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Chapter 58: Cursed by Vasishtha’s Sons, Trishanku Approaches Vishvamitra

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Cursed by Vashishta’s Sons, Trishanku Approaches Vishvamitra

 

Summary

Trishanku seeks shelter of Vishvamitra when the sons of Vashishta rebuffed [rejected] him, and even cursed him to become a profaner [not holy because impure]. Narrating his sad tale and his idealistic idea of going to heaven with mortal body, Trishanku earnestly appeals to Vishvamitra.

Chapter [Sarga] 58 – in Detail

tatah trisha.nkoh vacanam shrutvaa krodha samanvitam |

risi putra shatam raama raajaanam idam abraviit || 1-58-1

On hearing the sentence of Trishanku, oh, Rama, the hundred sons of sage Vashishta infuriately said this to that king. Thus, sage Shataananda continued his narration to Rama and others. [1-58-1]

pratyaakhyaato asi durbuddhe gurunaa satya vaadinaa |

tam katham samatikramya shaakhaa antaram upeyivaan || 1-58-2

 'You slow-witted king, your veracious [truthful or honest] mentor has denounced you. But transgressing [violating] him how do you approach another branch of the same tree of wisdom, when that very tree rejected you?' So the sons of Vashishta have started to denounce Trishanku. [1-58-2]

iksvaakuunaam hi sarvesaam purodhaah paramaa gatih |

na ca atikramitum shakyam vacanam satya vaadinah || 1-58-3

 'The Royal Priest is the ultimate course for all of Ikshvaku-s, isn't it? It is impossible to transgress [violate] the word of advice of such a veracious [truthful or honest] Priest. [1-58-3]

ashakyam iti sa uvaaca vasistho bhagavaan risih |

tam vayam vai samaahartum kratum shaktaah katha.mcana || 1-58-4

 'Vashishta is the most reverential sage and such a sage has already said it is impossible to conduct such a Vedic-ritual. Then, in which way we are capable to conduct such a Vedic-ritual? [1-58-4]

baalishah tvam nara shrestha gamyataam sva puram punah |

yaajane bhagavaan shaktah trailokyasya api paarthiva || 1-58-5

avamaanam katham kartum tasya shakshaayaamahe vayam |

 'Oh king of subjects, better get back to your own city again for you are childish. That Godlike Vashishta alone is capable to orchestrate any ritual by any king in all the three worlds. Oh, king, how then we are capable to cause disrepute [disgrace] to his reputation.' Thus, the sons of Vashishta refuted Trishanku. [1-58-5, 6a]

tesaam tad vacanam shrutvaa krodha paryaakula aksaram || 1-58-6

sa raajaa punah eva etaan idam vacanam abraviit |

On hearing that sentence of theirs which is highly faltering with words of fury that king further spoke this sentence to all of them. So Shataananda continued. [1-58-6b, 7a]

pratyaakhyaato bhagavataa guru putraih tathaiva hi || 1-58-7

anyaam gatim gamisyaami svasti vo astu tapo dhanaah |

 'I am indeed rejected by the Godlike Vashishta, likewise even by you, the sons of the same mentor, as such oh, ascetically wealthy scholars, in this state obloquy [bad repute] I will resort to another recourse, let safety betide you.' So Trishanku bade farewell to the sons of Vashishta, but... [1-58-7b, 8a]

risi putraah tu tat shrutvaa vaakyam ghora abhisa.mhitam || 1-58-8

shepuh parama sa.mkruddhaah candaalatvam gamisyasi |

But the sons of the sage Vashishta, on hearing that sentence of the king, that is inclusive of and leading to a calamitous [disastrous] situation, have become very highly infuriated and cursed saying, you shall get into a state of basely [degrading] profaner [not holy because impure]. That is the curse issued by the sons of Vashishta to Trishanku. [1-58-8b, 9a]

iti uktvaa te mahaatmaano vivishuh svam svam aashramam || 1-58-9

atha raatryaam vyatiitaayaam raajaa candaalataam gatah |

On saying thus those great-souled sons of Vashishta withdrew to one's own hermitage and when that night elapsed into day then the king lapsed into a state of basely profaner [not holy because impure]. [1-58-9b, 10a]

niila vastra dharo niilah paruso dhvasta muurdhajah || 1-58-10

citya maalya anulepah ca aayasa aabharano abhavat |

He is now wearing blackish cloths which on yester-eve [the evening or the day before a special day] were ocher [usually red or yellow] silks, he is now a black amour who on yester-eve was a gilt-royalty, his head-hair is shaggy which earlier was silkily soft, and his royal garlands which were richly fragrant are now funeral wreaths, and he is besmeared [covered] with crematory ashes which were regal [royal] emollients [something that softens], and his royal jewelry is now rendered into iron adornments. [1-58-10b, 11a]

tam dristvaa ma.ntrinah sarve tyajya candaala ruupinam || 1-58-11

praadravan sahitaa raama pauraa ye asya anugaaminah |

On seeing him in the mien [appearance] of a profaner [not holy because impure], oh, Rama, all of his ministers and the subjects and his own retinue [group] have deserted him and took to flight in masses. [1-58-11b, 12a]

