An Appeal to Readers
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Book I : Bala Kanda - Book Of Youthful Majesties
Chapter [Sarga] 1
Divine sage Narada arrives at the hermitage of Sage Valmiki in order to enlighten him and keep him informed of his duty to author the epic poem Ramayana. In the dialogue between these two sages, Valmiki elicits from Narada about most virtuous person on earth, namely Rama. In this opening chapter, while eulogizing Rama Narada gives an outline of Ramayana, truly highlighting those aspects that are the keynotes in this epic, like virtuosity, generosity, morality, chastity and the like. Valmiki Ramayana is said to have been composed basing on each of the letters of Gayatri Hymn, staring a verse with that letter, and a thousand books are composed for each letter. Though that classification, or dividing verses in thousand chapters is unavailable now, the twenty-four verses identified with the 24 letters of Gayatri hymn, called as Gayatri Ramayana, is available and it is given in the endnote of this page. In tune with the scheme of Gayatri, Ramayana starts the first verse with letter ta an auspicious letter.
An Appeal to Readers
We have taken every care to present this translation truthfully, but when working with machines, they start to exhibit their talents on the very first key-stroke, like 'Auto Correct, Auto Complete, Auto Insert etc.,' and thus start correcting words like 'high souled one' to 'high-soled one...' and the like. So taking the maxim pramaado api dhiimataam 'even the diligent may make mistakes...' we appeal to the readers to kindly inform us if anything has gone wrong any where, typos, and 'is' becoming 'was', 'are' becoming 'were' and the like, so that they will be corrected, true to the text and spirit of Ramayana.
tp> SvaXyay inrtam! tpSvI vaiGvdam! vrm,!
nardm! pirpàCD vaLmIik> muin pu
A thoughtful-meditator, an eternally studious sage in scriptures about the Truth and Untruth, a sagacious thinker, and a sublime enunciator among all expert enunciators is Narada, and with such a Divine Sage Narada, the Sage-Poet Valmiki is inquisitively enquiring about a man who is a composite for all merited endowments in his form and calibre. [1-1-1]
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Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda
The efficacy of Opening Verse
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The very opening word tapaH has diverse meanings. In a way it means j~naana acuity, and it is 'thinking' tap aalocane 'thinking on the Absolute, where that Absolute's thinking itself is tapaH - yasya j~naanam tapaH thus Narada is one who is a constant thinker of the Absolute. Or, he who always practises kR^icChrandraaayaNaadi vrataH - nitya naimittika karma anuSTHaana paraH the rigorous practises enshrined in Veda-s. It means the Absolute itself tapaH para brahma shabda vaca, brahmai tad upaastvai tat tapaH 'that which is contemplated upon that is tapaH, meaning Vedanta , Upanishads. Let many Veda-s are learnt and recited mechanically it becomes a rote learning, unless, a thought is given as for what it is being recited, an on whom. Thus Narada has no rote learning, but still trying to get full picture of that Absolute. And the swaadhyaya is Veda, and its regular practise, tapo hi svaadhyaayaH. Veda itself is the Knowledge, that is why it is said svadhyaan na pramiditavyam - taittariiya upaniSad Then, it also means as the Absolute. Thus Narada being a complete embodiment of Veda-s, is the proper sage to clear the doubts of Valmiki
The Divine Sage Narada is the brainchild of god Brahma brahma maanasa putra. His name has meanings like naara =knowledge; da= awarder; naarada= the rain cloud. Any cloud rains on its own without any requisition from Mother Earth. So Narada is naaram dadaati iti naarada 'one who accords knowledge concerning the humans...' or, naaram dyati - khaNdati - iti naarada 'one who annihilates the ignorance...' or, 'one who accords knowledge about the Absolute, or Supreme Person. Though a Divine Sage, having all these attributes, Narada has no conclusive information about hari liilaa vibhuuti 'Supreme Person's playful acts...' hence he continuously and constantly ponders over that Absolute to get the real essence of that Absolute, or Supreme Person. This is for himself, and not in respect of his reacting with others.
Then this word vaak means: enunciator - as given above; This word also means Veda - anaadi nidhano hi eSaa vaak utshR^iSTaa Veda-s emerged from that Absolute, hence vaak is identifiable with that Absolute; and this is grammar - vaak yoga viddduSyati ca apashabde as such vaak is identifiable with grammar. And vaak vid vareNya is 'one who has complete information derived from Veda-s, or, one who elucidates and enunciates what he has learned from Veda-s to others...'
There are four epithets of Narada here: atha n˜radasya catv˜ri viþeÿaõ˜ni | tath˜ - tapo nirati - iti anena
viþeÿaõena sarva s˜marthyam pratip˜ditam | sva adhy˜ya nirata - iti anena yat kiñcit vadati tat veda ukta dharma anuguõatay˜ eva vadati iti s¨citam | v˜k vid˜m vara - anena vakt®tvaÕ pratip˜ditam | muni pungava iti anena atŸndriya abhijñatvam s¨citam | agre tri loka jña iti anena viþeÿaõena loka traya sañc˜reõa pratyakÿatay˜ sat asat vastu abhisañjñatvaÕ pratip˜ditam | etai viþeÿaõai× - sarvajñatvam - sarva jana m˜nyatvam - sarva utk®ÿ÷a mah˜tmyam - ca s¨citam | t˜d®þam n˜radam bhagav˜n v˜lmŸki× sarva guõa samiÿ÷i r¨pam pururaÿam - pap®ccha - dharm˜k¨tam
'By these four epithets of Narada, viz., tapo nirata because he is a 'thoughtful-thinker evermore...' his all-expertise in knowledge is proposed... svaadhyaaya nirata because he is 'eternally studious sage in scriptures [about the Truth and Untruth...'] whatever the least he says it abides by the everlasting canonical sayings of Veda... vaak vidaam vara because his sayings are rooted in canons he is the best enunciator and elucidator... muni pungava because he is such a sublime sage he is transcendental... and as a traveller among all the three worlds he is aware of Truth and Untruth... and with such Sage Narada, Sage Valmiki enquired about a man, on earth, who is a composite in his form, for all merited endowments...' Dharmaakuutam. This commentary is by Tryambakaraaya Makhi [1690's to 1728] and this can be called not just yet another commentary on Ramayana, but an Encyclopaedia of Indian Culture. This was published under the scheme of 'Editing and Publication if Rare Manuscripts, Govt. of India, Ministry of Scientific Research and Cultural Affairs' and it is available with Tanjore Saraswati Mahal Library, Tanjavore, Tamil Nadu State, India.
There are numerous and voluminous commentaries on Ramayana, bulkier than the epic itself, deciphering latent meanings of Ramayana as above. And to list a few of many commentaries on Ramayana: 1] kataka vyaakhya, by shrii katata; 2] raamayaNa tilakam - raamaabhiraamii : by shrii naagojii bhaTT; 3] raamaayaNa bhuuSaNam by shrii govindaraja; 4] raamaayaNa shiromaNi by shrii shivasahaaya; 5] raamaayaNa tattva diipika by shrii maheshvara tiirtha; 6] raamaayaNa vyaakhya shrii raamaanujaacaarya; 7] viveka tilaka by
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shrii varadaraaja; dharmaakuutam tryambakaraaya makhii; raamaayaNa kuuTa vyaakhya by shrii raamaananda tiirtha... and many, many more... Hence due to paucity of time we confine ourselves to some references from some of the above, as it will be uncouth to go on dwelling one these intricate derivation obtained by these great commentators.
This stanza equally applies to Sage Valmiki, the taught, by way of the use of words tapaH, svaadhyaaya, tapasvii, thus both of them are experts in their own sphere of teacher-student relationship. The word tapaH denotes Veda-s themselves, in which both the Sages are well-versed, svaadhyaaya means, pondering over what that is learnt, i.e. japa. tapasvii= sharanaagati Total renunciation of their selves in the Almighty. Routine recitation of Veda-s will become futile if an iota of inclination in the Almighty and self-surrender to that Almighty is not there. tasm˜nnye˜sam eÿ˜m tapasam atiriktam ˜hu× - taittatrŸya n˜r˜yaõam - 20 Hence, these two sages have commenced to deliver Ramayana, which itself is the epic of virtuous living, to this world.
That being so, Valmiki is asking the same Narada as to who is Absolute-like, Absolute-similar or comparable human, with some of many traits of that Absolute. For this, Narada starts his narration with an exclamation bahavo durlabhaa ca guNaaH kiirtitaa at seventh verse. Thus, there are bulky and voluminous commentaries on Ramayana, bulkier than the epic itself, hence due to paucity of time, and in eagerness to post the main epic firstly, let us take a pause in these declinations and niceties of verbiage, as it will be uncouth to go on dwelling one these intricate derivation at that staring itself.
However the epic starts with the word auspicious word ta as said in ta kaaro vighna naashakaH, ta kaaro saukhya daayakaH...
k> nu AiSmn! s<àtm! laeke gu[van! k> c vIyRvan!,
xmR}> c k«t}> c sTy vaKyae x&F ìt> . 1£1£2
2. kaH+nu= who, really; asmin+saampratam+loke= in this, present, world; guNavaan= principled person; kaH+ca+viiryavaan= who, also, potential one; dharma+j~naH+ca= conscientious, also, knower of ; kR^ita+ j~naH + ca= what has been done, knower of it [a redeemer,] also; satya+ vaakyaH= truth, speaker of [habitually speaking the truth= truth-teller]; dR^iDha+vrataH= determined in his deed.
