Passing the Night at the Confluence of the Ganges and Sarayu


Rama and Lakshmana proceeding with Vishvamitra sojourn [for a temporary stay] in a hermitage at a place where River Ganga and River Sarayu are confluent [coming together]. Once God Shiva with his third eye burnt down the physical entity of Manmatha, the Love-god, at this place.

Chapter [Sarga] 23 in Detail

At dawn after that night the great saint Vishvamitra spoke to the legatees [one to whom a legacy is bequeathed] of Kakutstha, Rama and Lakshmana, those that are sleeping on a grass bed. [1-23-1]

"Fortunate is Kausalya to beget [get] you as her son Rama... get up oh, tigerly-man, eastern aurora [dawn] is emerging, daytime tasks towards Gods are to be performed." [1-23-2]

On hearing the benign [of a gentle disposition] words of the sage those valorous and best ones among men got up, bathed, and on offering water oblation they mediated [to act as intermediary agent] upon the supreme hymn, namely Gayatri. [1-23-3]

On performing their dawn time duties those two stalwarts [marked by outstanding strength and vigor of body, mind, or spirit], Rama and Lakshmana, enthusiastically presented themselves before the ascetically rich sage Vishvamitra for further journey, duly venerating [to regard or treat with reverence] him. [1-23-4]

Then on traveling some more distance those two great valiant ones, there they have seen the divine river that courses in three ways, namely Ganga, at the auspicious confluence [coming together] of River Sarayu. [1-23-5]

There they have seen the merited hermitage of sages with contemplative [marked by concentration on spiritual things] souls, and who are practicing supreme asceticism for many thousand years. [1-23-6]

On seeing that merited hermitage Rama and Lakshmana are highly pleased and said this word to that great-soul Sage Vishvamitra. [1-23-7]

"Whose hermitage is this merited one? Indeed who is the celebrity that lives therein? Oh, Godly sage, we are interested to listen, and we are truly inquisitive [curious] about it." Thus they asked. [1-23-8]

On hearing their words the eminent sage Vishvamitra said smilingly, “whose hermitage is this in earlier times that may be listened." Thus Vishvamitra started to narrate. [1-23-9]

"When Love-God was with his body wise men used to call him Kama, the passion. At this place, that Love-God with his naughty intent braved god of gods Shiva who had been practicing asceticism and who concentrated observantly [keenly], and who was returning after his marriage along with his followers, namely the Wind-gods and that great soul Shiva disapprovingly roared at Love-god. [1-23-10, 11]

"And Rama, the wrathful third-eye of Shiva destroyed the lewd-minded [evil minded] Love-god making all his limbs to fall down from his body. [1-23-12]

"There the body of Love-god is evanesced [vanished] when that great soul Shiva burnt it down, and by the anger of that God of Gods Shiva, Love-god is rendered as a bodiless entity. [1-23-13]

Then onwards Love-god is renowned as Ananga, as he is without body, and where his body is given up that is renowned as Anga province. [1-23-14]

"This merited hermitage thus belongs to Shiva and, oh, brave Rama, these sages abiding [listening] in virtue are Shiva's disciples at one time, thus sin is unverifiable with them. [1-23-15]

"Let us stay for this night in this hermitage situated in between two meritorious [deserving of honor or esteem] rivers Ganga and Sarayu, oh, Rama with auspicious mien [appearance], tomorrow we will cross over the River Ganga. [1-23-16]

"Let us all purify ourselves by taking our bath, performing our meditations, offering our daily oblations, and then let us enter this meritorious hermitage, thus our stay in here will be comforting to us." So said Vishvamitra to Rama and Lakshmana. [1-23-17, 18a]

When they are discussing there the sages of that hermitage are highly gladdened to perceive [see] them with their sixth-sense, and on approaching them enchanted they offered water for hands and feet wash and then offered hospitality firstly to Sage Vishvamitra. [1-23-18, 19]

Afterwards those sages of that hermitage have accorded [more at heart] reception to Rama and Lakshmana, and applauded by Vishvamitra for their hospitality those sages have entertained Rama and other guests with myths and legends. [1-23-20]

Those sages with concentrated minds and according to one's own aptitude have meditated upon the deity of sunset when it is sundown, followed by Rama and others. Then led into hermitage by those sages who are with pious commitments and who are dwelling there, Rama and others have very comfortably stayed in the precincts [place] of Shiva's hermitage. [1-23-21]

Later the eminent saint and virtue-souled one, Vishvamitra, delighted the delightful princes with delightful stories, in the night. [1-23-22]

Thus, this is the 23rd chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate