The Sage Narada Summarizes the Ramayana to Valmiki

In the first chapter of Bala Kanda the gist [the main points] of Ramayana is imbibed [absorbed] and it called samkshepa [summarized] Ramayana, or also called Bala Ramayana. The Youngsters are asked to recite these stanzas daily for longevity and a perfect personality like that of Rama.


Divine sage Narada arrives at the hermitage of Sage Valmiki in order to enlighten him and keep him informed of his duty to author the epic poem Ramayana. In the dialogue between these two sages, Valmiki elicits [brings out] from Narada about most virtuous person on earth, namely Rama. In this opening chapter, while eulogizing [to speak or write in high praise of] Rama, Narada gives an outline of Ramayana, truly highlighting those aspects that are the keynotes in this epic, like virtuosity, generosity, morality, chastity and the like.

Valmiki Ramayana is said to have been composed basing on each of the twenty-four letters of Gayatri Hymn, and a thousand verses are arranged into one book under the caption of each letter.

Chapter [Sarga] 1 in Detail

A thoughtful-mediator, an eternally studious sage in scriptures about the Truth and Untruth, a sagacious [farsighted] thinker, and a sublime enunciator [announcer] among all expert enunciators [announcers] is Narada, and with such a Divine Sage Narada, the Sage-Poet Valmiki is inquisitively enquiring about a man who is a composite for all merited endowments [natural capacity, power, or ability] in his form and caliber. [1-1-1]

"Who really is that person in this present world, who is principled, and also a potential one, a conscientious [upright] one, a redeemer [winner], and also a truth-teller and self-determined in his deed... [1-1-2]

"Who is he conduct-wise blend with good-conduct... who in respect of all beings is benign [of a gentle disposition]... who is adept [expert] and also the ablest [marked by intelligence, knowledge, skill, or competence] one... also uniquely good to look to... [1-1-3]

"Who is that courageous one, who controlled his ire [anger], who is brilliant, non-jealous and even whom do the gods fear, when provoked to war... [1-1-4]

"All this I wish to listen from you, oh! Great Sage, as you are a mastermind to know this kind of man, and indeed my inquisitiveness [curiosity] is immense..." Thus Valmiki enquired with Narada. [1-1-5]

On listening all those words of Valmiki, the preceptor [teacher] of all the three worlds, Sage Narada, said "let it be heard..." and beckoning [attractive] at Sage Valmiki to listen attentively, he spoke these words very gladly. [1-1-6]

"Oh! Sage Valmiki, the merits which you have extolled [to praise highly] are many, and unattainable even for great emperors, let alone ordinary humans, and also infinite are they... but, about such a man with such merits I will speak on... for I, having known from Brahma of such a man, will make clear about that man..." Thus Narada started to say. [1-1-7]

"One emerged from Ikshvaku dynasty and known to people as Rama by his name, and he is conscientious [upright], highly valorous, resplendent [shining brilliantly], and steadfast and a controller of vice and vile... and his own senses, as well... [1-1-8]

"He is an adept one, moralist, learned, propitious [auspicious], and a destroyer of enemies. His arms are lengthy, and his neck is like a conch-shell, and cheekbones high... [1-1-9]

"He is lion-chested, thick-shouldered, knee-length are his arms, and his is longbow, an enemy-subjugator [to make submissive], and his emperor's countenance [face] is with a crowning-head with an ample forehead, and his pacing is lion-like... [1-1-10]

"He is medium-sized physically, with limbs poised symmetrically, sinew-chested [solid resilient strength], wide-eyed, complexioned glossily... he is a prosperous personality with all the providential features, and thus he is self-resplendent... [1-1-11]

"He is the knower of rectitude [righteousness], bidden by the truth, also his concern is in the welfare of subjects, proficient in prudence [shrewdness in the management of affairs], clean in his conduct, self-controlled and a diligent one, thus he is glorious... [1-1-12]

