Rama and Lakshmana proceeding with Vishvamitra sojourn in a hermitage at a place where River Ganga and River Sarayu are confluent. Once god Shiva with his third eye burnt down the physical entity of Manmatha, the Love-god, at this place.
प्रभातायां तु शर्वर्यां विश्वामित्रो महामुनिः |
अभ्यभाषत काकुत्स्थौ शयानौ पर्णसंस्तरे || १-२३-१
1. sharvaryaam prabhaataayaam tu = after night, at dawn; mahaamuniH = great saint; Vishvamitra; kaakutsthau = to the legatees of Kakutstha - Rama and Lakshmana; parNasamstare shayaanau = sleeping on the grass bed; abhyabhaaSata = spoke.
At dawn after that night the great saint Vishvamitra spoke to the legatees of Kakutstha, Rama and Lakshmana, those that are sleeping on a grass bed. [1-23-1]
कौसल्या सुप्रजा राम पूर्वा संध्या प्रवर्तते |
उत्तिष्ठ नरशार्दूल कर्तव्यं दैवमाह्निकम् || १-२३-२
2. kausalya supraajaa = Kausalya, the lucky begetter [Kausalya is fortunate because she begot you, such as you are]; raama = oh Rama; puurva sandhyaa = eastern, aurora; pravartate = verily emerging; uttiSTha = get up; narashaarduula = tigerly man; daivam = to gods; aahnikam = daytime tasks; kartavyam = is to be performed.
"Fortunate is Kausalya to beget you as her son Rama... get up oh, tigerly-man, eastern aurora is emerging, daytime tasks towards gods are to be performed." [1-23-2]
This is another celebrated verse chanted even today. So far Rama is a dear prince to his parents. But here, no less than Sage Vishvamitra said to have deified Rama in asking him to 'get up' from divine trance to undertake the human duties to eliminate evil, like the dawn of the sun eliminating the evil darkness. In other ancient manuscripts the same verse obtains as:
kausalyaa maataruttiShTa puurvaa sandhyaa upaasyataam |
paurvaahNikam vidhim kartum taata kaalo'yamaagataH ||
This early morning 'awakening' of Vishnu or his incarnates from divine trance is a common practice in Vaishnavaite tradition, and is followed even today, called suprabhaata sevaa , morning service to wake up.
At the rising of the sun as well as at noon certain observances, invocations, and prayers were prescribed which might under no circumstances be omitted. One of these observances was the recitation of the sAvitri, [Gayatri, so to say,] a Vedic hymn to the Sun of wonderful beauty - Gorresio.
For kausalyaa suprajaa raama Griffith says: 'High fate is hers who calls thee son: / Arise, 'tis break of day /. And Gita Press has it as: Kausalya is blessed with a worthy son [in you.]
तस्यर्षेः परमोदारं वचः श्रुत्वा नरोत्तमौ |
स्नात्वा कृतोदकौ वीरौ जेपतुः परमं जपम् || १-२३-३
3. viirau = valorous ones; narottamau = best among people - Rama Lakshmana; tasya R^iSeH = that, sage's; paramodaaram vachaH = very benign, words; shrutvaa = on listening; they got up snaatwaa = bathed; kR^itodakau = having performed water oblation; paramam japam jepatuH = meditated upon supreme hymn.
On hearing the benign words of the sage those valorous and best ones among men got up, bathed, and on offering water oblation they meditated upon the supreme hymn, namely Gayatri. [1-23-3]
Rama and Lakshmana meditated upon Gayatri hymn as there is no hymn superior to it; na gaayatryaaH param japyam and this is also the usual hymn for water oblation at dawn or dusk: sandhyaa vandana . sandhyaa is the time between the day and night when the stars or the sun are not visible. aho raatrasya yaH sandhiH suuryanakShatravarjitaH Then this hymn is to be meditated placing her in ones own heart or amid the solar system. gaayatriim samsmaret dhiimaan hR^idi vaa suuryamaNDale.
कृताह्निकौ महावीर्यौ विश्वामित्रं तपोधनम् |
अभिवाद्यातिसंहृष्टौ गमनायाभितस्थतुः || १-२३-४
4. mahaaviirau = great stalwarts; kR^itaahnikau = after performing duties of dawn; atisamhR^iSTau = very enthusiastically; vishvaamitram tapodhanam = to Vishvamitra, whose ascesis is his wealth; abhivaadya = venerated; gamanaaya abhitasthatuH = to travel, they presented themselves [before the sage.]
On performing their dawn time duties those two stalwarts, Rama and Lakshmana, enthusiastically presented themselves before the ascetically rich sage Vishvamitra for further journey, duly venerating him. [1-23-4]
तौ प्रयान्तौ महावीर्यौ दिव्यां त्रिपथगां नदीम् |
ददृशाते ततस्तत्र सरय्वाः संगमे शुभे || १-२३-५
5. tataH = then; tau mahaaviiryau = those two, great valiant ones; prayaantau = on travelling [some distance]; te = they; tatra shubhe sarayvaaH sangame = there, at auspicious, Sarayu, confluence; divyaam = divine; tripathagaam nadiim = three way going [coursing]; river [namely Ganga]; dadR^ishaate = they have seen.
Then on travelling some more distance those two great valiant ones, there they have seen the divine river that courses in three ways, namely Ganga, at the auspicious confluence of River Sarayu. [1-23-5]
River Ganga follows three courses, firstly in heavens, second on earth, and third into nether worlds. These episodes on the descent of Ganga to earth are narrated in the later part of this book, Bala Kanda.
तत्राश्रमपदं पुण्यं ऋषीणां भावितात्मनाम् |
बहुवर्षसहस्राणि तप्यतां परमं तपः || १-२३-६
6. tatra = there; bahuvarSasahasraaNi = many thousands of years; paramam tapaH tapyataam = practising supreme ascesis; bhaavitaatmanaam R^iShiiNaam = contemplated souls, of sages; puNyam aashramapadam = merited, hermitage [they have seen.]
There they have seen the merited hermitage of sages with contemplative souls, and who are practising supreme ascesis for many thousand years. [1-23-6]
तं दृष्ट्वा परमप्रीतौ राघवौ पुण्यमाश्रमम् |
ऊचतुस्तं महात्मानं विश्वामित्रमिदं वचः || १-२३-७
7. tam puNyam aashramam dR^iSTvaa = on seeing that merited hermitage; paramapriitau = highly pleased; raaghavau = Raaghava-s [Rama and Lakshmana]; mahaatmaanam = great soul; tam vishwaamitram idam vachaH = this word to him, Vishvamitra; uchatuH = said.
On seeing that merited hermitage Rama and Lakshmana are highly pleased and said this word to that great-soul Sage Vishvamitra. [1-23-7]
कस्यायमाश्रमः पुण्यः को न्वस्मिन्वसते पुमान् |
भगवन् श्रोतुमिच्छावः परं कौतूहलं हि नौ || १-२३-८
8. bhagavan = oh god; ayam puNyaH aashramaH kasya = whose is this merited hermitage ; asmin kaH nu pumaan vasate = indeed who celebrity dwells in this; shrotum icChaavaH = we are interested to listen; nau param kautuuhalam hi = truly much inquisitiveness to us.
"Whose hermitage is this merited one? Indeed who is the celebrity that lives therein? Oh, godly sage, we are interested to listen, and we are truly inquisitive about it." Thus they asked. [1-23-8]
तयोस्तद्वचनं श्रुत्वा प्रहस्य मुनिपुंगवः |
अब्रवीच्छ्रूयतां राम कस्यायं पूर्व आश्रमः || १-२३-९
9. munipungavaH = the eminent sage; tayoH tat vachanam shrutvaa = on hearing their that word; prahasya = smiled; abraviit = said; puurva = in earlier times; ayam aashramaH = this, hermitage; kasya = whose is; shruuyataam = may be listened.
On hearing their words the eminent sage Viswamitra said smilingly, " whose hermitage is this in earlier times that may be listened." Thus Vishvamitra started to narrate. [1-23-9]
कन्दर्पो मूर्तिमानासीत् काम इत्युच्यते बुधैः |
तपस्यन्तमिह स्थाणुं नियमेन समाहितम् || १-२३-१०
कृतोद्वाहं तु देवेशं गच्छन्तं समरुद्गणम् |
धर्षयामास दुर्मेधा हुंकृतश्च महात्मना || १-२३-११
10, 11. kandarpaH = Manmatha [Love-god]; muurtimaan aasiit = was there with body ; budhaiH kaamaH iti ucyate = thus is called as Kama by wise men; durmedhaaH = with naughty intent [Love-god]; iha = here, at this place; tapasyantam = one who is practising ascesis; niyamena samaahitam = observantly, concentrating; kR^itodvaaham = having been married; samarudgaNam = along with Wind-gods; gacChantam = while going [returning]; devesham = god's god [ Shiva]; sthaaNum = Shiva is; dharSayaamaasa = braved; mahaatmanaa = by great souled [Shiva]; humkR^itaH cha = he made [disapproving] roar, also - Shiva roared at Love-god.
"When Love-god was with his body wise men used to call him Kama, the passion. At this place, that Love-god with his naughty intent braved god of gods Shiva who had been practising ascesis and who concentrated observantly, and who was returning after his marriage along with his followers, namely the Wind-gods, and that great soul Shiva disapprovingly roared at Love-god. [1-23-10, 11]
The meaning of kandarpa is one who is carnally prideful, i.e., he who takes pride in arousing lecherousness. And kaama is 'desire' the natural basic instinct of any animal, and the one which the sages and saints want to overcome, so they named Love-god from their point of view. In these verses the two words kR^itodvaaham , and their meaning as on marrying Parvati and going this way with his coterie etc., is held incongruous to other mythological episodes of Shiva's marriage with Parvati, and Manmatha's effort to enkindle love in Shiva. After marriage with Parvati, some argue, where is the question of Love-god's interference to inculcate love in Shiva. It is clear in RamaCharitaMaanas how this Shiva-Parvati marriage occurs. And some give the meaning like this: kR^ita where kR^i= karaNe udvaaham tu devesham = to actualise, marriage, only, of Shiva; gacChantam on going there, Love-god, samarudgaNam with Wind-gods and other deities; dharSayaamaasa started to attack Shiva. The Love-god on going there to that hermitage that is being described by Vishvamitra along with Wind-gods et al, with an intention to get the marriage of Shiva performed, assailed Shiva.
अवध्यतश्च रौद्रेण चक्षुषा रघुनन्दन |
व्यशीर्यन्त शरीरात् स्वात् सर्वगात्राणि दुर्मतेः || १-२३-१२
12. raghunandana = Raghu's legatee - Rama; raudreNa chakShuShaa avadhyataH = one who is destroyed with wrathful eye [third eye]; durmateH = lewd-minded one's; svaat = from his own; shariiraat sarvagaatraaNi = body, all limbs; vyashiiryanta = fall down.
"And Rama, the wrathful third-eye of Shiva destroyed the lewd-minded Love-god making all his limbs to fall down from his body. [1-23-12]
The word avadhyataH is otherwise said in other texts as avadagdhasya raudreNa cakShuSaa, to derive a clear meaning of 'burnt down,' because avadhyataH is just killing, slaying, whereas Shiva's third-eye truly burns down anything where even ashes do not remain. The critical editions have this as dagdhasya tasya raudreNa chakShuShA
तत्र गात्रं हतं तस्य निर्दग्धस्य महात्मनः |
अशरीरः कृतः कामः क्रोधाद्देवेश्वरेण ह || १-२३-१३
13. mahaatmanaH = by great soul [ Shiva]; nirdagdhasya = completely burnt down; tasya gaatram = his, body; tatra hatam = there, dissipated; deveshvareNa krodhaat = by god of gods - Shiva, by his anger; kaamaH ashariiraH kR^itaH = made Love-god as body less one.
"There the body of Love-god is evanesced when that great soul Shiva burnt it down, and by the anger of that god of gods Shiva, Love-god is rendered as a bodiless entity. [1-23-13]
Manmatha and his wife Rati will have supremely exquisite physiques. At the very sight of Manmatha everybody used to become a prey to lasciviousness. So Shiva had to completely burn down that physical form of love, whereby only kaama, the mental desire, is remaining.
अनङ्ग इति विख्यातस्तदाप्रभृति राघव |
स चाङ्गविषयः श्रीमान् यत्राङ्गं स मुमोच ह || १-२३-१४
14. tadaaprabhR^iti = from then onwards; Raghava; anangaH = without body - Love-god; iti vikhyaataH = thus, renowned as; yatra angam pramumocha ha = where gave up body, indeed; saH cha = that, also; shriimaan = prosperous one - Love-god; angaviSayaH = [that is] Anga, province.
Then onwards Love-god is renowned as Ananga, as he is without body, and where his body is given up that is renowned as Anga province. [1-23-14]
तस्यायमाश्रमः पुण्यस्तस्येमे मुनयः पुरा |
शिष्या धर्मपरा वीर तेषां पापं न विद्यते || १-२३-१५
15. viira = oh brave one [Rama]; ayam tasya punyaH aashramaH = this is, his [Shiva's,] merited, hermitage; puraa tasya shiShyaaH ime munayaH = at one time, his [Shiva's,] disciples, these, sages are; dharmaparaaH = abiding in virtue; teSaam paapam na vidyate = sin is not evident [sinless] with them.
"This merited hermitage thus belongs to Shiva and, oh, brave Rama, these sages abiding in virtue are Shiva's disciples at one time, thus sin is unverifiable with them. [1-23-15]
This hermitage belongs to Love God or Shiva, tasya kaamasya sthaaNorvaa. Because Shiva is a god who controls Love-god, kaameshvara, this is Shiva's hermitage. The last verse again says it is Kaama's hermitage. And the sages practising ascesis in this hermitage, puraa shiSyaa , are the old time disciples of Shiva. puurvakaalam aarabhya...santaanaparamparayaa shiSyaa. These sages are the progeny of the sages who long time back were the direct disciples of Shiva. Because these are the direct grandchildren of the direct disciples of Shiva, sin cannot touch them. ata eva paapam teShaam na vidyate | puurvam rudrashiShyaa api samprati tat shiShyakR^itam paapam na vidyate ityarthaH|| Govindaraja.
इहाद्य रजनीं राम वसेम शुभदर्शन |
पुण्ययोः सरितोर्मध्ये श्वस्तरिष्यामहे वयम् || १-२३-१६
16. shubhadarshana = oh auspicious one in mien; Rama; vayam = we; adya rajaniim = today, night; iha puNyayoH saritoH madhye = here in between meritorious rivers; vasema = we will stay; shvaH = tomorrow; tariSyaamahe = we will cross over [River Ganga.]
"Let us stay for this night in this hermitage situated in between two meritorious rivers Ganga and Sarayu, oh, Rama with auspicious mien, tomorrow we will cross over the River Ganga. [1-23-16]
अभिगच्छामहे सर्वे शुचयः पुण्यमाश्रमम् |
इह वासः परोऽस्माकं सुखं वस्त्यामहे वयम् || १-२३-१७
स्नाताश्च कृतजप्याश्च हुतहव्या नरोत्तम |
17, 18a. narottama = oh best one among men, Rama; sarve = we all; snaataaH cha = taking a bath, also; kR^itajapyaaH cha = performing meditations, also; hutahavyaaH cha = enkindling oblations into fire, also; shuchayaH = purifying ourselves; puNyam aashramam abhigacChaamahe = let us enter meritorious hermitage; iha vaasaH paraH = here, staying; asmaakam sukham = for us, comforting; vastyaamahe vayam = we will stay.