"Who really is that person in this present world, who is principled and also a potential one, a conscientious one, a redeemer, and also a truth-teller and self-determined in his deed... [1-1-2]
Comment: In Sanskrit poems the poets are at liberty to use words at any place according to exigencies of their metric rules. So the order of words called pada vibhaaga , used in the poem is like this kaH nu asmin saampratam loke guNavaan kaH ca viiryavaan dharma j~naH ca kR^ita j~naH ca satya vaakyaH dhR^iDha vrataH These very words are to be reconnected by readers to derive a particular meaning called anvyaya krama. By this process the words in this second verse will be connected like this: asmin loke saamprataam guNavaan kaH nu viiryaaan ca kaH dharmaj~naH ca kR^ita j~naH ca satya vaakyaH dR^iDha vrataH [kaH] Same word with changed placement. As we cannot afford repeating the same time and again, the separation of words is done in the verse itself, and reconnecting those words in meanings section is not done, and the word order of the poet is retained, in order to not to create confusion. Where they are to be reconnected, those verses are given a subhead like anvaya as at seventh verse below. Further, we tried to give meanings in verse-by-verse order in order to tell each on its own. But at times, the meaning often rolls into next foots. Then it is inevitable to push and pull the feet of verses, up or down, to give a meaningful paragraph. Some of our readers are a little confused about this arrangement. Hence we request you to go by the verse numbers in such places, and there will be many such pulls and pushes as we go along. The meter filling words like tu, hi ca, sma, ha, vai : paada puuraNe - amara kosha do not usually mean anything and they fit-in as meter fillers, hence will be dropped in word-to-word meanings. But if they are used specifically, they play havoc in rendering meaning. Here the word dharmaj~na is used, which means, 'knower of rightness,...' but when coupled with ca it means 'also, the knower of wrongness... ' where the ca assumes the character of 'either...' and the use of numerous ca -s here in these questions of Valmiki, is to denote that every questioned merit plusses itself into one human being. We are showing all the ca -s throughout, giving its meaning as 'also...' and they may be dropped, if need be, in the gist of verse.
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cairÇ[e c kae yu−> svR -tU ;e u kae iht>,
ivÖan! k> k> smw>R c k> c @k iày dznR >. 1£1£3
3. kaH+chaaritreNa+ca+yuktaH= who, conduct-wise, also blent with [good conduct]; kaH+ sarva+ bhuuteSu + hitaH= who is, in [respect of] all, beings, benign; kaH+vidvaan+ca+ samarthaH= who is, adept, also, ablest one; kaH+ca+eka+priya+darshanaH= who, also, uniquely, goodly, to look to.
"Who is he conduct-wise blent with good-conduct... who in respect of all beings is benign... who is adept and also the ablest one... also uniquely goodly to look to... [1-1-3]
Comment: The adeptness of that person is in his knowing all the knowable aspects in this world, and he must be able to retain that knowledge to translate into his deeds, not just to sit back with his bookish knowledge, but with utmost practicality. His conduct-wise shall be acceptable i.e., by his lineage he shall be noble, by his education he must be well-read, by his actions they must be conducive to norms laid down in Veda-s, and thus given any area, he should conduct himself properly. And he must be benign not only to higher-ups but to lowly subjects, like Guha, Shabari et al., and he should deal with wrongdoers and right-doers conscientiously. Further, he in his mien he shall be pleasant, but not an unsightly one. The word < eka also means 'unique' and thus his complexion, facial, physical structures etc., shall be unique and shall differ from ordinary beings. kÿaõe kÿaõe yat navat˜m upaiti tadeva r¨pam ramaõŸyat˜y˜× 'which / what / who gets newness moment by moment, that alone is pleasant...'
AaTmvan! kae ijt ³aexae *uitman! k> AnsUyk>,
kSy ib_yit dve a> c jat ra;e Sy sy< gu .e 1£1£4
4. aatmavaan= courageous; kaH= who; jita+krodhaH= controlled, his ire; dyutimaan= brilliant one; kaH+ an+asuuyakaH= who, not, jealous; kasya = by whom; bibhyati+devaaH+ca= are afraid, gods, even; jaata+ roSasya+saMyuge= when provoked, in [the matter of ] war.
"Who is that courageous one, who controlled his ire, who is brilliant, non-jealous and even whom do the gods fear, when provoked to war... [1-1-4]
Comment: Here the word aatma is not the usual 'soul' but courage aatmaa jive dhR^itau dehe svabhaave paramaatmani amara kosha and the word krodha is taken as the nominative of other six negative attitudes ari SaT varga upalakshaNa kaama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, maatsarya 'desire, ire, avarice, fancy, defiance, conceit...' and by the coupling of word ca with devaaH in devaaH + ca it means that, 'not only the enemies like demons and others... but 'also' the friendly gods too are afraid of his ire...' The 'non-jealous nature' is the 'God's tolerance of disloyalty...' and 'unlike the heavenly gods like Indra and others, who will be intolerant of disloyalty...' this man in question shall be tolerant of disloyal persons, subjects, or demons and shall be intolerant of them who go against the established tradition.
@tt! #CDaim Ahm! ïaetum! prm! kaEtUhlm! ih me,
mh;eR Tvm! smwaeR=is }atum! @vm! ivxm! nrm!. 1£1£5
5. etat+icChaami+aham= all this, wish to, I; shrotum= to listen [from yo]; me+ kautuuhalam = my, inquisitiveness; param+hi= immense, indeed; mahaa+R^irSe= Oh! Great Sage; tvam+ samarthaH+asi= you are, competent [mastermind]; j~nnaatum= to know of [him]; evam+ vidham+naram= this, kind of, man.
