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Chapter 44: King Bhageeratha Offers Ganges Water to His Ancestors

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King Bhageeratha Offers Ganges Water to His Ancestors

 

Summary

Brahma commends Bhageeratha in bringing Ganga onto earth which none of his ancestors could do. Brahma blesses Ganga to be the daughter of Bhageeratha. Brahma advises him to offer water-oblations to his manes [spirit of forefathers] with the sanctified waters of Ganga.

King Bhagiratha Offers Ganges’ Water to His Ancestors

Chapter [Sarga] 44 in Detail

sa gatvaa saagaram raajaa gangayaa anugatas tadaa |

pravivesha talam bhuumeh yatra te bhasmasaat kritaah || 1-44-1

King Bhageeratha followed by Ganga has gone to the ocean-like ditch which is dredged up by the sons of Sagara, and entered the subterranean of earth where the sons of Sagara are rendered to ashes. Thus Vishvamitra continued his narration about the Descent of Ganga. [1-44-1]

bhasmani atha aaplute raama ga.ngaaiaah salilena vai |

sarva loka prabhuh brahmaa raajaanam idam abraviit || 1-44-2

While the waters of Ganga are inundating [to cover over completely] those ashes, oh, Rama, then Brahma, the lord of all worlds, indeed spoke this to the king Bhageeratha. [1-44-2]

taaritaa narashaarduula divam yaataah ca devavat |

sastih putra sahasraani sagarasya mahaatmanah || 1-44-3

 Oh, tigerly-man Bhageeratha, the sixty thousands sons of great souled Sagara have crossed over the sea of mortality, and on a par with the Gods they have also transited [to pass across] to heaven. [1-44-3]

saagarasya jalam loke yaavat sthaasyati paarthiva |

sagarasya aatmajaah sarve divi sthaasyanti devavat ||1-44-4

 As long as the water of the ocean abides in the world, oh, king, so long the sons of Sagara will abide in heaven like Gods. [1-44-4]

iyam ca duhitaa jyesthaa tava ga.ngaa bhavisyati |

tvat kritena ca naamnaa atha loke sthaasyati vishrutaa ||1-44-5

 This Ganga will become your eldest daughter and hereafter she will remain renowned in the world with the name associated with your deed of bringing her onto earth. [1-44-5]

gangaa tripathagaa naama divyaa bhaagiirathii iti ca |

triin patho bhaavayanti iti tasmat tripathagaa smritaa || 1-44-6

 Henceforth heavenly Ganga will be renowned as Triple-path-cruiser and Bhaageerathi, as well, and as this river is sanctifying three worlds, namely, svarga, bhuu, paataala loka-s, heaven, earth and netherworld she will be remembered as the traveler on triple path. [1-44-6]

pitaamahaanaam sarvesaam tvam atra manujaadhipa |

kurusva salilam raajan pratijnaam apavarjaya || 1-44-7

You may now offer water-oblations to all of your forefathers in the waters of Ganga, oh, king, the lord of people, thus you may fulfill and do away with the pledge of your requiescat [a prayer for the repose of a dead person]. [1-44-7]

puurvakena hi te raajan tena atiyashasaa tadaa |

dharminaam pravarena atha na esa praapto manorathah || 1-44-8

Your ancestor Sagara is a highly glorious one and a best one among righteous persons, oh, king, even then he has not achieved this aspiration of alighting Ganga in his lifetime, but you have achieved it. [1-44-8]

tathaiva amshumataa vatsa loke apratima tejasaa |

gangaam praarthayataa netum pratijnaa na apavarjitaa || 1-44-9

 Like that, your grandfather Anshuman, who is unequalled in his resplendence [brilliance] in this world and who had been praying for the descent of Ganga, he also could not dispense with this vow on fulfilling it. [1-44-9]

raajarsinaa gunavataa maharsi sama tejasaa |

mat tulya tapasaa caiva ksatra dharma sthitena ca || 1-44-10

diliipena mahaabhaaga tava pitraa atitejasaa |

punar na shakitaa netum ga.ngaam praarthayata anagha || 1-44-11

Oh, impeccable Bhageeratha, even by the kingly-sage Dileepa whose resplendence is kindred [related] to great sages, who is equal to me in his asceticism, who is abided [to remain stable] by the observances of ruling Kshatriya class, even by such a highly fortunate and highly resplendent father of yours it was impossible to bring Ganga in his turn, even though he had been supplicating for the descent of Ganga throughout his lifetime. [1-44-10, 11]

The content of verse 10 at times will be attributed to verse 9, viz., to Anshuman, rather than to Dileepa.

