his deepening the oceans, and whom his sixty thousand sons were fencing in when he is set out for action, in the dynasty of such Ikshvaku kings this highly revered and reputed epic Ramayana is originated. [1-5-1, 3]
तदिदं वर्तयिष्यावः सर्वं निखिलमादितः |
धर्मकामार्थसहितं श्रोतव्यमनसूयया || १-५-४
4. tat = such an epic; idam = this Ramayana; sarvam = in its entirety; vartayiSyaavaH = we two wish to relate [to the world]; dharmakaamaarthasahitam = endowed with probity, prosperity, pleasures [values of]; nikhilam = completely; aaditaH = from beginning; anasuuyayaa shrotavyam = without cavilling, [this may] be listened.
Being such a legend, we two wish to relate this Ramayana entirely and completely from the beginning, which is endowed with the values and means of probity, prosperity, and pleasure seeking... and this be listened without any caviling. [1-5-4]
कोसलो नाम मुदितः स्फीतो जनपदो महान् |
निविष्टः सरयूतीरे प्रभूतधनधान्यवान् || १-५-५
5. prabhuutadhanadhaanyavaan = well flourishing with monies cereals; muditaH sphiitaH = joyous one, vast one; kosalaH naama = Kosala, named; mahaan janapadaH = great, kingdom; sarayuutiire niviSTaH = is snugly situated on the banks of River Sarayu .
A great kingdom named Kosala, a joyous and a vast one well flourishing with monies and cereals, is snugly situated on the riverbanks of Sarayu. [1-5-5]
अयोध्या नाम नगरी तत्रासील्लोकविश्रुता |
मनुना मानवेन्द्रेण या पुरी निर्मिता स्वयम् || १-५-६
6. tatra yaa purii = there in that kingdom, which, city; maanavendreNa manunaa = by Manu the ruler of mankind; svayam nirmitaa = personally, is built; [such city] ayodhyaa naama nagarii = Ayodhya, named, city; lokavishrutaa = renowned in worlds; aasiit = there is.
A world-renowned city is there in that kingdom, which is personally built by Manu, the foremost ruler of mankind. [1-4-6]
आयता दश च द्वे च योजनानि महापुरी |
श्रीमती त्रीणि विस्तीर्णा सुविभक्ता महापथा || १-५-७
7. shriimatii = glorious one - city; suvibhaktaa mahaapathaa = with well devised high ways; mahaapurii = great city; dasha cha dve = ten, and, two - twelve; yojanaani = yojana-s; aayataa = lengthy; triiNi [yojanaani] vistiirNaa = three [yojana-s,] in breadth.
That glorious city with well-devised highways is twelve yojana-s lengthwise and three yojana-s breadth wise. [1-5-7]
Yojana is an ancient measure of distance, where one yojana roughly equals to 8 to 10 miles. Its account is like this : 1 angula is 3/4 inch; 4 angula-s are = one dhanu-graha - bow grip; 8 angula-s are = one dhanu-muSTi - fist with thumb raised; 12 angula-s are = 1 vitasti - distance between tip of thumb and tip of last finger when palm is stretched; 2 vitasti-s = 1 aratni -s - cubit; 4 aratni-s = one danDa, dhanuS - bow height - 6 ft ; 10 danDa-s = 1 rajju 60 ft ; 2 rajju-s = 1 paridesha - 120 ft ; 2, 000 dhanuS-s = one krosha , and also called goraTa - 4, 000 yards ; 4 krosha-s = 1 yojana - thus one yojana is 9 to 10 miles. But the British Revenue measurement scaled it down to 5 miles, and all the dictionaries say that one yojana is 5 miles. But traditionally it is held as 10 miles. More info on these measures can be had from The Artha-Shaastra of Kautilya - a republication of Penguin.
राजमार्गेण महता सुविभक्तेन शोभिता |
मुक्तपुष्पावकीर्णेन जलसिक्तेन नित्यशः || १-५-८
8. suvibhaktena = well laid out; mahataa raajamaargeNa = with great royal highways; muktapuSpaavakiirNena = scattered flowers strewn on; nityashaH jalasiktena = always wet with water; shobhitaa = shining forth.