"All this I wish to listen from you, oh! Great Sage, as you are a mastermind to know this kind of man, and indeed my inquisitiveness is immense..." [Thus Valmiki enquired with Narada.] [1-1-5]
Comment: Valmiki wanted to know about that man - a man with godly qualities. Valmiki's thinking aloud, about the qualities of his prospective hero of this epic, is the very opening questions put to an Omniscient Sage Narada. Both the sages know of Rama and his deeds. Even then Valmiki asks Narada, "who is that man with godly qualities?' If Narada tells that Rama is Vishnu Himself, there is nothing left for Valmiki to compose his epic, because there are numerous mythologies Puraana-s that have already adored God Vishnu. If Narada tells that Rama is so-and-so king, again Valmiki
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need not attempt to author about some king, however great that king might be. As such, Valmiki wanted to know about a human being with godly attributes, because many acts of Rama, like killing Vali, testing Seetha's chastity, deserting her at the end etc. are both conducive and contradictory puzzles. The attributes of the hero of Ramayana, as required by Valmiki, are 16 sixteen in number. 1 - guõav˜n 2 - viryav˜n 3 dharmajña× 4 - k®tajña× 5 - satya v˜kya× 6 - dh®ýha vrata× 7 - c˜ritra v˜n 8 - sarva bh¨teÿu hita× 9 - vidv˜n 10 samartha× - 11 - priyadarþana 12 - ˜tmav˜n 13 - jita krodha× 14 - dyutim˜n 15 - anas¨yaka× 16 - bibhyatidev˜× These sixteen attributes are attributed to the sixteen phases of the Full Moon, and Valmiki is about to picture Rama to be as pleasant as a full-moon.
ïuTva c @tt! iÇlaek}ae vaLmIke> nardae vc>,
ïUytam! #it c Aam<Èy àùòae vaKym! AävIt!. 1£1£6
6. shrutvaa+ca+etat= on listening, also, all those; vaalmiikeH= of Valmiki; vachaH= words; naaradaH= Narada; tri+loka+j~naH= three, worlds, preceptor of; shruuyataam+iti= I will relate, thus; aamantrya+cha= on beckoning [Valmiki,] also; pra+hR^iSTaH= verily, gladly; vaakyam+abraviit= sentence [words,] spoke.
On listening all those words of Valmiki, Sage Narada, the preceptor of all the three worlds, very gladly said thus, "I will relate ..." also on beckoning at Sage Valmiki, [to listen attentively,] spoke these words... [1-1-6]
Comment: The preceptor of three worlds, where the three worlds are bhuu loka, bhuvar loka, suvar loka this world, the intermediary heaven, the heavens themselves.
bhvae ÊlR-a> c @v ye Tvya kIitRta gu[a>,
mune vú:yaim Ahm! buÏ‰va tE> %−> ïUytam! nr>. 1£1£7
7. anvaya/word-order: mune= oh, sage Valmiki; bahavaH= many [or, infinite merits]; dur+labhaaH= not, attainable, [unattainable by conscious development or effort,] ca+eva= also, that way [for ordinary humans]; ye+guNaaH= which, merits; kiirtitaaH+tvayaa= extolled, by you; taiH+ yuktaH= those [facets,] one who has [the possessor of those merits]; naraH= [of that] man; shruuyataam = I make it clear; aham+buddhvaa= I will, having known [from Brahma]; vakshyaami= I speak on.
"Oh! Sage Valmiki, the merits which you have extolled are many, and unattainable [for great emperors, let alone ordinary humans, and also infinite are they... but of such a man with such merits] I will speak on... for I, having known [from Brahma of such a man] I will make clear about that man..." [Thus Narada started to say.] [1-1-7]
Comment: Narada came hither to impart the legend of Rama, as Brahma already imparted the same to him, and wanted him to impart these very attributes to Valmiki to compose Ramayana. It is a coincidence of interests Valmiki and those of Narada and Brahma.
inyt AaTma mhavIyaeR *uitman! x&itman! vzI . 1£1£8
8. ikshvaaku+vamshaH+prabhavaH= Ikshwaku, dynasty, as his birthplace [emerged from Ikshvaku dynasty]; raamaH+naama= Rama, named; shrutaH+janaiH= heard thus, by people; niyata+ aatmaa= controlled, souled [conscientious]; mahaa+viiryaH= highly valorous one; dyutimaan= resplendent one; dhR^ithimaan= steadfast; vashii= controller [of vice and vile [or,] senses.]
"One emerged from Ikshvaku dynasty and known to people thus as Rama by his name, and he is conscientious, highly valorous, resplendent, steadfast and a controller of vice and vile... [and his
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own senses, as well... ] [1-1-8]
Comment: For the attributes explained by Narada there are some Vedanta imports. From niya aatma to vashii these are the attributes of the Supreme Being, Absolute of Brahman. swaruupa nirupaka lakshNaaH . This niyata aatmaa is 'immutable Absolute, this is the postulate of any Upanishad: ya aatmaa apahata paapmaa virajo vimR^ityur vishoko... 8-7-1, Chaandogya Upanishad. mahaa viiryaH = acintya vividha vicitra shaktivataH Absolute is Omnicompetent paraa asya shaktiH vividhaa iva shruuyate svaabhaavikii j~naana bala kriyaa ca 6-8, Shwetaashvatara Upanishad. The word dyutimaan is for the attribute of Self-Resplendent Absolute, or, Resplendence of Consciousness. tam eva bhaantam anubhaati sarvam tasya bhaasaa sarvam idam bhaati 2-11, Mundaka Upanishad. And the dhR^ithimaan is Sublime Bliss, according to Vyjanti dhR^itiH tu tuSTiH santoSaH and as said in aanando brahama - aanandaat eva khalu imaani bhuutaani jaayante 6, Taittariiya Upanishad. Next, vashii Absolute is the Omnipotent on the entire Universe. eko vahii sarva bhuuta antaraatmaa 2-5-12, Katha Upanishad and sarvasya vashii sarvasya iishaanaH and the like. The rest of the attributes of Rama as said by Narada are identifiable with the causative factors of that Absolute in Creation, and the process of Creation is the self-expression of the Absolute.
buiÏman! nIitman! va'œGmI ïIman! zÇu inbhR[>,
9. budhimaan= adept; niitimaan= moralist; vaagmii= learned; shriimaan= propitious; shatru+nibhar - haNaH= enemy, destroyer; vipula+amsaH= broad shouldered; mahaa+baahuH= great, [dextrous] arms; kambu + griivaH= neck like a conch-shell; mahaa+hanuH= high cheek bones.
"He is an adept one, moralist, learned, propitious, and a destroyer of enemies. His arms are dextrous, and his neck is like a conch-shell, and cheekbones high... [1-1-9]
Comment: The Absolute is an adept one in creating the Creation yat sarvaj~naH sarva vit. He is niitimaan one who maintains the rhythm of universe as said at eSa setuH vidharaNa eSaam loka naama sambhedaaya... He is propitious because shriiH kaanti sampadoH lakshmyaam... gleaming, glistering richness of prosperity emanates from him. The following stanzas describe the physical qualities an Emperor should have by birth, as per saamudrika shaastra, the physiognomic treatise of astrology.
mhaerSkae mhe:vasae gUF jÇu> AirNdm>,
Aajanu ba÷> suizra> sullaq> suiv³m>. 1£1£10
10. mahaa+uraskaH= broad [lion-like,] chested; mahaa+eSvaasaH= long, bow; guuDha+ jatruH= concealed, collarbones [thick shouldered]; arim+damaH= enemy, subjugator; aa+jaanu+ baahuH= up to, knees, his arms [lengthy armed]; su+shiraaH= high [crowning] head; su+lalaaTaH= amply, forehead; su+vi+kramaH = good, verily, pacer [lion-like-pacer.]
"He is lion-chested, thick-shouldered, knee-length are his arms, and his is longbow, an enemy-subjugator, [and his emperor's countenance is] with a crowning-head with an ample forehead, and his pacing is lion-like... [1-1-10]
Comment: When his physique is extolled, suddenly a weapon is said, in saying that 'his is longbow...' this is called prakrama bhanga doSa 'jump-cut in narration...' It is not so, his lengthy arms are said firstly and those arms can wield a great bow that can eliminate enemies, both physical and psychological ones like ariSaD varga shatru like desire, ire, avarice, conceit etc., as detailed in verse 4 above.
sm> sm iv-− A
pIn v]a ivzala]ae lúmIvan! zu- l][>. 1£1£11
11. samaH= medium-sized [physically]; sama+vibhakta+aN^gaH= symmetrically, divided [distributed, poised,] limbs; snigdha+varNaH= soft [glossily,] coloured [complexioned]; prataapavaan= courageous one [or, resplendent one]; piina+vakshaaH= sinew, chested; vishaala+akshaH= wide, eyed; lakshmiivaan= prosperous [personality]; shubha+lakshaNaH= providential, features.
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"He is medium-sized physically, with limbs poised symmetrically, sinew-chested, wide-eyed, complexioned glossily... he is a prosperous personality with all the providential features, and thus he is self-resplendent... [1-1-11]
Comment: Up to here the godly physical aspect bhagavad vigraha is explained that which is perceptible by the adherents as said in Chaandogya Upanishad: ya eSo antaraaditye hiraNmayaH puruSo DR^ishyate... 1-6-6. From now on, the features that are reliable for the adherers are said.
xmR}> sTy sNx> c àjanam! c ihte rt>,
yzSvI }an s
zuic> vZy> smaixman!. 1£1£12
12. dharma+j~naH= rectitude, knower, satya+sandhaH+ca= truth, bidden, also; prajaanaam+ca+ hitaH+ rathaH= in subject's, also, welfare, concerned; yashasvii= glorious; j~naana+ sampannaH= in prudence, proficient; suchiH= clean [in conduct]; vashyaH= self-controlled; samaadhimaan= diligent one.