eko hi raajaa kaakutstha jagaama parama aatmavaan || 1-58-12

dahyamaano divaa raatram vishvaamitram tapo dhanam |

Though that resolutely self-assured king seethed [boiled] for one night and day for this mishap, then went to the ascetically prosperous Vishvamitra. [1-58-12b, 13]

vishvaamitrah tu tam dristvaa raajaanam viphalii kritam ||1-58-13

candaala ruupinam raama munih kaarunyam aagatah |

But on seeing at that mien [appearance] of the king which is rendered to that of a precluded profaner from kingship and for officiating rituals etc., oh, Rama, sage Vishvamitra because sympathetic.

kaarunyaat sa mahaatejaa vaakyam parama dhaarmikah || 1-58-14

idam jagaada bhadram te raajaanam ghora darshanam |

The great-resplendent sage and highly generous Vishvamitra firstly said to that king who is in a terrible aspect 'let safety betide you,' and then spoke on this sentence to him. [1-58-14]

kim aagamana kaaryam te raajaputra mahaabala || 1-58-15

ayodhyaa adhipate viira shaapaat candaalataam gatah |

What is the purpose of your visit, oh, great-mighty prince Trishanku, oh, brave lord of Ayodhya, you are accurst [being under a curse] to the state of profaner.' [1-58-15, 16a]

atha tat vaakyam aakarnya raajaa candaalataam gatah || 1-58-16

abraviit praa.njalih vaakyam vaakyajno vaakya kovidam |

Then that king who is accurst [being under or as if under a curse] to a state of profaner [to treat (something sacred) with abuse, irreverence, or contempt] on listening that sentence, as a diligent sentence maker spoke this sentence with his palms adjoined to the sententious sage Vishvamitra. [1-58-16b, 17a]

pratyaakhyaato asmi gurunaa guru putraih tathaa eva ca || 1-58-17

anavaapya eva tam kaamam mayaa praapto viparyayah |

I am spurned [declined] off by my mentor Vashishta and also like that by his sons. My aspiration remained unachievable, besides, this discrepancy has bechanced [befall] upon me. [1-58-17b, 18a]

sa shariiro divam yaayaami iti me saumya darshana || 1-58-18

mayaa ca istam kratu shatam tat ca na avaapyate phalam |

Oh, gentle Vishvamitra, my aspiration is nothing but to go to heaven with my body. I have performed hundred rituals but I have not achieved the fruit.' Thus Trishanku started tell his sad tale.

anritam na ukta puurvam me na ca vaksye kadaacana || 1-58-19

kricchresu api gatah saumya ksatra dharmena te shape |

And now if you doubt me to be a liar, I am no liar either. I spoke no lie heretofore, and even if I were to land into any predicament I do not speak lies anytime hereinafter. Oh, gentle sage, this I pledge you upon my virtue of Kshatriya-hood. [1-58-19, 20a]

yajnaih bahu vidhaih istam prajaa dharmena paalitaah || 1-58-20

guravah ca mahaatmaanah shiila vrittena tositaah |

I have propitiated Gods with many kinds of Vedic-rituals. I have reigned over people conscientiously. And with my conduct and comport the high-souled savants are also pleased. [1-58-20b, 21a]

dharme prayatamaanasya yajnam ca aahartum icchatah || 1-58-21

paritosam na gacchanti guravo munipu.mgava |

While I am a pursuant in probity [adherence to the highest principles and ideals] I expect to avail myself of the fruition of this kind of Vedic-ritual. Oh, eminent sage Vishvamitra, but my mentors are not deriving complete contentment by my pursuit. Hence, they shove me off. [1-58-21b, 22a]

daivam eva param manye paurusam tu nirarthakam || 1-58-22

daivena aakramyate sarvam daivam hi paramaa gatih |

I deem destiny is the only ultimate, and manly efforts are meaningless, for destiny surmounts [overcomes] everything. Destiny is the ultimate course, isn't it? [1-58-22b, 23a]

tasya me parama aartasya prasaadam abhikaa.nksatah |

kartum arhasi bhadram te daiva upahata karmanah || 1-58-23

 'A highly anguished endeavourer, marred by destiny, a sincere requester, such as I am, it will be apt of you to accord, you be safe, your favor upon me. [1-58-23b, c]

na anyaam gatim gamisyaami na anyah sharanam asti me |

daivam purusa kaarena nivar.htayitum arhhasi || 1-58-24

In no alternate course I wish to course through and no alternative shelter is there for me. Hence, it will be apt of you, a God in man's mien [appearance], to countervail [equal or match] my destiny.' Thus Trishanku prayed for the grace of Vishvamitra... So said Sage Shataananda to Rama and others continuing the legend of Vishvamitra. [1-58-24]

iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye baala kaande asta pa.ncaashah sargah

Thus, this is the 58th 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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