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Chapter 63: Dasharatha Recounts His Misdeed

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Dasharatha Recounts His Misdeed

Summary

Dasaratha woke up with anxious thoughts. Recalling his earlier sin, he starts recounting the story of a young ascetic to Kausalya. He says that while he was Prince Regent of Ayodhya, he went out for hunting in a forest one day and heard the sound of a hermit-boy filling his pitcher with water by submerging it into Sarayu River. Mistaking the gurgling sound for trumpeting of an elephant the prince hit the boy with an arrow, which went deep into the body and mortally wounded him. On approaching the victim, he discovered the fatal blunder and tendered his heart felt apologies to the hermit boy, who asked him to extract the arrow from his body and inform his parents. The boy died soon after the arrow was drawn out from the body.

Chapter [Sarga] 63 in Detail

pratibuddho muhur tena shoka upahata cetanah |

atha raajaa dasharathah sa cintaam abhyapadyata || 2-63-1

The king, awakened after some time, with his mind afflicted with grief, got into an anxious thinking.

raama laksmanayoh caiva vivaasaat vaasava upamam |

aavivesha upasargah tam tamah suuryam iva aasuram || 2-63-2

Due to banishing of Rama and Lakshmana, a great calamity befell on Dasaratha who was equal in strength to Indra, like sun seized by obscurity, which is attributed to the demon Rahu.

sabhaarye nirgate raame kausalyaam kosaleshvarah |

vivakshurasitaapaagaam smrivaa duskritamaatmanah || 2-63-3

After Rama along with his wife departed to the forest, Dasaratha the king of Kosala recalling his earlier sin, wanted to tell Kausalya, whose eye-corners were dark in color all about it.

sa raajaa rajaniim sasthiim raame pravrajite vanam |

ardha raatre dasharathah samsmaran duskritam kritam || 2-63-4

After Rama was sent into exile to the forest, King Dasaratha, on the sixth night at mid-night, was recalling his sin done (long ago).

sa raajaa putrashokaartah smaran duskritamaatmanah |

kausalyaam putra shoka aartaam idam vacanam abraviit || 2-63-5

King Dasaratha, afflicted by grief for his son, recalling his sin, spoke the following words to Kausalya who was suffering from sorrow for her son.

yad aacarati kalyaani shubham vaa yadi vaa ashubham |

tat eva labhate bhadre kartaa karmajam aatmanah || 2-63-6

"O, blessed lady! O gracious one! A doer reaps surely the fruit of his own deeds corresponding to the nature of work either good or bad, of that which he does!"

guru laaghavam arthaanaam aarambhe karmanaam phalam |

dosam vaa yo na jaanaati sa baalaiti ha ucyate || 2-63-7

"He who does not consider, while undertaking actions, the relative value of their fruits as well as the utilities or defects accruing from them, is surely called a fool."

kashcit aamra vanam chittvaa palaashaamh ca nisincati |

puspam dristvaa phale gridhnuh sa shocati phala aagame || 2-63-8

"Anyone, who after seeing their (charming and big) flowers, greedily desires their (large and luscious) fruits and nourishes Palasa trees, by cutting off a mongo grove, he will come to grief after bearing of their fruit."

avijjnaaya phalam yo hi karma tvevaanudhaavati |

sa shocetphalavelaayaam yathaa kimshukasecakah || 2-63-9

"He who without knowing the result goes running towards action, will come to grief as a nourisher of Kimsuka trees coming to grief at the time of their fruit-bearing."

so aham aamra vanam chittvaa palaashaamh ca nyasecayam |

raamam phala aagame tyaktvaa pashcaat shocaami durmatih || 2-63-10

"I nourished Palasa trees, by cutting off mango grove. Being wicked-minded in abandoning Rama at the time of arrival of fruit, I am lamenting thereafter."

labdha shabdena kausalye kumaarena dhanusmataa |

kumaarah shabda vedhii iti mayaa paapam idam kritam || 2-63-11

"This sin was done by me while I was young and wielding a bow. At that time, I was famous as a young man, who can shoot heard (but unseen) object by an arrow, O Kausalya!"

tat idam me anusampraaptam devi duhkham svayam kritam |

sammohaat iha baalena yathaa syaat bhaksitam visam || 2-63-12

"This grief, obtained by my own accord, has befallen me, as by a boy in ignorance eating poison in the world; O, Kausalya!"

yathaanyah purusah kashchitpalaashairmoohito bhavet |

evam mama api avijnaatam shabda vedhyamayam phalam || 2-63-13

"How the other man became disillusioned by Palasa trees, I also became disillusioned in the same manner, without knowing accurately the correct result of hitting a target by means of sound only."

devy anuudhaa tvam abhavo yuva raajo bhavaamy aham |

tatah praavrid anupraaptaa mada kaama vivardhinii || 2-63-14

"O, Kausalya! You were unmarried till then and I was the Prince Regent. Then came the rainy season which enhanced excitement and desire (for hunting)."

upaasyahi rasaan bhaumaams taptvaa ca jagad amshubhih |

pareta aacaritaam bhiimaam ravir aavishate disham || 2-63-15

"The sun, partaking fluids from earth and warming the world with its rays, entered the terrible southern quarter haunted by spirits."

usnam antar dadhe sadyah snigdhaa dadrishire ghanaah |

tatah jahrisire sarve bheka saaranga barhinah || 2-63-16

"Heat disappeared suddenly. Resplendent clouds appeared in the sky. All frogs, cuckoos and peacocks were full of joy."

klinnapakshottaraah snaataah kricchraadiva vatatrinah |

vristivaataavadhuutaagraan paadapaanabhipedire || 2-63-17

"Birds with moistened top of their wings as if they bathed, reached with great difficulty the trees, the tops of which were shaken off by rain and wind."

patitena ambhasaa channah patamaanena ca asakrit |

aababhau matta saarangah toya raashir iva acalah || 2-63-18

"Enveloped by water falling again and again on the water already fallen, the mountain with its antelopes in rut, glowed like an ocean."

paanduraarunavarnaani srootaamsi vimalaanyapi |

susruvurgiridhaatubhyah sabhasmaani bhujagavat || 2-63-19

"Although the water-streams were crystal clear, they flowed in serpentine courses, with white and red colors because of their admixture with ashes and mountain-minerals on the way."

aakulaarunatoyaani srootaamsi vimalaanyapi |

unmaargajalavaahiini babhuuvurjaladaagame || 2-63-20

"The water-streams, which were crystal-clear till then, became churned with reddish waters, carrying water by a wrong way, after the onset of rain."

tasminn atisukhe kaale dhanusmaan isumaan rathii |

vyaayaama krita samkalpah sarayuum anvagaam nadiim || 2-63-21

"With a wish to do hunting as an exercise in that most comfortable season, I went along Sarayu River, in a chariot, wearing bow and arrows."

nipaane mahisam raatrau gajam vaa abhyaagatam nadiim |

anyam vaa shvaa padam kamcij jighaamsur ajita indriyah || 2-63-22

tasmimstatraahamekaante raatrau vivritakaarmukah |

"Without my senses under control and with an intent to kill there a (wild) buffalo or an elephant or any other wild animal coming in the night at that place for the purpose of drinking water, I was ready with my bow at a solitary place."

tatraaham samvritam vanyam hatavaamstiiramaagatam || 2-63-23

anyam caapi mrigam himsram shabdam shrutvaabhu paagatam |

"Hearing the sound, I killed turning towards it, a wild animal, which came to the bank of Sarayu River and another violent beast too which came there."

atha andha kaare tu ashrausam jale kumbhasya paryatah || 2-63-24

acaksur visaye ghosam vaaranasya iva nardatah |

"Meanwhile, in that darkness and not within the react of the eye, I heard the sound of a pitcher being filled up, the sound of which appeared like that of an elephant."

tatah aham sharam uddhritya diiptam aashii visa upamam || 2-63-25

shabdam prati gajaprepsurabhilakshya tvapaatayam |

"With intent to hit that elephant, I drew out a shining arrow resembling a serpent, targeted towards the direction sound and discharged it."

amuncam nishitam baanam aham aashii visa upamam || 2-63-26

tatra vaag usasi vyaktaa praadur aasiid vana okasah |

haa haa iti patatah toye baanaabhihatamarmanah || 2-63-27

 “I released a sharp arrow, resembling a serpent. There, at dawn, arose a distinct voice uttering 'Ah! Ah!' of a forest-inhabitant, dropping down in water after his vital part was hit by an arrow."

