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Chapter 37: The Birth of Karttikeya from the Ganges

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The Birth of Karttikeya from the Ganges

Summary

Sage Vishvamitra continues his narration about the earthly course of Ganga, her begetting [getting] Kaarthikeya, Krittika-stars breast-feeding that boy, Gods naming that boy as Kaarthikeya, and that boy's anointment [to choose by or to designate] as the Chief of Celestial Armies.

The Birth of Karttikeya from the Ganges

Chapter [Sarga] 37 in Detail

tapyamaane tadaa deve sa indraah sa agni purogamaah |

senaapatim abhiipsantah pitaamaham upaagaman || 1-37-1

"While God Shiva is undertaking asceticism thus, then the Gods desiring an Army Chief for celestial forces have arrived in the audience of Forefather Brahma, along with Indra and keeping Fire-God at their fore." Sage Vishvamitra continued his narration to Rama. [1-37-1]

tato abruvan suraah sarve bhagava.ntam pitaamaham |

pranipatya suraah raama sa indraah sa agni purogamaah || 1-37-2

"On approaching the Forefather Brahma, oh, Rama, all of the celestials headed by Fire-God and along with Indra have venerated and then spoke this to him. [1-37-2]

yena senaapatih deva datto bhagavataa puraa |

sa tapah param aasthaaya tapyate sma saha umayaa || 1-37-3

Oh, God Brahma, he who has hypothetically given a Chief of Celestial Army in the form of his potency [power] that God Shiva is undertaking a supreme asceticism, indeed along with Goddess Uma. [1-37-3]

yat atra anantaram kaaryam lokaanaam hita kaamyayaa |

sa.mvidhatsva vidhaanajna tvam hi nah paramaa gatih || 1-37-4

“‘Looking forward for the welfare of the worlds, oh, knower of the procedures, Brahma, you may order us clearly what is to be done next, as you alone are our ultimate recourse. [1-37-4]

devataanaam vacah shrutvaa sarva loka pitaamahah |

saantvayan madhuraih vaakyaih tridashaan idam abraviit || 1-37-5

"On listening the words of Gods, Brahma, the Forefather of all the worlds, soothingly spoke this to the celestials with sweet words. [1-37-5]

shaila putryaa yat uktam tat na prajaah svaasu patnisu |

tasyaa vacanam aklistam satyam eva na sa.mshayah || 1-37-6

What the Daughter of Mountain, namely Goddess Uma, has said that 'you shall have no posterity [offspring’s or children] in your own wives' is true and it cannot be decried [disapproved], and it is unambiguous too. [1-37-6]

iyam aakaasha ga.ngaa yasyaam putram hutaashanah |

janayisyati devaanaam senaapatim ari.ndamam || 1-37-7

“‘In whom the Fire-God can procreate an enemy-destroying Chief of Celestial Armies, such an empyreal [celestial or divine] Ganga is there. [1-37-7]


jyesthaa shailendra duhitaa maanayisyati tam sutam |

umaayaah tat bahumatam bhavisyati na sa.mshayah || 1-37-8

" 'The elder daughter King of Mountains, namely Ganga, will graciously welcome the offspring from Fire-God, and that act of Ganga in welcoming the offspring through Fire-God will also be pleasurable in many ways to the younger daughter of King of Mountains, namely Uma, no doubt about it.' So said Brahma to all the Gods. [1-37-8]

tat shrutvaa vacanam tasya kritaarthaa raghunandana |

pranipatya suraah sarve pitaamaham apuujayan || 1-37-9

"On hearing those words of Brahma, oh, Rama, the delight of Raghu's dynasty, all the Gods have praise-fully worshipped him, as their ends are achieved at the bidding fair of Brahma. [1-37-9]

te gatvaa paramam raama kailaasam dhaatu manditam |

agnim niyojayaamaasuh putraartham sarva devataah || 1-37-10

"On going to that supreme Mt. Kailash, oh, Rama, which is heaped up with many ores [natural minerals], all of those Gods have assigned the Fire-God to father a son. [1-37-10]

deva kaaryam idam deva samaadhatsva hutaashana |

shaila putryaam mahaatejo ga.ngaayaam teja utsrija || 1-37-11

Oh, Fire-God, you please coordinate the mission of Gods, oh, great-resplendent [shining brilliantly] God of Fire, you may release the potency of Shiva, which you have contained so far, in the daughter of King of Mountains, namely River Ganga.' Thus, all Gods have requested the Fire-God. [1-37-11]

devataanaam pratijnaaya ga.ngaam abhyetya paavakah |

garbham dhaaraya vai devi devataanaam idam priyam || 1-37-12

On assuring the Gods that he will do his best, the Fire-God approached Ganga entreating [negotiating], 'Oh, Goddess Ganga, you verily bear pregnancy with the potency of Shiva, since this is the select process of all the Gods.' So said Fire-God to River Ganga. [1-37-12]

iti etat vacanam shrutvaa divyam ruupam adhaarayat |

sa tasyaa mahimaam dristvaa sama.ntaat avakiiryata || 1-37-13

"On listening that sentence of Fire-God, River Ganga adopted a celestial form readying [to make ready] herself, and on seeing her glorious mien [appearance] the Fire-God seeped throughout her. [1-37-13]

samantatah tadaa deviim abhyasi.ncata paavakah |

sarva srotaa.msi puurnaani ga.ngaayaa raghunandana || 1-37-14

"The Fire-God then drenched River Ganga from all over with the potency of Shiva which he contained so far, oh, Raghu's delight Rama, and every rill [narrow spaces] and channel of Ganga is replete [full] with it. [1-37-14]

tam uvaaca tato ga.ngaa sarva deva purogamam |

ashaktaa dhaarane deva tejah tava samuddhatam || 1-37-15

dahyamaanaa agninaa tena sa.mpravyathita cetanaa |

"River Ganga then spoke this to the Fire-God who is in the lead of all Gods, 'oh, God, I am incapable to bear up the rampant fervor [intense heat] of yours, and while being burnt with the fire of God Shiva compounded with that of yours my life-force is very highly tortured.' [1-37-15, 16a]

atha abraviit idam gangaam sarva deva hutaashanah || 1-37-16

iha haimavate paarshve garbho ayam sa.mniveshyataam |

"He who consumes fire-oblations on behalf of all the Gods, that Fire-God seeing the miserable condition of River Ganga then spoke this to her, ''you may lay away that embryo [a vertebrate at any stage of development prior to birth] here at the side of Himalayan Mountains.' So said Fire-God to River Ganga. [1-37-16b, 17a]


shrutvaa tu agni vaco ga.ngaa tam garbham atibhaasvaram || 1-37-17

utsasarja mahaatejaah srotobhyo hi tadaa anagha |

"Oh, great-resplendent Rama, on hearing the words of Fire-God, oh, charming prince Rama, River Ganga indeed ejected that great-radiant embryo of Shiva from all her rills [narrow spaces] and channels. [1-37-17b, 18a]

yat asyaa nirgatam tasmaat tapta jaa.mbuunada prabham || 1-37-18

kaa.ncanam dharaniim praaptam hiranyam atula prabham |

"Which refulgent [brilliant] embryo with the glitter of molten Gold has emerged from River Ganga is there that has reached earth, and from that the silver, and even the gold with its matchless dazzle have emerged. [1-37-18]

taamram kaarsnaayasam caiva taiksnyaat eva abhijaayata || 1-37-19

malam tasya abhavat tatra trapu siisakam eva ca |

tat etat dharaniim praapya naanaa dhaatuh avardhata || 1-37-20

"In that process, copper and iron are also generated from that combustion of fires of Shiva and Fire-God, and the residua [something remaining or remainder] have become tin and lead, and thus that embryo on reaching the earth has evolved itself into various other elements also. [1-37-19b, 20]

niksipta maatre garbhe tu tejobhih abhira.njitam |

sarvam parvata sa.mnaddham sauvarnam abhavat vanam || 1-37-21

"But, just when that embryo is laid down on Himalayan mountains, entire reed-garden sprouted on that mountain is made brilliant by that glittering embryo and the reed-garden itself has become golden. [1-37-21]

