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Chapter 63: Vishvamitra Becomes a Rishi and then a Maharshi

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Vishvamitra Becomes a Rishi and then a Maharshi

 

Summary

On Vishvamitra's performing severe asceticism Brahma accords the sage-ship of 'Great-sage' to him, whereas Vishvamitra's ambition is to acquire the sage-ship of a 'Brahma-sage' Absolute-sage-ship. In the meanwhile, the celestial wench Menaka arrives at that place and Vishvamitra is enticed [tempted] by her beauty and spends some years with her. Later, on realizing the he should have won over lust, he further undertakes severe asceticism, by which Gods are perturbed [confused].

Vishvamitra Becomes a Rishi and then a Maharshi

Chapter [Sarga] 63 – in Detail

puurne varsa sahasre tu vrata snaatam mahaamunim |

abhyaagacchan suraah sarve tapah phala cikiirsavah || 1-63-1

When thousand years are completed in asceticism and when that great saint Vishvamitra took a bath of solemnity, all the Gods have come forward wishing to accord the fruit of that asceticism to Vishvamitra. Thus Sage Shataananda continued the legend of Vishvamitra. [1-63-1]

abraviit su mahaatejaa brahmaa su ruciram vacah |

risih tvam asi bhadram te sva arjitaih karhmabhih shubhaih || 1-63-2

The very highly resplendent Brahma spoke to him with highly palatable [agreeable or acceptable to the mind] words, you have now become a kingly sage by virtue of auspicious deeds you have personally undertaken, let safeness betide you. [1-63-2]

tam evam uktvaa deveshah tridivam punah abhyagaat |

vishvaamitro mahaatejaa bhuuyah tepe mahat tapah || 1-63-3

On speaking to Vishvamitra in that way Brahma returned to heaven and that highly vigorous Vishvamitra again performed a great asceticism. [1-63-3]

tatah kaalena mahataa menakaa parama apsaraah |

puskaresu nara shrestha snaatum samupacakrame || 1-63-4

Then at a long lost time Menaka, the prominent Apsara, celestial wench, has arrived and started to swim for sport in that holy lake. [1-63-4]

taam dadarsha mahaatejaa menakaam kushika aatmajah |

ruupena apratimaam tatra vidyutam jalade yathaa || 1-63-5

That great resplendent sage Vishvamitra has seen Menaka who is incomparable in her mien [appearance] and comparable to an electric-flash in a black-cloud (i.e. lightning), while she is swimming in the holy lake. [1-63-5]

dristvaa kandarpa vashago munih taam idam abraviit |

apsarah svaagatam te astu vasa ca iha mama aashrame || 1-63-6

anugrihniisva bhadram te madanena su mohitam |

On seeing her the sage having gone under the sway o Love-God said this to her, 'oh, Apsara, you are welcome, I invite you to bide [a temporary stay] in my hermitage. Oblige [agree] me who am bewitched by Love-God for you. You be safe. [1-63-6, 7a]

iti uktaa saa varaarohaa tatra vaasam atha akarot || 1-63-7

tapaso hi mahaavighno vishvaamitram upaagatam |

tasyaam vasantyaam varhsaani panca panca ca raaghava || 1-63-8

vishvaamitra aashrame saumya sukhena vyaticakramuh |

When he said thus to her, oh, Raghava, then she made a stopover there and ten years rolled by comfortably, and oh, gentle Rama, because of her staying Vishvamitra is indeed faced with a great hindrance in his asceticism. [1-63-7b, 8, 9a]

atha kaale gate tasmin vishvaamitro mahaamunih || 1-63-9

sa vriida iva sa.mvrittah cintaa shoka paraayanah |

buddhir muneh samutpannaa sa amarsaa raghuna.ndana || 1-63-10

Then after the lapse of that ten year period Vishvamitra became doleful [sad] with distress and he is enwrapped [put into] in humiliation, as it were, and, oh, Rama, Raghu's legatee, then a resentful thought occurred to him. [1-63-9b, 10]

sarvam suraanaam karma etat tapo apaharanam mahat |

aho raatraa apadeshena gataah samvatsaraa dasha || 1-63-11

kaama moha abhibhuutasya vighno ayam pratyupasthitah |

All this is the mischief of Gods to defraud [cheat] me of the great merit of my asceticism. Ten years have rolled by as if they are just a day and a night. Furthermore, I who am under the influence of lust and lure had to encounter this hindrance in my asceticism. [1-63-11, 12a]

sa vinihshvasan munivarah pashcaattaapena duhkhitah || 1-63-12

bhiitaam apsarasam dristvaa vepantiim praa.njalim sthitaam |

menakaam madhuraih vaakyaih visrijya kushika aatmajah || 1-63-13

uttaram parvatam raama vishvaamitro jagaama ha |

Oh, Rama, that best saint suspired [to draw a long deep breath] heavily when he became emotional with reparation [repent]. But on seeing the scared celestial wench [girl] Menaka, who is shivering and waiting with suppliantly adjoined palms, he sent her away with pleasant words, and he that Vishvamitra indeed went to the northern Himalayan mountain. [1-63-12b, 13, 14a]

sa kritvaa naisthikiim buddhim jetu kaamo mahaayashaah || 1-63-14

kaushikii tiiram aasaadya tapah tepe duraasadam |

He that highly celebrated sage who made a resolve to attain a sang-froid [self-possession] temperament and to vanquish lust, performed an unsurpassable asceticism on reaching the riverbank of River Kaushiki. [1-63-14b, 15a]

tasya varsa sahasraani ghoram tapa upaasatah || 1-63-15

uttare parhvate raama devataanaam abhuut bhayam |

Oh, Rama, while he reverently performed an unspeakable asceticism for a thousand years on the northern mountain, namely Himalayas, then fear occurred to Gods. [1-63-15b, 16a]

amantrayan samaagamya sarve sa risi ganaah suraah || 1-63-16

maharsi shabdam labhataam saadhu ayam kushika aatmajah |

All Gods coming together with assemblages of sages have approached Brahma and conveyed that, 'this Vishvamitra, the son of Kushika, may duly be given the epithet [expression or name] of 'Maharshi, Exalted Sage.' [1-63-16b, 17a]

devataanaam vacah shrutvaa sarva loka pitaamahah || 1-63-17

abraviit madhuram vaakyam vishvaamitram tapo dhanam |

On listening the advice of Gods, Brahma, the Grandparent of all the worlds, spoke these pleasant words to the ascetically wealthy Vishvamitra. [1-63-17b, 18a]

maharse svaagatam vatsa tapasaa ugrena tositah || 1-63-18

mahattvam risi mukhyatvam dadaami tava kaushika |

Oh, exalted sage, I welcome you my dear, as I am gladdened by your stern [severe] asceticism, oh, Kaushika, I bestow upon you the sublimity [dignity or honor] and supremacy among sages.' [1-63-18b, 19a]

brahmanah sa vacah shrutvaa vishvaamitrah tapo dhanah || 1-63-19

praa.njalih pranato bhuutvaa pratyuvaaca pitaamaham |

And on hearing the words of Brahma he that ascetically wealthy Vishvamitra became obeisant [acknowledgment of another's superiority] and replied the Grandparent adjoining his palms suppliantly [humbly]. [1-63-19b, 20a]

brahmarsi shabdam atulam sva ar.hjitaih kar.hmabhih shubhaih || 1-63-20

yadi me bhagavaan aaha tato aham vijita indriyah |

 'If your Godhead had said that I am a Brahma-sage, a sage-ship acquired personally by my pious deeds, rather than an exalted sage, then I would have become one who is really self-conquered.' Thus Vishvamitra said to Brahma. [1-63-20, 21a]

tam uvaaca tato brahmaa na taavat tvam jita indriyah || 1-63-21

yatasva muni shaarduula iti uktvaa tridivam gatah |

Brahma then said to him, 'your senses remain unconquered as such, oh, tigerly sage, make an effort for it.' Saying so Brahma went heavenward. [1-63-21b, 22a]

viprasthitesu devesu vishvaamitro mahaamunih || 1-63-22

uurdhva baahuh niraala.mbo vaayu bhaksah tapah caran |

While the Gods who came here along with Brahma have returned, that great sage Vishvamitra undertook another round of asceticism by standing in levitation [to rise or float], upraising his arms, and subsisting on air alone. [1-63-22b, 23a]

dharme pa.nca tapaa bhuutvaa varsaasu aakaasha sa.mshrayah || 1-63-23

shishire salile shaayii raatri ahaani tapo dhanah |

evam varsa sahasram hi tapo ghoram upaagamat || 1-63-24

In summer he became the Five-Fire Ascetic, in rainy season open sky is his rooftop, and in winter water is his reclining bed even by day or by night, and thus that ascetically wealthy Vishvamitra indeed undertook a severe asceticism in this way, for another thousand years. [1-63-23b, 24]

tasmin samtapyamaane tu vishvaamitre mahaamunau |

samtaapah sumahaan aasiit suraanaam vaasavasya ca || 1-63-25

While that great saint is undertaking fervent [exhibiting or marked by great intensity of feeling] asceticism it has become a very high burning problem to Gods and even to Indra. [1-63-25]

rambhaam apsarasam shakrah saha sarvaih marut ganaih |

uvaaca aatma hitam vaakyam ahitam kaushikasya ca || 1-63-26

Then Indra along with all the assemblages of the Air-Gods spoke to Rambha, the celestial wench, words that are advantageous to himself, but disadvantageous to the son of sage Kushi, namely Vishvamitra. Thus Sage Shataananda continued his narration. [1-63-26]

iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye baala kaande tri sastitamah sargah

Thus, this is the 63rd 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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