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Chapter 38: The Birth of King Sagara’s Children

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The Birth of King Sagara’s Children

 

Summary

Sage Vishvamitra narrates the legend of Sagara, the earliest King of Ayodhya and Rama's forefather, who is childlessness, but who begets sixty thousand sons of merit and one son of demerit [lack of merit]. Emperor Sagara is the one who brought celestial Ganga onto the surface of earth.

The Birth of King Sagara’s Children

Chapter [Sarga] 38 in Detail

taam kathaam kaushiko raame nivedya madhura aksaram |

punah eva aparam vaakyam kaakutstham idam abraviit || 1-38-1

Describing that legend of Kaarthikeya to Rama, the descendent of Kaushi, namely sage Vishvamitra has further spoken this best sentence worded melodiously to Rama, the descendent of Kakutstha. [1-38-1]

ayodhyaa adhipatih viirah puurvam aasiit naraadhipah |

sagaro naama dharmaatmaa prajaakaamah sa ca aprajah || 1-38-2

Once there was a valiant and virtue-souled king of Ayodhya named Sagara, who is without offspring, as such he was longing for offspring. [1-38-2]

vaidarbha duhitaa raama keshinii naama naamatah |

jyesthaa sagara patnii saa dharmisthaa satya vaadinii || 1-38-3

The daughter of King of Vidarbha, renowned by name Keshini, is the eldest wife of Sagara, and she was virtue-minded, and an advocate of truth. [1-38-3]

aristhanemi duhitaa suparna bhaginii tu saa |

dvitiiyaa sagarasya aasiit patnii sumati sa.mjnitaa || 1-38-4

The daughter of Arishtanemi, namely sage Kashyapa, and who is also the sister of Garuda, the Divine-Eagle-vehicle of Vishnu, is the second wife of Sagara, who is known by the name Sumati. [1-38-4]

taabhyaam saha mahaaraajaa patniibhyaam taptavaan tapah |

himava.ntam samaasaadya bhrigu prasravane girau || 1-38-5

Reaching the Himalayan Mountains along with his two wives that great King Sagara practiced asceticism on a mountain called Brugu-prsravana for progeny. [1-38-5]

atha varsa shate puurne tapasaa aaraadhito munih |

sagaraaya varam praadaad bhriguh satyavataam varah || 1-38-6

On completion of a hundred years of asceticism, and when the Sage Bhrigu is worshipped with asceticism, that sage who is a prominent one among the patrons of truth bestowed a boon to Sagara. [1-38-6]

apatya laabhah sumahaan bhavisyati tava anagha |

kiirtim ca apratimaam loke praapsyase purusarsabha || 1-38-7

Oh, merited one, you will achieve very admirable progeny, and oh, best one among men, you will also acquire an unparalleled renown in the world. [1-38-7]

ekaa janayitaa taata putram vamshakaram tava |

sastim putra sahasraani aparaa janayisyati || 1-38-8

‘One of your wives will mother a son who enriches your dynasty, oh, dear sire, and the other mothers sixty thousand sons.' Said Sage Bhrigu to Sagara. [1-38-8]

bhaasamaanam mahaatmaanam raaja putryau prasaadya tam |

uucatuh parama priite kritaanjali pute tadaa || 1-38-9

Highly gladdened are the daughters of kings of Vidarbha and Arishtanemi, i.e., the queens of Sagara, and on making palm-fold in supplication [humbly] at the sage who is speaking that way, and on gaining the grace of that sage they spoke to him. [1-38-9]

ekah kasyaah suto brahman kaa bahuun janayisyati |

shrotum icchaavahe brahman satyam astu vacah tava || 1-38-10

‘Which of us will carry one son, oh, Brahma-sage, and which of us begets numerous sons, we two wish to listen about that, oh, Brahman, let your word betide [to happen to] truth.' Thus, the queens of Sagara spoke to the sage. [1-38-10]

tayoh tat vacanam shrutvaa bhriguh paramadhaarmikah |

uvaaca paramaam vaaniim svacchando atra vidhiiyataam || 1-38-11

On listening their words the Sage Bhrigu spoke in a glorious tone, 'let your freewill be brought to bear this issue. [1-38-11]