tasminnipatite baane vaagabhuuttatra maanusii |

katham asmad vidhe shastram nipatet tu tapasvini || 2-63-28

"While that arrow was attacking a human voice there was heard, saying, 'Oh, how a weapon did rush upon an ascetic like me?' "

praviviktaam nadiim raatraav udaahaarah aham aagatah |

isunaa abhihatah kena kasya vaa kim kritam mayaa || 2-63-29

'I came to the river, which is away from habitation, in the night to fetch water. By whom I was hit by an arrow? On the other hand what wrong have I done to anyone?"

riser hi nyasta dandasya vane vanyena jiivatah |

katham nu shastrena vadho mad vidhasya vidhiiyate || 2-63-30

"To a seer like me, of having laid down violence and living a fruits and roots of wild plants in the forest, how a killing by an arrow is enjoined?"

jataa bhaara dharasya eva valkala ajina vaasasah |

ko vadhena mama arthii syaat kim vaa asya apakritam mayaa || 2-63-31

"Who is desirous of killing me, wearing a mass of locks of hair and clad with bark of trees and deer-skin? What harm was done to him by me?"

evam nisphalam aarabdham kevala anartha samhitam |

na kashcit saadhu manyeta yathaiva guru talpagam || 2-63-32

"A vain act concerning only with a useless objective is undertaken in this manner. No one will admire him, as for instance like any man seeking the bed of his preceptor's wife, as good."

naham tathaa anushocaami jiivita ksayam aatmanah |

maataram pitaram ca ubhaav anushocaami mad vidhe || 2-63-33

"I do not worry that much of my death. I worry both for my mother and father, in the case of my death."

tat etaan mithunam vriddham cira kaalabhritam mayaa |

mayi pancatvam aapanne kaam vrittim vartayisyati || 2-63-34

'By what means of livelihood this elderly couple, maintained since a long time by me, support themselves when I obtain my death?'

vriddhau ca maataa pitaraav aham ca eka isunaa hatah |

kena sma nihataah sarve subaalena akrita aatmanaa || 2-63-35

"I and my aged parents are killed by a single arrow. By a man without self control and being very much a fool, all of as are virtually killed."

tam giram karunaam shrutvaa mama dharma anukaanksinah |

karaabhyaam sasharam caapam vyathitasya apatat bhuvi || 2-63-36

"Hearing those pitiable words and since I was always intent on righteousness, I felt distressed. The bow and arrow fell down from my hands to the ground."

tasyaaham karunam shrutvaa nishi laalapato bahu |

sambhraanath shokavegena bhrishamaasa vichetanah || 2-63-37

"Hearing his pathetic cry, weeping profusely during the night, I became unconscious frequently, utterly bewildered as I was, due to flare-up of my grief."

tam desham aham aagamya diina sattvah sudurmanaah |

apashyam isunaa tiire sarayvaah taapasam hatam || 2-63-38

avakiirnajataabhaaram praviddhakalashodakam |

paasushonitadigdhaagam shayaanam shalyapiiditam || 2-63-39

"Distressed in mind and with much sorrowful feeling, I reached that place and saw the ascetic, hit by the arrow at the bank of Sarayu River, with his trusses of hair scattered, his pitcher of water thrown asunder, having his limbs anointed with sand and blood lying down as he was, hurt by the arrow."

sa maam udviiksya netraabhyaam trastam asvastha cetasam |

iti uvaaca vacah kruuram didhaksann iva tejasaa || || 2-63-40

Looking up with his eyes, as if going to scorch with his glory, at me who stood terrified and sick in mind, he spoke those harsh words then :

kim tava apakritam raajan vane nivasataa mayaa |

jihiirsiur ambho gurv artham yad aham taaditah tvayaa || 2-63-41

'O, king! I, who was carrying water for my parents, was hit by you. What was the harm done to you by me who is residing in a forest?'

ekena khalu baanena marmani abhihate mayi |

dvaav andhau nihatau vriddhau maataa janayitaa ca me || 2-63-42

'Being hit on my secret part by a single arrow, you virtually killed both my mother and father, who are blind and aged.'

tau nuunam durbalaav andhau mat pratiiksau pipaasitau |

ciram aashaa kritaam trisnaam kastaam samdhaarayisyatah || 2-63-43

'Both of them, weak blind and thirsty, might have refrained their thirst with difficulty and waited with expectation of my arrival since long. I am sure.'