That city shines forth with well-laid great royal highways that are always wetted with water, and with flowers strewn and scattered on them. [1-5-8]
तां तु राजा दशरथो महाराष्ट्रविवर्धनः |
पुरीमावासयामास दिवं देवपतिर्यथा || १-५-९
9. mahaaraaSTravivardhanaH = improver of great empire; raajaa dasharathaH = king Dasharatha; devapatiH divam yathaa = as Indra with heaven; taam puriim aavaasayaamaasa = made that city as abode.
As an improver of great kingdom Dasharatha the king made her as his abode, as Indra made heavens as his abode. [1-5-9]
कवाटतोरणवतीं सुविभक्तान्तरापणाम् |
सर्वयन्त्रायुधवतीमुषितां सर्वशिल्पिभिः || १-५-१०
10. kavaaTatoraNavatiim = surrounded with gateways, archways; suvibhaktaantaraapaNaam = well laid-out internal forefronts; sarvayantraayudhavatiim = all machinery, weaponry; uSitaam sarvashilpibhiH = lodged with, all, craftsmen; [puriim dasharathaH aavaasayaamaasa = in such a city, Dasharatha, dwells - this is to be suffixed up to 22nd versse.]
That city is surrounded with gateways and archways; the front yards of buildings are well laid; it is lodges all kinds of machinery, weaponry and craftsmen, and king Dasharatha dwells in such a city. [1-4-10]
सूतमागधसंबाधां श्रीमातीमतुलप्रभाम् |
उच्चाट्टालध्वजवतीं शतघ्नीशतसंकुलाम् || १-५-११
11. suutamaagadhasambaadhaam = muchly crammed with eulogists panegyrists; shriimatiim atulaprabhaam = prosperous one,[ city,] highly splendorous; ucchaaTTaaladhvajavatiim = bastions, flags she has; shataghniishatasamkulaam = canons hundreds of batteries.
She that prosperous city Ayodhya is muchly crammed with many a eulogist and panegyrist, yet she is highly splendorous with many a bastion, flag and hundreds of batteries of canons, and Dasharatha dwells therein. [1-5-11]
Comment: This shataghnii literally is that which can kill a hundred people, and it is said to be a canon and also said to be thorny weapon: shataghniicatuHtalaalohakaNTakasa~ncitaa | ayaHkaNTakasa~ncchannaa mahatii shilaa -- elaborate accounts of this shataghni, kshipaNi are there in yajuraaraNyaka .
वधूनाटकसंङ्घैश्च संयुक्तां सर्वतः पुरीम् |
उद्यानाम्रवणोपेतां महतीं सालमेखलाम् || १-५-१२
12. vadhuunaaTakasanghaiH cha samyuktaam = [she] contains [accommodates] danseuses and theatrical groups ; sarvataH puriim = everywhere, in city; udyaanaaamravaNopetaam = surrounded with gardens and mango brakes; mahatiim saalamekhalaam = great [wide,] fort wall, as cincture ornament.
That city Ayodhya accommodates groups of danseuses and theatrical personnel, and she is surrounded everywhere with the gardens and brakes of mango trees, and her wide fort-wall is like her cincture ornament. [1-5-12]
दुर्गगंभीरपरिखां दुर्गामन्यैर्दुरासदाम् |
वाजिवारणसपूर्णां गोभिरुष्ट्रैः खरैस्तथा || १-५-१३
13. durgagambhiiraparikhaam = impassable profound moats; durgaam anyaiH duraasadaam = impossible [to trespass,] by others invaders; vaajivaaraNasampuurNaam = abounding horses and elephants; gobhiH uSTraiH kharaiH tathaa = cows, camels, donkeys, likewise.
