King Dasharatha Refuses Vishvamitra’s Request


On enquiring details about those dangerous demons that are ravaging sage's ritual, King Dasharatha refuses to send young Rama along with Sage Vishvamitra on many an account, and thus confronts the Sage's wrath.

Chapter [Sarga] 20 in Detail

On hearing what is spoken by Vishvamitra the tigerly-king Dasharatha became insensate [lacking sense or understanding] for a time, and on redeeming senses he said this. [1-20-1]

Less than sixteen years of age is my lotus-eyed Rama, and I see no warring aptitude [inclination] to him with the demons. [1-20-2]

"Here is the full-fledged battalion [army], called akshouhini sena , for which I am the leader and controller, and fortified by this army I will go there to encounter those demons. [1-20-3]

"Brave and daring are these soldiers of mine, and as experts in weaponry they are the appropriate ones to combat the hordes [crowd] of demons, but, it will be ungentle of you to take Rama with you. [1-20-4]

"I alone with bow in my hand can protect your ritual, and as long as I bear my lives so long I war with those nightwalkers staying in the van [a usually enclosed wagon] of war. [1-20-5]

“I myself wish to come over there thereby the works of ritual will be well-guarded and unimpeded [not disturbed], but, taking Rama with you will be ungracious of you. [1-20-6]

"Why because Rama is boy! And he is unschooled [not trained] in his princely education; does he know the strengths and weaknesses of opponents – no; has he got the equipage [material or articles] of arsenal – no; has he any expertise in warfare - no; is he an equal to the demons – no; be that as it may, those demons definitely conduct a deceitful [deceptive or cunning] warfare, isn't it. [1-19-7, 8a]

"Alienated from Rama I am disinclined to live even for a moment, oh, tigerly sage, hence taking Rama with you will be unjust. [1-20-8b, 9a]

"Otherwise, oh, Brahman with best vows, if you so wish to take Rama along with you, you lead him off along with me, and along with my four kinds of troops. [1-20-9b, 10a]

"Sixty thousand years have passed from my birth, oh! Vishvamitra, and this Rama is engendered [originate] at this age, that too with tribulations [a trying experience], hence taking Rama with you will be inappropriate of you. [1-20-10b, 11a]

"I will have exceptional affection for all of my four sons, isn't it, and among them Rama has a significance in the matter of his descent as an eldest son, hence taking Rama with you will be unjust of you. [1-20-11b, 12a]

"Oh, eminent sage, of what fortitude are those demons? Whose sons are they? Who are they? How is their size and shape? Also who protects all of them? [1-20-12b, 13a]

"Oh, Brahman, how Rama, or my forces, or I myself have to retaliate [to get revenge] those demons that are deceitful [cunning] militants. [1-20-13b, 14a]

"Tell me all that, oh, god, how I have to carry on when warring with those evil minded demons, for the demons will be delirious [characteristic of frenzied excitement] by their audacity [bold or arrogance], isn't it..." Thus Dasharatha asked Vishvamitra insistently. On hearing those words Sage Vishvamitra replied this way. [1-20-14b, 15]

"One born in Paulastya dynasty, an extremely mighty and exceedingly brave demon named Ravana is there, and he with the boon given by Brahma and accompanied with many other demons is torturing the triad of worlds, contemptuously [lack of respect or reverence]. [1-20-16, 17a]

"Unequivocally that chief of demons is the brother of Kubera and the son of sage Vishravasa, thus we hear. [1-20-17b, 18a]

"That formidable Ravana is not a devastator [destroyer] of rituals by himself, even so, two very mighty demons called Maareecha and Subaahu will cause devastating hindrances to rituals, instigated [provoked] by him." Thus Sage Vishvamitra said to Dasharatha. [1-20-18b, 19]

Thus when he is said so by that sage Vishvamitra, then the king Dasharatha spoke to the sage, "I myself am not capable of standing against that evil minded Ravana, in truth, where is the question of deputing [delegating] my young Rama to confront him? [1-20-20]

"You are the knower of probity [adherence to the highest principles and ideals], such as you are, you may please bestow benevolence [act of kindness] upon my boyish son, as well on a less fortunate one like me too, and as our mentor you are indeed a God of ours. [1-20-21]

"Gods, demons, celestial beings like Gandharva-s, Yaksha-s, winged and reptile beings are incapable to bear the brunt of that Ravana in fight, why tell again about humans. [1-20-22]

"But that Ravana depletes [empties] the valor [courage] of valorous [courageous] opponents in a battle, oh, eminent sage, either with my entire forces, or with all my sons I am inadequate to grapple [a contest for superiority or mastery] with all his forces, or with him, individually. [1-20-23, 24a]

"My boyish son is Godlike and unfledged in warfare, oh, Brahman, and he is the one who alleviates [relieves] me from punnama naraka the hell of sonless fathers... no, I cannot spare my son in anyway. [1-20-24b, 25a]

"Further, those saboteurs [one that practices destruction] of your ritual namely Maareecha and Subaahu, are similar to Death-god and the descendents of the earliest demons and subverters [to overturn or overthrow from the foundation] of rituals, namely Sunda and Upasunda, no, I cannot spare my son, in any case. [1-20-25b, 26a]

"Maareecha and Subaahu are well-trained and valorous ones, hence I will proceed with all my friendly forces to war with either of those two demons, otherwise, I along with all my relatives implore upon you for your exoneration [to clear from accusation or blame] in my failure to comply my own promises. [1-20-26b, 27]

Thus, by the incongruous [unsuitable] talk of Dasharatha, the outstanding Brahman and son of Sage Kushi, namely sage Vishvamitra is overwhelmed with outrageous anger by his mentation [mental activity], and that fire-like glorious sage looked like the ritual fire into which many inflammable oblations are offered, and which is drenched with a lot of clarified butter, whereby it is flaring up its tongues. [1-20-28]

Thus, this is the 20th chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate