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Chapter 62: Shunahshepa Approaches Vishvamitra for Help

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Shunashepa Approaches Vishvamitra for Help

 

Summary

Sage Vishvamitra curses his sons as they defy his orders and accords two esoteric [confidential] hymns [a song of praise to God] to Shunashepa, for chanting them in the Vedic-ritual of Ambariisha. Shunashepa gets longevity on chanting those hymns. Thus Vishvamitra not only creates another universe as in Trishanku's episode, he even accords longevity, or even deathlessness to mortals by his ascetic power. Such as he is, he is the mentor of Rama, and hence Sage Shataananda informs Rama about the capabilities of his own mentor, Vishvamitra, in these many episodes.

Chapter [Sarga] 62 – in Detail

shunahshepam narashrestha grihiitvaa tu mahaayashaah |

vyashraamat puskare raajaa madhyaahne raghuna.ndana || 1-62-1

Oh, Rama, the best one among men and the legatee of Raghu, on taking Shunashepa that highly renowned king Ambariisha took rest at noontime on the lakeside of Holy Lake. Thus Sage Shataananda continued the legend of Shunashepa, as a part of Vishvamitra's legend. [1-62-1]

tasya vishramamaanasya shunahshepo mahaayashaah |

puskaram jyestham aagamya vishvaamitram dadarsha ha || 1-62-2

tapyantam risibhih saartham maatulam parama aaturah |

While the king Ambariisha is taking rest that highly brilliant Shunashepa came to the lakeside of main Holy Lake with high anxiety, and there he indeed saw his maternal uncle Sage Vishvamitra who is performing asceticism along with other sages. [1-62-2, 3a]

visanna vadano diinah trisnayaa ca shramena ca || 1-62-3

papaata anke mune raama vaakyam ca idam uvaaca ha |

Shunashepa became pitiable and sulky [gloomy] faced by strain and thirst, oh, Rama, and he immediately fell in the lap of saint Vishvamitra saying this sentence. [1-62-3b, 4a]

na me asti maataa na pitaa jnaatayo baandhavaah kutah || 1-62-4

traatum ar.hhasi maam saumya dharmena munipu.ngava |

I have no mother or a father to save me. Then wherefore cousins or relatives will be there to protect me. Oh, peaceable saint the eminent, it will be apt of you to protect me according to saintliness. [1-62-4b, 5a]

traataa tvam hi narashrestha sarvesaam tvam hi bhaavanah || 1-62-5

raajaa ca kritakaaryah syaat aham diirgha aayuh avyayah |

svarga lokam upaashniiyaam tapah taptvaa hi anuttamam || 1-62-6

Oh, illustrious sage, you alone are the savior to each and every one, isn't it! You alone are the guardian angel, isn't it! Hence, let the purpose of the king Ambariisha be achieved, and let longevity come to me, and I on becoming imperishable and indeed on performing an unexcelled asceticism, I wish to enjoy in heavenly worlds. [1-62-5b, 6]

sa me naatho hi anaathasya bhava bhavyena cetasaa |

pitaa iva putram dharmaaatman traatum ar.hhasi kilbisaat || 1-62-7

You shall be my providence [state or people] with a providential sentiment as I stand unprotected, and oh, virtue souled one, it will be apt of you to protect me from misfortune, like a father protecting his own son.' Thus Shunashepa appealed to Vishvamitra. [1-62-7]

tasya tat vacanam shrutvaa vishvaamitro mahaatapaah |

saantvayitvaa bahu vidham putraan idam uvaaca ha || 1-62-8

On hearing that sentence of Shunashepa and on pacifying him in many ways, Vishvamitra of higher asceticism indeed said this to his sons. [1-62-8]

yat krite pitarah putraan janayanti shubha arthinah |

para loka hita arthaaya tasya kaalo ayam aagatah || 1-62-9

For what reason parents engender sons, desiring positivity [something that is positive] and for the purpose of welfare in the other worlds, this is the time that has come for fulfilling that reason. [1-62-9]

ayam muni suto baalo mattah sharanam icchati |

asya jiivita maatrena priyam kuruta putrakaah || 1-62-10

This youngster is the son of sage and he aspires shelter from me. Hence, oh, sons, give him satisfaction just by giving life to him. [1-62-10]

sarve sukrita karmaanah sarve dharma paraayanaah |

pashu bhuutaa narendrasya triptim agneh prayacchata || 1-62-11

You all have done very good pious deeds and you all abide by probity [adherence to the highest principles and ideals]. Hence, you bestow appeasement to Fire-God on your becoming the ritual-animals of king Ambariisha in lieu [place] of this boy Shunashepa. [1-62-11]

naathanaan ca shunahshepo yajnah ca avighnato bhavet |

devataah tarpitaah ca syuh mama ca api kritam vacah || 1-62-12

As a result, Shunashepa will have protectors, Vedic-ritual will be unimpeded, Gods will be oblated [offer], and my word too will be actualized.' Thus Vishvamitra said to his sons. [1-62-12]

muneh tu vacanam shrutvaa madhusyanda aadayah sutaah |

sa abhimaanam narashrestha sa liilam idam abruvan || 1-62-13

But on hearing the saying of the sage, oh, Rama, the best of men, Madhushyanda and the other sons of Vishvamitra said this, haughtily and disparagingly. [1-62-13]

katham aatma sutaan hitvaa traayase anya sutam vibho |

akaaryam iva pashyaamah shva maamsam iva bhojane || 1-62-14

On sacrificing your own sons how can you save another's son, oh, lordly father, we deem this as a wrongdoing and as good as dog's meat in a dinner.' Thus the sons of Vishvamitra replied their father. [1-62-14]

tesaam tat vacanam shrutvaa putraanaam munipu.ngavah |

krodha sa.mrakta nayano vyaahartum upacakrame || 1-62-15

On listening that saying of his sons that eminent sage Vishvamitra started to curse them while fury reddened his eyes. [1-62-15]

nihsaadhvasam idam proktam dharmaat api vigarhitam |

atikramya tu mat vaakyam daarunam roma harsanam || 1-62-16

You all have not only transgressed [violated] my word, but pertly [vivaciously] replied me in an impudent [lacking modesty] manner which is abhorrent [strongly opposed] and hair-raising, and recriminatory [accusations] according to probity [adherence to the highest principles and ideals]. [1-62-16]

shva maamsa bhojinah sarve vaasisthaa iva jaatisu |

puurnam varsa sahasram tu prithivyaam anuvatsyatha || 1-62-17

 You all will be whirling around the earth totally for a thousand years taking birth in the race that subsists [exist] on dog's meat, like the sons of Vashishta.' Thus Vishvamitra cursed his sons. [1-62-17]

kritvaa shaapa samaayuktaan putraan munivarah tadaa |

shunahshepam uvaaca aartam kritvaa raksaam niraamayaam || 1-62-18

On making his sons bounden by curse, then that best saint spoke to the pitiable Shunashepa, on making unharmed invulnerability to him with sanctifying hymns. [1-62-18]

pavitra paashair baddho rakta maalya anulepanah |

vaisnavam yuupam aasaadya vaagbhih agnim udaahara || 1-62-19

When you are fastened with sacred fastener to the sacrificial post of Vishnu, smeared with red paste and garlanded with red garlands, you praisefully address the Fire-God with the words I going to impart to you in Vedic hymns. [1-62-19]

ime ca gaathe dve divye gaayethaa muni putraka |

a.mbariisasya yajne asmin tatah siddhim avaapsyasi || 1-62-20

These two divine hymns, oh, son of saint, shall be chanted in the Vedic-ritual of Ambariisha, then you will obtain your aspiration.' Thus Vishvamitra taught two Vedic hymns to the boy. [1-62-20]

shunahshepo grihiitvaa te dve gaathe susamaahitah |

tvarayaa raaja simham tam ambariisam uvaaca ha || 1-62-21

Shunashepa having taken those two hymns from Vishvamitra very attentively has instantly gone to that lion-king Ambariisha and indeed spoke to him. [1-62-21]

raaja simha mahaabuddhe shiighram gacchaavahe vayam |

nivartayasva raajendra diiksaam ca samudaahara || 1-62-22

Oh, king the lion, let us go promptly to your ritual place, oh, best king, you may apply yourself to your pledge in completing the ritual, with me as its sacrificial animal,' thus the boy said. [1-62-22]

tat vaakyam risi putrasya shrutvaa harsa samanvitah |

jagaama nripatih shiighram yajna vaatam atandritah || 1-62-23

On listening that sentence of the son of sage, the king Ambariisha is gladdened and proceeded to the ritual hall immediately and spiritedly. [1-62-23]

sadasya anumate raajaa pavitra krita laksanam |

pashum rakta ambaram kritvaa yuupe tam samabandhayat || 1-62-24

The king with the permission of officiators of ritual got the boy prepared as a ritual animal with sanctified bodily features and clad him in red clothes and got him securely fastened to the sacrificial post. [1-62-24]

sa baddho vaagbhih agryaabhih abhitustaava vai surau |

indram indra anujam caiva yathaavat muni putrakah || 1-62-25

When Shunashepa is tied to ritual post he immensely pleased two Gods, namely Indra and Upendra as well, with those two hymns he got from Vishvamitra. [1-62-25]

tatah priitah sahasra akso rahasya stuti tositah |

diirgham aayuh tadaa praadaat shunahshepaaya raaghava || 1-62-26

Then the Thousand-eyed Indra who is satisfied with esoteric [confidential] laudation [the act of praising] is gladdened, and oh, Raghava, then he bestowed longevity to Shunashepa. [1-62-26]

sa ca raajaa narashrestha yajnasya ca samaaptavaan |

phalam bahu gunam raama sahasraaksa prasaadajam || 1-62-27

Oh, Rama, the best one among men, he that king Ambariisha also obtained the fruits of that Vedic-ritual in many-fold, resulted from the grace of Thousand-eyed Indra. [1-62-27]

vishvaamitro api dharmaatmaa bhuuyah tepe mahaatapaah |

puskaresu narashrestha dasha varsa shataani ca || 1-62-28

Oh, Rama, the best among men, even the virtue-souled great ascetic Vishvamitra again performed asceticism at the same Holy lakeside for another thousand years. Thus Sage Shataananda continued the narration of Vishvamitra's legend. [1-62-28]

iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye baala kaande dvi sastitamah sargah

Thus, this is the 62nd 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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