That Ayodhya is an impassable one for trespassers, or for others invaders, owing to her impassable and profound moats, and she is abounding with horses, camels, likewise with cows and donkeys. [1-5-13]
सामन्तराजसंङ्घैश्च बलिकर्मभिरावृताम् |
नानादेशनिवासैश्च वणिग्भिरुपशोभिताम् || १-५-१४
14. saamantaraajasanghaiH cha = with throngs of provincial kings', also; balikarmabhiH aavR^itaam = pervaded by dues paying; naanaadeshanivaasaiH cha = residents of various countries; vaNigbhiH upashobhitaam = verily lustrous with traders too.
With the throngs of provincial kings who come hither to pay dues pervade that city, and she is verily lustrous with residents of various other countries, and with traders, too. In such a city Dasharatha dwells. [1-5-14]
प्रासादै रत्नविकृतैः पर्वतैरुपशोभिताम् |
कूटागारैश्च सम्पुर्णामिन्द्रस्येवामरावतीम् |१-५-१५
15. praasaadaiH ratnavikR^itaiH = precious gems studded ornamentally buildings; parvataiH upashobhitaam = adorned with mountain [skyscrapers,]; kuuTaagaaraiH cha sampuurNaam = also filled with multi-storeyed; indrasya iva amaraavatiim = like Indra's Amaraavati.
Buildings are ornamentally studded with precious gems, and with such multi-storied sky scrappers she is adorned, and filled with them she is like Amaravati, the capital of Indra. [1-5-15]
चित्रामष्टापदाकारां वरनारीगणैर्युताम् |
सर्वरत्नसमाकीर्णां विमानगृहशोभिताम् || १-५-१६
16. chitraam aSTaapadaakaaraam = amazing, a game board-like, in lay-out; varanaariigaNaiH = flocks beautiful womenfolk; sarvaratnasamaakiirNaam = all kinds of precious gems heaped up; vimaanagR^ihashobhitaam = by seven storied buildings picturesque.'अष्टापदं शारिफमम्'इत्यमरः । 'अष्टापदोऽस्त्री कनके शारीणां फलकेऽपि च' इति मेदिनी । 'फलं हेतुसमुत्थे स्यात्फलके व्युष्टिलाभयोः' इति विश्वः ।
Amazing is Ayodhya for its lay-out is like a game board called aSTapadi, and with its flocks of beautiful women moving thereabout, where all kinds of precious gems are heaped up, and where its seven storied buildings are picturesque. [1-5-16]
गृहगाढामविच्छिद्रां समभूमौ निवेशिताम् |
17. gR^ihagaaDhaam avicChidraam = housing dense nothing left unutilised; samabhuumau niveshitaam = constructed on well levelled lands; shaalitaNDulasampuurNaam = plentiful rice grains; ikShukaaNDarasodakaam = water is like sugar cane juice.
The housing is very dense and there is no place or ground unutilized, and all are constructed on well-levelled lands, and rice-grain is plentiful while the drinking water tastes like sugar cane juice. [1-5-17]
दुन्दुभीभिर्मृदङ्गैश्च वीणाभिः पणवैस्तथा |
नादितां भृशमत्यर्थं पृथिव्यां तामनुत्तमाम् ||१-५-१८
18. dundubhiibhiH mR^idangaiH cha = great drums, rhythm instruments, also; viiNaabhiH paNavaiH tathaa = Veena, string instruments, cymbals, also; naaditaam bhR^isham = sounding, markedly; pR^ithivyaam atyartham anuttamam taam = on earth, uniquely, the best [city]; taam = her [Dasharatha made an abode.]
That city is sounding with the drumbeats of great drums, and with musical rhythm instruments like mridanga, cymbals, and with string instruments like Veena etc., and on earth she is uniquely the best city. [1-5-18]
Great drums, called dundubhi , placed on castle walls and at central places to drum the times of the day or night, or at the arrivals of the noblemen or to keep the sentry whistles. As well, the melodious tunes from string instruments like Veena or rhythmic instrument mridanga and from various other instruments are always made available to the citizens, as a sort of background music, since royalty sponsors these performing arts.
विमानमिव सिद्धानां तपसाधिगतं दिवि |
सुनिवेशितवेश्मान्तां नरोत्तमसमावृताम् ||१-५-१९
19. divi tapasaa adhigatam = heavens attained with ascesis; siddhaanaam = of sages; vimaanam iva = space-stations, like; suniveshitaveshmaantaam = well planned with edifices; narottamasamaavR^itaam = teemed with the best people.