jaataruupam iti khyaatam tadaa prabhriti raaghava |

suvarnam purusavyaaghra hutaashana sama prabham |

trina vriksha lataa gulmam sarvam bhavati kaa.ncanam || 1-37-22

"Oh, tigerly-man, from then onwards the gold with its brilliance equaling that of the Fire-God is renowned by the name of jaata ruupa , one that retains its birth-time form, and oh, Raghava, everything on the mountain, say grass, trees, climbers, and shrubs, all have become golden. [1-37-22]

tam kumaaram tato jaatam sa indraah saha marud ganaah |

ksiira sa.mbhaavana arthaaya krittikaah samayojayan || 1-37-23

Then for the boy who took birth from the embryo deposited in Himalayas, the Wind-Gods along with Indra have arranged Krittika stars to simultaneously suckle [to give milk to from the breast] him. [1-37-23]

taah ksiiram jaata maatrasya kritvaa samayam uttamam |

daduh putro ayam asmaakam sarvaasaam iti nishcitaah || 1-37-24

Those Krittika stars have decided among themselves that 'this boy shall be the son for all of us, and on making such a best resolve they suckled [to give milk to from the breast] the just born boy. [1-37-24]

tatah tu devataah sarvaah kaartikeya iti bruvan |

putrah trailokya vikhyaato bhavisyati na sa.mshayah || 1-37-25

"All the Gods have then said, 'this boy will be renowned in all the three world as Kaarthikeya, as Krittika-stars have suckled him, without any doubt.' [1-37-25]

tesaam tat vacanam shrutvaa skannam garbha parisrave |

snaapayan parayaa laksmyaa diipyamaanam yathaa analam || 1-37-26

"On hearing that blessing of Gods, Krittika stars gave a wash to that excellently auspicious boy who is radiant like fire, and who slid down from the secretion [concealment] of the womb of Ganga. [1-37-26]

skanda iti abruvan devaah skannam garbha parisravaat |

kaartikeyam mahaabaahum kaakutstha jvalana upamam || 1-37-27

And Gods called that boy, oh, Rama of Kakutstha, whose glow is like that of flaring fire and who is ambidextrous [unusually skillful] as 'Skanda' for he slid down from the secretions of a womb. [1-37-27]

praadur.hbhuutam tatah ksiiram krittikaanaam anuttamam |

sannaam sad aanano bhuutvaa jagraaha stanajam payah || 1-37-28

Then an unexcelled milk instantly came forth from the breasts of the six Krittika-stars, and becoming a six-faced one that boy too sucked that milk from the six Krittika-stars at the same time. [1-37-28]

grihiitvaa ksiiram eka ahnaa sukumaara vapuh tadaa |

ajayat svena viiryena daitya sainya ganaan vibhuh || 1-37-29

On sipping the milk just for one day he became an adolescent boy on that day itself, and even though he is of delicate constitution as a boy, that taskmaster triumphed over the army troops of demons by his own vigor [force]. [1-37-29]

sura senaa gana patim abhyasi.ncat mahaadyutim |

tatah tam amaraah sarve sametya agni purogamaah || 1-37-30

"All of the celestial have then come together under the leadership of Fire-God and they anointed [to smear or rub with oil or an oily substance] that highly resplendent boy, Skanda, or Kaarthikeya, as the Chief of Celestial Army troops. [1-37-30]

esa te raama gangaayaa vistaro abhihito mayaa |

kumaara sa.mbhavah caiva dhanyah punyah tathaiva ca || 1-37-31

"This way, I have vividly narrated the legend of Ganga to you, oh, Rama, like that the Divine and Meritorious [deserving of honor or esteem] legend of the emergence of Kumara, namely Skanda is also narrated. [1-37-31]

bhaktah ca yah kaartikeye kaakutstha bhuvi maanavah |

aayusmaan putra pautrah ca skanda saalokyataam vrajate || 1-37-32

"He who is a devotee of Kaarthikeya, oh, Rama of Kakutstha, he thrives with longevity, also with sons, grandsons on this humanly earth in his mortal life, and on its conclusion he becomes one with Skanda on journeying to Skanda's abode. [1-37-32]

iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye baala kaande sapta tri.mshah sargah

Thus, this is the 37th chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate

References

Desiraju Hanumanta Rao. (1998). Balakanda - Book Of Youthful Majesties.

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

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

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