"Let us all purify ourselves by taking our bath, performing our meditations, offering our daily oblations, and then let us enter this meritorious hermitage, thus our stay in here will be comforting to us." So said Vishvamitra to Rama and Lakshmana. [1-23-17, 18a]
तेषां संवदतां तत्र तपोदीर्घेण चक्षुषा || १-२३-१८
विज्ञाय परमप्रीता मुनयो हर्षमागमन् |
अर्घ्यं पाद्यं तथातिथ्यं निवेद्य कुशिकात्मजे || १-२३-१९
18b, 19. tatra = there; teSaam = them; samvadataam = when discussing; munayaH = saints; tapodiirgheNa chakShuSaa = by the extent of asceticism's of [inner] eye [by sixth-sense]; vij~naaya = on perceiving; paramapriitaaH = highly gladdened; harSam aagaman = they obtained enchantment; on approaching them; arghyam = water for hand-wash; paadyam = water for feet-wash; tathaa = then; aathithyam = hospitality; kushikaatmaje = Kushi's son, Viswamitra; nivedya = [firstly] offered.
When they are discussing there the sages of that hermitage are highly gladdened to perceive them with their sixth-sense, and on approaching them enchantedly they offered water for hands and feet wash and then offered hospitality firstly to Sage Vishvamitra. [1-23-18, 19]
रामलक्ष्मणयोः पश्चादकुर्वन्नतिथिक्रियाम् |
सत्कारं समनुप्राप्य कथाभिरभिरंजयन् ||१-२३-२०
20. pashchaat = afterwards; raaamalakShmaNayoH = to Rama, Lakshmana; akurvan atithikriyaam = accorded, guest's works [reception]; satkaaram samanupraapya = compliments, on obtaining; [munayaH = saints of that hermitage]; kathaabhiH = with [myths and] legends; abhiranjayan = delighted, [entertained the guests.]
Afterwards those sages of that hermitage have accorded reception to Rama and Lakshmana, and applauded by Vishvamitra for their hospitality those sages have entertained Rama and other guests with myths and legends. [1-23-20]
यथार्हमजपन् संध्यामृषयस्ते समाहिताः |
तत्र वासिभिरानीता मुनिभिः सुव्रतैः सह || १-२३-२१
न्यवसन् सुसुखं तत्र कामाश्रमपदे तथा |
21. te R^iShayaH samaahitaaH = those, sages, concentrating their minds; yathaarham = according to their aptitude; sandhyaam ajapan = meditated upon deity at sunset - Gayatri ; [whom Rama and others have followed]; tatra vaasibhiH = there, who are dwelling [Rama and others]; suvrataiH = [sages] with pious commitments; munibhiH saha = along with sages; aaniitaaH = those [guests] that are led forth [into hermitage]; tathaa tatra = that way, there; kaamaashramapade = in Kaama - Shiva's hermitage's precincts; susukham nyavasan = very comfortably, they stayed.
Those sages with concentrated minds and according to one's own aptitude have meditated upon the deity of sunset when it is sundown, followed by Rama and others. Then led into hermitage by those sages who are with pious commitments and who are dwelling there, Rama and others have very comfortably stayed in the precincts of Shiva's hermitage. [1-23-21]
कथाभिरभिरामभिरभिरामौ नृपात्मजौ | -
रमयामास धर्मात्मा कौशिको मुनिपुङ्गवः || १-२३-२२
22. dharmaatmaa = virtue-souled one; munipungavaH = the eminent saint; kaushikaH = Viswamitra; abhiraamau = delightful ones; nR^ipaatmajau = king's sons; abhiraamabhiH kathaabhiH = with delightful, stories; ramayaamaasa = delighted [later in the night.]
Staying very comfortably in the precincts of Kaama hermitage, then that virtuous sage Vishvamitra, saint the eminent, delighted the delightful princes with delighting stories.....[1-23-22]
इति वाल्मीकिरामायणे आदिकाव्ये बालकाण्डे त्रयोविंशः सर्गः ||
© 2001, Desiraju Hanumanta Rao [Revised : May 04]