eko vamsha karo vaa astu bahavo vaa mahaabalaah |

kiirtimanto mahotsaahaah kaa vaa kam varam icchati || 1-38-12

‘Whether one wants one son who enriches dynasty, or whether numerous sons who will be highly energetic, highly renowned, and highly enthusiastic. Who wants which boon from either of them?' Thus, the Sage gave them the option. [1-38-12]

muneh tu vacanam shrutvaa keshinii raghuna.ndana |

putram va.msha karam raama jagraaha nripa sa.mnidhau || 1-38-13

On listening the words of the sage, oh, Rama, oh, delighter of Raghu's dynasty, the first queen Keshini has chosen one son who enriches the dynasty in the presence of King Sagara. [1-38-13]

sastim putra sahasraani suparna bhaginii tadaa |

mahotsaahaan kiirtimato jagraaha sumatih sutaan || 1-38-14

Sumati, the sister of mighty-winged Garuda and the second queen of Sagara has then chosen sixty thousand sons with great enthusiasm and high reputation. [1-38-14]

pradaksinam risim kritvaa shirasaa abhipranamya ca |

jagaama sva puram raajaa sabhaaryaa raghu nandana || 1-38-15

On performing circumambulations [to go around in circle] to the Sage Bhrigu along with wives, oh, Raghu's scion [descendant], also on reverencing him head-bent, the king Sagara proceeded to his own city. [1-38-15]

atha kaale gate tasmin jyesthaa putram vyajaayata |

asama.nja iti khyaatam keshinii sagaraatmajam || 1-38-16

When the time rolled by then the elder wife Keshini gave birth to the son of Sagara who is reputed by the name Asamanja. [1-38-16]

sumatih tu naravyaaghra garbha tumbam vyajaayata |

sastih putra sahasraani tu.mba bhedaat vinihsritaah || 1-38-17

But the second queen Sumati on part, oh, tigerly-man Rama, verily delivered a round and long egg which is like a single gourd, and on breaking it up sixty thousand sons are issued forth from that cucumber like egg. [1-38-17]

ghrita puurnesu kumbhesu dhaatryah taan samavardhayan |

kaalena mahataa sarve yauvanam pratipedire || 1-38-18

"The caretakers brought up those siblings in vessels filled with ghee, the clarified butter, and after a protracted [delayed] time all of the children have attained youthfulness. [1-38-18]

atha diirghena kaalena ruupa yauvanashaalinah |

sastih putra sahasraani sagarasya abhavan tadaa || 1-38-19

After a long time the sixty thousand sons of king Sagara have become youthful, and handsome in their aspects. [1-38-19]

sa ca jyestho narashrestha sagarasya aatma sa.mbhavah |

baalaan grihiitvaa tu jale sarayvaa raghunandana || 1-38-20

praksipya prahasan nityam majjatas taan niriiksya vai |

But, oh, best one among men, oh, Rama, the elder son of the king Sagara, namely Asamanja, always used to grab and hurl children into the waters of River Sarayu, and on seeing the drowning children he used to enjoy with laughter. [1-38-20, 21a]

evam paapa samaacaarah sajjana pratibaadhakah || 1-38-21

pauraanaam ahite yuktah pitraa nirvaasitah puraat |

This way, when that son Asamanja is with sinister activity, a torturer of good men, and delighter in the undesirable activities towards citizens, his father king Sagara expatriated [banished] him from the city. [1-38-21b, 22a]

tasya putro amshumaan naama asama.njasya viiryavaan || 1-38-22

sammatah sarva lokasya sarvasya api priyam vadah |

But Asamanja's son is a valorous one, who by name is Anshuman, and who is an acceptable one for all people and who fondly converses with all. [1-38 -22b, 23a]

tatah kaalena mahataa matih samabhijaayata || 1-38-23

sagarasya narashrestha yajeyam iti nishcitaa |

Oh, best one among men, Rama, then after along time a decided thought has occurred to king Sagara that, 'I shall perform a Vedic-ritual.'[1-38-23b, 24a]

sa kritvaa nishcayam raajaa sa upaadhyaaya ganah tadaa |

yajna karmani vedajno yastum samupacakrame || 1-38-24

That king Sagara who is an expert in Vedic-procedures has then taken a decision along with the assemblages of his religious-teachers insofar [to such extent or degree] as the procedures of the ritual are concerned, and he commenced to perform the Vedic-ritual. [1-38-24b, c]

iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye baala kaande astaa trimshah sargah

Thus, this is the 38th 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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