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Chapter 5: Description of the City of Ayodhya

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Description of the City of Ayodhya

 

Summary

We enter the capital of the Emperor Dasharatha. The pomp and glory of his capital is depicted [described] along with its town planning and grandeur [magnificence] of the city, and its residents.

Description of the City of Ayodhya

Chapter [Sarga] 5 in Detail

sarvaa puurvam iyam yesaam aasiit kritsnaa vasu.ndharaa |

prajapatim upaadaaya nripaanam jaya shaalinaam ||1-5-1

yesaam sa sagaro naama saagaro yena khaanitah |

sastih putra sahasraani yam yaantam paryavaarayan ||1-5-2

ikshvaakuunaam idam tesaam raajnaam va.mshe mahaatmanaam |

mahad utpannam aakhyanam raamaayanam iti shrutam || 1-5-3

Once upon a time, under which victorious kings, this entire earth with all its islands is there, starting from Prajapati; among which kings there is one named Sagara, who deepened [to make deep] the oceans, and whom his sixty thousand sons were fencing [the art or practice of attack and defense] in when he is set out for action; in the dynasty of such of those Ikshvaku kings this highly revered and reputed epic Ramayana is originated. [1-5-1-3]

tadidam vartayisyaavah sarvam nikhilam aaditah |

dharma kaama artha sahitam shrotavyam anasuuyataa || 1-5-4

Being such a legend, we two wish to relate this Ramayana entirely and completely from the beginning, which is endowed with the values and means of probity [adherence to the highest principles and ideals], prosperity, and pleasure seeking... and this be listened without any caviling [to raise trivial objections]. [1-5-4]

kosalo naama muditah sphiito janapado mahaan |

nivista sarayuu tiire prabhuuta dhana dhaanyavaan || 1-5-5

A great kingdom named Kosala, a joyous and a vast one well flourishing with money and cereals, is snugly [closely and comfortably] situated on the riverbanks of Sarayu. [1-5-5]

ayodhyaa naama nagarii tatra aasiit loka vishrutaa |

manunaa maanava indrena yaa purii nirmitaa svayam || 1-5-6

A world-renowned city is there in that kingdom, which is personally built by Manu, the foremost ruler of mankind. [1-4-6]

aayataa dasha cha dve cha yojanaani mahaapurii |

shriimatii triini vistiirnaa su vibhaktaa mahaapathaa || 1-5-7

That glorious city with well-devised highways is twelve yojana-s that is around 120 miles lengthwise [Yojana is an ancient measure of distance, where one yojana roughly equals to 8 to 10 miles] and three yojana-s breadth wise that is around 30 miles breadth. [1-5-7]

raaja maargena mahataa suvibhaktena shobhitaa |

muktaa puspa avakiirnena jala siktena nityashah || 1-5-8

That city shines forth with well-laid great royal highways that are always wetted [to keep wet] with water, and with flowers strewn and scattered on them. [1-5-8]

taam tu raajaa dasharatho mahaaraastra vivardhanah |

puriim aavaasayaamaasa divi devapatih yathaa || 1-5-9

As an improver [make better] of great kingdom Dasharatha the king made her as his abode, as Indra made heavens as his abode. [1-5-9]

kapaata toranavartii su vibhakta antaraapanaam |

sarva yantra ayudhavatiim usitaam sarva shilpibhih || 1-5-10

That city is surrounded with gateways and archways; the front yards of buildings are well laid; it is lodges all kinds of machinery, weaponry and craftsmen, and king Dasharatha dwells in such a city. [1-4-10]

suuta maagadha sa.nbaadhaam shriimatiim atula prabhaam |

ucchaattaala dhvajavatiim shataghnii shata sa.nkulaam || 1-5-11

She that prosperous city Ayodhya is much crammed [tightly packed] with many a eulogist and panegyrist [eulogist or panegyrist – one who speak or write in high praise], yet she is highly splendorous with many a bastion [fortified areas or positions], flag and hundreds of batteries of canons, and Dasharatha dwells therein. [1-5-11]

vadhuu naataka sanghaih cha sanyuktaam sarvatah puriim |

udyaana aamra vanopetaam mahatiim saala mekhalaam || 1-5-12

That city Ayodhya accommodates groups of danseuses [a female ballet dancer] and theatrical personnel, and she is surrounded everywhere with the gardens and brakes [marshy land overgrown usually with one kind of plant] of mango trees, and her wide fort-wall is like her cincture [circling] ornament. [1-5-12]

durga gambhiira parikhaam durgaam anyaih duraasadam |

vaajiivaarana sa.npuurnaam gobhih ustraih kharaih tathaa || 1-5-13

That Ayodhya is an impassable [incapable of being passed, traveled, crossed, or surmounted] one for trespassers, or for others invaders, owing to her impassable and profound moats [a deep and wide trench around the rampart of a fortified place (as a castle) that is usually filled with water], and she is abounding with horses, camels, likewise with cows and donkeys. [1-5-13]

saama.nta raaja sanghaih cha bali karmabhih aavritam |

naanaa desha nivaasaih cha vanigbhih upashobhitaam || 1-5-14

With the throngs [host] of provincial [a country or region brought under the control of the ruler] kings who come hither to this place] to pay dues pervade that city, and she is verily lustrous [bright] with residents of various other countries, and with traders, too. In such a city Dasharatha dwells. [1-5-14]

praasaadai ratna vikritaih parvataih iva shobhitaam |

kuutaagaaraih cha sa.npuurnaam indrasya iva amaraavatiim |1-5-15

Buildings are ornamentally studded with precious gems, and with such multi-storied sky scrappers she is adorned, and filled with them she is like Amaravati, the capital of Indra. [1-5-15]

chitram astaapada aakaaraam vara naarii ganair yutaam |

sarva ratna samaakiirnaam vimaana griha shobhitaam || 1-5-16

Amazing is Ayodhya for its lay-out is like a game board called astapadi, and with its flocks of beautiful women moving thereabout, where all kinds of precious gems are heaped up, and where its seven storied buildings are picturesque. [1-5-16]

griha gaadhaam avicchidraam sama bhuumau niveshitaam |

shaali tandula sa.npuurnaam ikshu kaanda rasah udakaam ||1-5-17

The housing is very dense and there is no place or ground unutilized, and all are constructed on well-leveled lands, and rice-grain is plentiful while the drinking water tastes like sugar cane juice. [1-5-17]

dundubhiibhih mridangaih cha viinaabhih panavaih tathaa |

naaditaam bhrisham atyartham prithivyaam taam anuttamaam ||1-5-18

That city is sounding with the drumbeats of great drums, and with musical rhythm instruments like mridanga, cymbals [a concave brass plate that produces a brilliant clashing tone is used in pairs], and with string instruments like Veena etc., and on earth she is uniquely the best city. [1-5-18]

vimaanam iva siddhaanaam tapasa adhigatam divi |

su niveshita veshmaantaam narottama samaavritaam ||1-5-19

Ayodhya is like a hovering [to hang fluttering in the air] space station attained by sages by their ascesis [practicing strict self-denial as a measure of personal and especially spiritual discipline], and its edifices [buildings] are well planned and it is teeming [filled] with best people. [1-4-19]

ye cha baanaih na vidhyanti viviktam aparaa param |

shabda vedhyam cha vitatam laghu hastaa vishaaradaah || 1-5-20

They the skilful archers of that Ayodhya will not kill a lone one with their arrows, one that does not have either a predecessor or a successor in his family, a fleeing one, or by listening to the sound of the target (as is done in sonic-archery), and their skills, acumen [keenness and depth of perception] and handiness are thus benevolent [organized for the purpose of doing good]. [1-5-20]

sinha vyaaghra varaahaanaam mattaanaam nadataam vane |

hantaaro nishitaih shastraih balaat baahu balair api || 1-5-21

They kill the fattened and roaring lions, tigers and wild boars with the might of their sharp weaponry, or even with the might of their own arms alone. [1-4-21]

taadrishaanaam sahasraih taam abhi puurnaam mahaarathaih |

puriim aavasayamaasa raajaa dasharathah tadaa || 1-5-22

With that kind of thousands of archers, and with speediest chariot-warriors she that Ayodhya is filled with, and King Dasharatha made his abode in such a city. [1-5-22]

taam agnimadbhih gunavadbhih aavritaam

dvijottamaih veda sadanga paaragaih |

sahasradaih satya rataih mahaatmabhih

maharsi kalpaih risibhih cha kevalaih || 1-5-23

She that Ayodhya is encompassed with Vedic scholars who always worship the ritual fire by enkindling the three kinds of ritual-fires continuously, virtuous Brahman scholars in Veda-s and their six ancillary subjects, and other great souls that are in similitude with great saints, and who are just like sages that are charitable donors, and that abide by the truth. [1-5-23]

iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye baala kaande pa.ncamah sargah

Thus, this is the 5th 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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