na nuunam tapaso vaa asti phala yogah shrutasya vaa |

pitaa yan maam na jaanaati shayaanam patitam bhuvi || 2-63-44

'Surely, our (mine or father's) religious austerity or sacred knowledge have not borne fruit because my father does not have information about me, having fallen down and lying on the ground.'

jaanann api ca kim kuryaat ashaktir aparikramah |

chidyamaanam iva ashaktah traatum anyo nago nagam || 2-63-45

"What my disabled father, unable to walk around can do, even if he knows like a tree unable to protect another tree which is being cut off?"

pitus tvam eva me gatvaa shiighram aacaksva raaghava |

na tvaam anudahet kruddho vanam vahnir iva edhitah || 2-63-46

'O, Dasaratha! Going there soon, you alone tell my father; so that he will not scorch you by his anger, as a forest is scorched by a flared-up fire.'

iyam eka padii raajan yatah me pitur aashramah |

tam prasaadaya gatvaa tvam na tvaam sa kupitah shapet || 2-63-47

'O, king! This foot-path will lead you to my father's hermitage. After going there, seek his graciousness, lest he should get angry and execrate you."

vishalyam kuru maam raajan marma me nishitah sharah |

runaddhi mridu sa utsedham tiiram ambu rayo yathaa || 2-63-48

'O, king! Extract this arrow-head from my body. This sharp arrow torments my delicate vital part in the same way as a river-current corrodes the sandy bank, which is at a height.'

sashalyah klishyate praanairvishalyo vinashishyati |

iti maamavishaccintaa tasya shalyaapakarsane || 2-63-49

"While extracting the arrow-head from him, this thought entered my mind. With arrow-head in his body he will suffer, even though surviving. But after extracting the arrow-head, he will die."

duhkhitasya ca diinasya mama shokaaturasya ca |

lakshyaamaasa hridaye cintaam munisuta stadaa || 2-63-50

"Then, the son of the sage perceived worry in the heart of me, who was lamenting pitiably, suffering from anguish."

taamyamaanah sa maam duhkhaaduvaaca paramaartavat |

siidamaano vivrittaago vestamaano gatah kshayam || 2-63-51

Sinking into despondency with distress, distorting his limbs in agony, coiling round himself on the floor with extreme pain and having approached the end of his life, he spoke to me (as follows) with great difficulty.

samstabhya dhairyena sthiracitto bhavaamyaham |

brahmahatyaakritam paapam hridayaadapaniiyataam || 2-63-52

'Suppressing my grief with firmness, I am becoming stable-minded. Let the torment in your heart, caused by the thought of your having killed Brahmana be removed.'

na dvijaatir aham raajan maa bhuut te manaso vyathaa |

shuudraayaam asmi vaishyena jaatah jana pada adhipa || 2-63-53

'O, king the ruler of the country! I am not a Brahmana. Let there be no agony in your mind. I am born through a Sudra woman by a Vysya.

iti iva vadatah kricchraat baana abhihata marmanah |

vighuurnato vicestasya vepamaacasya bhuutale || 2-63-54

tasya tu aanamyamaanasya tam baanam aham uddharam |

tasya tvaanamyamaanasya tam baanaamahamuddharam || 2-63-55

"While he was speaking in that manner with great difficulty, his vital part having been hit by an arrow and was rolling on the ground, now exerting himself, now trembling and sinking, I drew out that arrow from him. That sage looked up towards me in fear and relinquished his life."

jala aardra gaatram tu vilapya kricchaan |

marma vranam samtatam ucchasantam |

tatah sarayvaam tam aham shayaanam |

samiiksya bhadre subhrisham visannah || 2-63-56

"O, my dear Kausalya! Seeing him, with his body drenched in water, weeping with anguish, unceasingly sighing his breath, with injury in his vital part and lying down in River Sarayu as he was, I became very much grief-stricken."

ityaarse shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye ayodhyaakaande trisastitamah sargah

Thus completes 63rd Chapter of Ayodhya Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate

 

References

 

K. M. K. Murthy. (1999). Ayodhya Kanda - Book Of Ayodhya.

 

Merriam-Webster. (2007). At http://www.m-w.com.

 

Reference.com. (2007). At http://www.reference.com.

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