saa tvayaa samatikraantaa pratijnaa purusarsabha |

praapto asi paramam loke yashah parama sa.mmatam || 1-44-12

But, you have accomplished that pledge, oh, the best one among men, and in the world you have achieved highest renown which is highly adorable by all. [1-44-12]

tat ca gangaa avataranam tvayaa kritam arindama |

anena ca bhavaan praapto dharmasya aayatanam mahat || 1-44-13

That Descent of Ganga is perfected by you, oh, enemy-repressor, and by this you have acquired a genuine basis for righteousness in this world, and thereby a base for yourself in my world, namely Abode of Brahma. [1-44-13]

plaavayasva tvam aatmaanam narottama sadaa ucite |

salile purusashrestha shucih punyaphalo bhava || 1-44-14

Oh, phenomenal one, you may always take dip-baths in the holy water of Ganga and oh, persona grata [personally acceptable or welcomed], thereby get purified of sins and thus let your merit be fructified. [1-44-14]

pitaamahaanaam sarvesaam kurusva salilakriyaam |

svasti te astu gamisyaami svam lokam gamyataam nripa || 1-44-15

You may now perform water-oblations to your forefathers with the water of Ganga, let there be well being to you, and oh, king, here I go to my abode and you too may depart to yours. Thus Brahma said to Bhageeratha. [1-44-15]

iti evam uktvaa deveshah sarvaloka pitaamahah |

yathaa aagatam tathaa agacchat deva lokam mahaayashaah || 1-44-16

On saying in this way, the forefather of all the worlds, and the great glorious lord of all Gods, namely Brahma, went away to his empyrean [celestial] world as he has came. [1-44-16]

bhagiirathah tu raajarsih kritvaa salilam uttamam |

yathaakramam yathaanyaayam saagaraanaam mahaayashaah || 1-44-17

kritodakah shucii raajaa svapuram pravivesha ha |

samriddhaartho narashrestha svaraajyam prashashaasa ha ||1-44-18

On according [granting] those best water-oblations that endow [provides] superior realms to the souls of sons of Sagara, according to precedence [priority of importance] and the rationale of scriptures, and even on offering water-oblations to other manes [spirit of  forefathers] that kingly-sage and greatly renowned Bhageeratha is sanctified [purified], and then only that king re-entered his own city, indeed when his purpose is completely achieved, and oh, outstanding man Rama, thus that king Bhageeratha ruled his kingdom well. [1-44-17, 18]

pramumoda ca lokah tam nripam aasaadya raaghava |

nastashokah samriddhaartho babhuuva vigatajvarah || 1-44-19

On regaining him as their king the subjects of the kingdom are overjoyed, and oh, Raghava, that king Bhageeratha too is relieved of his febrility [a long desire or fever] as his purpose is achieved and he is happy when devoid of haunting grief of getting Ganga to earth. [1-44-19]

esa te raama ga.ngaayaa vistaro abhihito mayaa |

svasti praapnuhi bhadram te sa.ndhyaa kaalo ativar.htate || 1-44-20

Oh, Rama, this way I described to you about The Decent of Ganga in detail, thus you be blest [praised] and prosperous, and as the visceral [earthy] time is elapsing no more questions from you for now, and let us meditate on Gayatri. But listen to the fruits of listening the legend of ganga avatarana, The Descent of Ganga [1-44-20]

dhanyam yashasyam aayusyam putryam svargyam atha api ca |

yah shraavayati vipreshu kshatriyesu iteresu ca || 1-44-21

priiyante pitarah tasya priiyante daivataani

This legend is conducive to achieve prosperity, fame, longevity, progeny and even heaven, and he who narrates this legend to others, whether he is from Brahmans or from Kshatriya-s, or for that matter of fact from any other class, his manes [spirit of forefathers] will be satisfied, and Gods too will be gladdened. [1-44-21, 22a]

idam aakyanam aayushyam gangaa avataranam shubham || 1-44-22

yah shrunoti ca kaakutstha sarvaan kaamaan avaapnuyaat |

sarve paapaah pranashyanti aayuh kiirtih ca var.hdhate || 1-44-23

Oh, Rama of Kakutstha-s, he who listens to this auspicious legend named ‘The Descent of Ganga’, which is an endower of longevity, all his wishes are achieved, all his sins are obliterated, and his reputation and longevity are also enhanced. Thus Vishvamitra concluded the episode of The Descent of Ganga. [1-44-22b, 23]

iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye baala kaande catur catvaarimshah sargah

Thus, this is the 44th 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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