"He is the knower of rectitude, bidden by the truth, also his concern is in the welfare of subjects, proficient in prudence, clean in his conduct, self-controlled and a diligent one, thus he is glorious... [1-1-12]
Comment: Here to the compound satya sandhaH ca 'ca' is added, but here it means nothing special but to plus the features into one man. At such places this can be dropped.
àjapit sm> ïIman! xta irpu in;Udn>,
ri]ta jIvlaekSy xmRSy pir ri]ta. 1£1£13
13. prajaa+patiH+samaH= people's, god [Omniscient, Brahma,] equals; shriimaan= exalted one; dhaataa= sustainer [of all worlds]; ripuH+ni+SuudanaH= enemy [enemies,] complete, eliminator; rakshitaaH+jiiva+ lokasya = guardian, living beings, in worlds; dharmasya+pari+rakshitaaH = of probity, in entirety, guards.
"He equals the Omniscient, he is an exalted one for he is the sustainer of all worlds, and he eliminates enemies completely, thus he is a guardian of all living beings and he guards probity, in its entirety... [1-1-13]
Comment: 'These features show the aspects of Rama's incarnation...' Govindaraja. 'These features are available only in the Supreme Person, but unobtainable in any other...' Maheshvara Tiirtha. These two. Govindaraja and Maheshvara Tiirtha, and another Tilaka are the reputed commentaries on Ramayana among many commentaries.
ri]ta SvSy xmSR y Sv jnSy c ri]ta ,
ved veda¼ tÅv}ae xnurœ vede c iniót>. 1£1£14
14. rakshitaa+svasya+dharmasya= champion, of his own, righteousness [self-righteous]; rakshitaa+sva+ janasya+ca= champions, his own, people's [adherents', welfare,] also; veda+veda+ aN^ga= in Veda-s, Veda's, ancillaries; tatvaj~naH= scholar in essence of [Veda-s]; dhanur+vede+ca= in the science of archery, also; niSTitaH= an expert.
"He is the champion of his own self-righteousness and also champions for adherent's welfare [in the same righteousness,] and he is a scholar in the essence of Veda-s and their ancillaries, too. He is an expert in Dhanur Veda, the Art of Archery... [1-1-14]
Comment: These are the ancillary subjects of Vedas called anga part and upa anga sub-part. The main parts of Veda-s are siksha ritual rigor vyakarana grammar chandas prosody jyotish astrology nirukta recital rules kalpa procedure rules. This apart, the dhanur veda science of archery, itself is treated as 'an exclusive Veda taught to warriors...' The danur Veda is not to be construed as simple bow and arrow and 'shooting the target' education. It is a 'scripture on missiles' that existed in those ages.
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Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda
Down the memory lane, O. A.Vijayan, the eminent Indian journalist has reflected in The Illustrated Weekly of India, that the Soviet scholar Dr. A. A. Gorbovsky said in his article with heading Ancient India may have had N-arms , in the Statesman, with dateline Moscow, Sept. 8, 1986. Among other things, the scientist observes by the stanzas that describe the disaster caused by such astra-s, now loosely termed as a well crafted bow and sky rocketing arrows, as below: 'A blazing shaft which possessed all the effulgence of smokeless fire was let off... all directions were enveloped by darkness... the very elements seemed to be perturbed... the sun seemed to turn... the universe, scorched with heat, seemed to be in fever... the survivors lost their hair and nails... for years the sun and sky remained shrouded with clouds...' Thus the narration goes on. This is the account of Brahma astra, as in Maha Bharata, the other Epic of India. Thus the Dhanur Veda may be taken as the canon of missile sciences, which fortunately has not been handed over to the successive generations, lest everything would have been annihilated by now. In Ramayana too, which is much earlier to Mahabharata, there are elaborate accounts of such astra-s in the coming chapters. Sage Vishvamitra, who is well-versed in warfare, gives many such weapons to Rama. For now, these bow and arrow references may not be taken as those of Robin Hood.
svR zaô AwR tÅv}ae Sm&itman! àit-anvan!,
svRlaek iày> saxu> AdInaTma ivc][>. 1£1£15
15. sarva+shaastra+arthaH+tatvaj~naH= all, scriptures, their meaning, their essence, knower of; smR^itimaan= memory excellent; pratibhaanavaan= brilliant; sarva+loka+priyaH= all, worlds, esteemed by; saadhuH= gentle; a+diina+aatmaa= not down, hearted [level-headed even in severe trouble]; vichakSaNaH= clear-headed [in discriminating and distinguishing.]
"He is the knower of the meaning and essence of all the scriptures, excellent at memory thus brilliant, and an esteemed one in all the worlds, gentle, level-headed and clear-headed [in discriminating and distinguishing...] [1-1-15]
svRda Ai-gt> siÑ> smuÔ #v isNxui->,
AyR> svRsm> c @v sdEv iày dzRn>. 1£1£16
16. sarvadaa+abhigataH+sadbhiH= always, accessible, by clean-minded ones; samudra+ sindhubhiH +iva= an ocean, for rivers, likewise; aaryaH= reachable [or, reverential ones]; sarva+samaH+ca+ eva = all, treats equally, also, thus; sadaa+eva+priya+darshanaH= ever, thus [the same,] pleasant, in look [ever a feast to eye.]
"Like an ocean that is reached by many rivers accesbly, that reverential one too is always accessible and reachable by clean-minded ones, also he treats all equally, and ever a feast to eye... [1-1-16]
Comment: Here it is said 'he is reachable by all clean-minded ones...' sat pravartana, sad budhhi... and those that approach him with a sacrilegious intent, will meet their end at his hand. sarva samaH means, that he does not discriminate people by their caste, creed, or by that individual's philosophy etc., like tribal boatman Guha, low-birthed Shabari, and nihilist Sage Jaabaali et. al. jaati guNa vR^itti aadi bheda a-bhaavaat And the word eva in saa eva priya darshanaH indicates 'always...' 'unvarying in his demeanour with anyone...' Govindaraja. And by the simile of ocean to Rama, for rivers there is no other course except an ocean; thus, the living beings, may it be humans or birds like Jataayu, have no other recourse than Rama.
s c svR gu[aepet> kaEsLy Aan
smuÔ #v gaM-IyeR xEyeR[ ihmvan! #v. 1£1£17
17. sa+ca+sarva+guNa+upetaH= he, also, all, [noble] merits, embodiment of; kausalya+ aananda+ vardhanaH = Kausalya's [his mother,] happiness, betters; gaambhiirye+samudra+iva= an unfathomable [inmost heart,] an ocean, like; dhairyeNa+hima+vaan+iva= by fortitude, Himavanta, [Himalayan] mountain, like.
"He who betters the happiness of his mother Kausalya, as he is an embodiment of all noble merits,
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Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda
is like an ocean as his inmost heart is unfathomable, and like the kingly Himalayan, icy-mountain, his fortitude is unalterable... [1-1-17]
Comment: Rama at times is said to be 'the son of Kausalya...' than the son Dasharatha, because the word Kausalya does not signify his mother alone, the daughter of King of Kosala, but it has meanings like kshema, kushala, saamarthya, puNya, nipuNatva 'safeness, soundness, capability, merit, expertise...' and this also signifies Queen Kausalya's worshipping of Vishnu. When dynasty, valour, braveness etc., are said, Rama's name will be attached with Dasharatha. An ocean is not a bottomless one but an unfathomable one. So also Rama's heart has a reachable bottom, where pearls, gems, and other treasures of virtues are abounding, and it can be reached with a heartily approach. For a hard-hearted one Rama's heart becomes an unfathomable abyss and he will get lost in it. girayo× varÿa dh˜r˜bhir haryam˜n˜ na vivyadhu× | abhibh¨ya m˜n˜ vyasanai× yath˜ adhokÿaja cetas˜ || 'true devotees do not get hassled though subject to many problems, for they place their faith in the Supreme... thus mountains are unshaken though battered by storms or lightings...' So, like a mountain he is unalterable and constant, for a true devotee, in his stance. An icy-mountain is meltable by scorching sun, thus Rama also melts down when his adherents are scorched with throes of pangs.
iv:[nu a s†zae vIyRe same vt! iày dznR >,
kal Ai s†z> ³aexe ]mya p&WvI sm>. 1£1£18
xnden sm> Tyage sTye xmR #v Apr>,
18, 19a: vishNunaa+sadR^ishaH+viirye= in valour, comparable, with Vishnu; somavat+ priya+darshanaH = full-moon like, attractive, in look; kaala+agni+sadR^ishaH+krodhe= era, fire, matchable to, like, in anger; kshamayaa+pR^ithvii+samaH= in perseverance, earth, equals with; dhanadena+samaH+tyage= Kubera [God of Wealth-Management,] identical, in benevolence; satye+dharma+iva+aparaH= in candour, dharma, like, here on earth [or, another God Probity.]
"In valour Rama is comparable with Vishnu, and in his looks he is attractive like full-moon, he equals the earth in his perseverance, but he is matchable with era-end-fire in his wrath... and in benevolence he is identical to Kubera, God of Wealth-Management, and in his candour he is like Dharma itself, [the other God Probity on earth...] [1-1-18, 19a]
Comment: Here the 'valour' is to cause harm to enemy, while remaining himself unharmed... svasya a-vikaara eva parasya vikaara aapadanam Rama Tilaka. 'Though Rama is Vishnu, but by nature of his incarnation as human, he is different from Vishnu upaadhi bheda... Hence Vishnu has become another entity than Rama... Or, his valour is selfsame to Vishnu's valour because he is selfsame Vishnu...' Govindaraja. 'As there is none other in similitude, he is compared Vishnu, insofar as valour is concerned...' Maheshvara Tiirtha. Earth personally does not grieve when people tread on it, trample, dig, cut, or whatever is done to her. Likewise Rama personally gets unaffected, whatever harm is done to him, but he becomes wrathful, if that harm is committed to dharma. Thitherto, the Bala Kanda is narrated by these narrations of sparkled in Ikshvaku dynasty 'Rama's incarnation...' highly valorous, enemy subjugator... 'elimination of demoness Tataka, subdual of the vanity of Parashu Rama...' propitious 'marriage with Seetha, knows Art of Archery 'receiving missiles from Vishvamitra...' From now poet tells the Ayodhya Kanda, and a gist of this magnum opus is given here itself. This narration is known as baala raamayana - samskhepa raamyana meaning that it is aimed at youngsters as it has been told in an abridged version. In the endnote, details about this version and still abridged version, called Gayatri Ramayana, are given. Readers may find an inordinate use of ellipses in translation of the epic. But they are 'a must.' Dr. Satya Vrat, the author of Ramayana - A Linguistic Study says: "Ellipsis is the peculiarity of the style of the older works like Ramayana... their writings, as they stood, yielded incomplete sense which has to be supplemented by adhyaadhaara, viz., supply of words, that would fit in the context... Indeed, in most cases the ellipsis could be readily understood and would suggest the word or words that would make it up...' We therefore request the readers to go by the meaning of the context, than by the order of words, for there is a saying... paaTha krame artha kramo baliiyaH... So this adhyaadhaara, supply of words, [though supplied in brackets,] may not be that faithful while rendering from Sanskrit to English.
tm! @vm! gu[ s Jyòe m! ïòe g[u >E y−u m! iàym! dzrw> stu m,!
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Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda
àkt« Inam! iht>E y−u m! àki« t iày kaMyya. 1£1£20
yaEv raJyen s
19b, 20, 21a: anvaya/word-order: evam+guna+sampannam= suchlike, merits, possessor of [Rama]; satya + parakramam= truthfulness, is his courage; shreSTa+guNaiH+yuktam= best, intrinsic values, embodied with; prakR^itinaam+hitaiH+yuktam= people's, in welfare of, having [ever involved in]; priyam= dear one [to Dasharatha]; jyeSTham+sutam= eldest, son; mahii+patiH= land, god of; dasarathaH= [Dasharatha]; yauva + raajyena+samyoktum+icChhat= in young [crown,] prince-hood, to embody, intended; tam+ramam= such as he is, Rama be; prakR^iti+priya+kaamyayaa= country's, welfare, intending [to all intents and purposes]; priityaa= affectionately.
"Rama being the possessor of suchlike merits, truthfulness alone is his courage, embodied with best intrinsic values, ever involved in the welfare of people, besides being the dear and eldest son of Dasharatha, thus the god of the Land Dasharatha intended to embody such a Rama, with the crown prince-hood, to all intents and purposes of country's welfare, affectionately...[1-1-29b, 20, 21a]
tSy Ai-;ek s<-aran! †òœva -ayaR Aw kEkyI. 1£1£21
pUvRm! dÄ vra devI vrm! @nm! Ayact,
ivvasnm! c ramSy -rtSy Ai-;ecnm! . 1£1£22
21b, 22: anvaya/word-order: atha= then; dR^iSThva= on seeing; abhishheka+ sam bhaaraan = anointment [as crown prince,] arrangements; tasya= his [of Rama]; bhaarya+devi+ kaikeyi = [dear] wife, queen, Kaikeyi; ayaachitaH= claimed; puurvam+datta+vara= once, who is accorded, boons; varam+enam= boons, from him [Dasharatha]; vi+vaasanam+raamasya= without, place [displacement, banishment,] of Rama; abhiSechanam + bharatasya+ca= anointment of, Bharata, too.
"Then on seeing the arrangements for the anointment of Rama as crown-prince, Kaikeyi, the dear wife and a queen of Dasharatha, claimed boons, which boons were once accorded to her by Dasharatha alone, from him, viz., the banishment of Rama and anointment of Bharata, too... [1-2-21b 22]
s sTy vcnat! raja xmR pazen s
ivvasyamas sutm! ramm! dzrw> iàym!. 1£1£23
23. saH+raajaa= he, king [Dasharatha,]; samyataH= bounden by; satya+vacanaat= truthfulness, word's; dharma+ paashena= [kingly] obligation, halter; dasharathaH+vi+vaasayaamaasa + raamam= Dasharatha, started to displace, Rama; priyam+sutam= dear, son [Rama.]
"King Dasharatha, who is bounden by his word's truthfulness and the halter of his kingly obligation, he started to displace Rama, his dear son... [1-1-23]
s jgam vnm! vIr> àit}am! Anupalyn!,
ipturœ vcn indeRzat! kEkeYya> iày kar[at!. 1£1£24
24. anvaya/word-order: viiraH+saH= brave one, he [that Rama]; jagaama+vanam= repaired to, forest; kaikeyyaaH+priya+nkaaraNaat= Kaikeyi, to appease, by reason of; pituH+vacana+ nirdeshaat= by father's, verbal, directive; pratij~naam+anu+paalayan= word [of honour of father,] to follow through.
"Such a brave one as he is, that Rama repaired to forest by reason of appeasing Kaikeyi, and as
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