Ayodhya is like a hovering space station attained by sages by their ascesis, and its edifices are well planned and it is teeming with best people. [1-4-19]
ये च बाणैर्न विध्यन्ति विविक्तमपरापरम् |
शब्दवेध्यं च विततं लयुहस्ता विशारदाः || १-५-२०
20. ye cha baaNaiH na vidhyanti = those not killed with arrows also; viviktam aparaaparam = lone one, at his hind [without a successor,] at his fore [without a predecessor]; shabdavedhyam cha vitatam = killing by sound also fleeing away; laghuhastaaH vishaaradaaH = acumen handiness, skilful ones.
They the skilful archers of that Ayodhya will not kill a lone one with their arrows, one that does not have either a predecessor or a successor in his family, a fleeing one, or by listening to the sound of the target, as is done in sonic-archery, and their skills, acumen and handiness are thus benevolent. [1-5-20]
Dasharatha in his youth, when he was on a hunting spree, killed the son of a hermit who was drawing water from a river. That son of the sage dipped his pot in the waters and the filling water gave sounds like that of a grumbling tiger. Dasharatha mistook that sound to be a tiger's grumble and swung his arrow that way, killing the boy. Thereby the father of the boy being a sage of eminence, cursed Dasharatha to die lamenting for his son, which happens after the exile of Rama. Perhaps the sonic-archery may thus have been banned in Ayodhya, lest such sad incidents would have recurred.
सिंहव्याघ्रवराहाणां मत्तानां नर्दतां वने |
हन्तारो निशितैः शस्त्रैर्बलाद्बाहुबलैरपि || १-५-२१
21. simhavyaaghravaraahaaNaam = lions, tigers, wild boars; mattaanaam nardataam vane = fattened ones, roaring, in forests; hantaaraH nishitaiH shastraiH = killers, with sharp, weapons; balaat baahubalaiH api = with might by arms might also.
They kill the fattened and roaring lions, tigers and wild boars with the might of their sharp weaponry, or even with the might of their own arms alone. [1-4-21]
तादृशानां सहस्रैस्तामभिपूर्णां महारथैः|
पुरीमावासयामास राजा दशरथस्तदा || १-५-२२
22. taadR^ishaanaam sahasraiH = that kind of, with thousands [of archers]; taam abhipuurNaam mahaarathaiH = in her [in city,] filled with, great chariot-warriors; puriim aavaasayaamaasa = dwelling in the city; raajaa dasharathaH tadaa = king, Dasharatha, then.
With that kind of thousands of archers, and with speediest chariot-warriors she that Ayodhya is filled with, and King Dasharatha made his abode in such a city. [1-5-22]
द्विजोत्तमैः वेदषडङ्गपारगैः |
महर्षिकल्पैः ऋषिभिश्च केवलैः || १-५-२३
23. agnimadbhiH = by ritual-fire worshippers; guNavadbhiH = with virtuous ones; vedaSadangapaaragaiH = scholars in Veda-s their six ancillary subjects ; sahasradaiH = donors that donate in thousands - not miserly; satyarataiH = by truth abiding ones; mahaatmabhiH = with great souls; maharSikalpaiH = in similitude great saints; kevalaiH R^iSibhiH cha = just [like,] sages, also; dvijottamaiH = with Brahman scholars; aavRitaaam = she is encompassed with; taam = her; [puriim dasharathaH aavaasayaamaasa = in such a city, Dasharatha, is dwelling].
She that Ayodhya is encompassed with Vedic scholars who always worship the ritual fire by enkindling the three kinds of ritual-fires continuously, virtuous Brahman scholars in Veda-s and their six ancillary subjects, and other great souls that are in similitude with great saints, and who are just like sages that are charitable donors, and that abide by the truth. [1-5-23]
इति वाल्मीकिरामायणे आदिकाव्ये बालकाण्डे पंचमः सर्गः
© 1998, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised - March 04]
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