"He equals the Omniscient [having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight], he is an exalted one for he is the sustainer of all worlds, and he eliminates enemies completely, thus he is a guardian of all living beings and he guards probity [adherence to the highest principles and ideals], in its entirety... [1-1-13]

"He is the champion of his own self-righteousness and also champions for adherent's [followers] welfare in the same righteousness, and he is a scholar in the essence of Veda-s and their ancillaries, too. He is an expert in Dhanur or Bow Veda, the Art of Archery... [1-1-14]

"He is the knower of the meaning and essence of all the scriptures, excellent at memory thus brilliant, and an esteemed one in all the worlds, gentle, level-headed and clear-headed in discriminating and distinguishing... [1-1-15]

"Like an ocean that is reached by many rivers accessibly, that reverential [having a quality of honor] one too is always accessible and reachable by clean-minded ones, and he treats all equally, and ever a feast to eye... [1-1-16]

"He who betters the happiness of his mother Kausalya is an embodiment [incarnation] of all noble merits, and in profundity [intellectual depth] he is like an unfathomable ocean, and by fortitude he is unalterable like the kingly Himalayan Mountain... [1-1-17]

"In valor Rama is comparable with Vishnu, and in his looks he is attractive like full-moon, he equals the earth in his perseverance, but he is matchable with era-end-fire in his wrath... and in benevolence [gifting] he is identical to Kubera, God of Wealth-Management, and in his candor [unstained purity] he is like Dharma itself, the other God Probity [adherence to the highest principles and ideals] on earth... [1-1-18, 19a]

"Rama being the possessor of suchlike merits, whose truthfulness alone is his courage, embodied with best intrinsic values, ever involved in the welfare of people, besides being the dear and eldest son of Dasharatha, and hence the king Dasharatha affectionately intended to establish such a Rama as crown prince to all intents and purposes of country's welfare...[1-1-29b, 20, 21a]

"Then on seeing the arrangements for the anointment [designation] of Rama as crown-prince, Kaikeyi, the dear wife and a queen of Dasharatha, claimed boons that were once accorded to her by Dasharatha, which are the banishment of Rama and anointment [[designation] of Bharata. [1-2-21b 22]

"Bound by the truthfulness of his plighted [unfortunate] word and by the halter [restrainer] of righteousness that king Dasharatha exiled his dear son Rama to forests. [1-1-23]

"Such a brave one as he is, that Rama repaired [went] to forest for the reason of appeasing Kaikeyi, and as directed by the verbal directive of his father, and to follow his father's word of honor. [1-1-24]

"In whom humbleness and the natural brotherly affection of a brother are abounding [present in great quantity], such a fondly younger brother of Rama, namely Lakshmana, indeed heartily followed his forest going brother Rama, exemplifying the ideals of brotherhood, thus augmenting the happiness of his mother Sumitra. [1-1-25, 26a]

"Seetha, the best one among ladies, a possessor of all best qualities befitting to an ideal lady, the one who is as though fashioned by a Divine marvel, born in Janaka's family and became Dasharatha's daughter-in-law, and she who is the loving wife and an ever-amiable [generally agreeable] alter ego [a trusted friend] of Rama, even she followed Rama to forests, as with Lady Rohini following the Moon... [1-1-26b, 27, 28a]

"The citizens of Ayodhya and even his father Dasharatha have followed that virtue-souled Rama for a distance when he started on his exile. Later Rama reached the tribal chief named Guha, who has a liking for Rama, on the bank of River Ganga in a town called Sringaberapura. And when Rama is teamed with Guha, Lakshmana and Seetha, he left off the charioteer and a minister of his father who charioted them until that time, namely Sumantra. [1-1-28b, 29, 30a]

"That trio of Seetha, Rama and Lakshmana on treading [walk on] forest after forest, and on crossing rivers with plethoric [full] waters, reached the hermitage of Sage Bharadwaja, and by the ordainment [priestly authority] of that sage they arrived at Chitrakuta, and setting up a handsome cottage there, they who have enjoyed every comfort in Ayodhya enjoyed every comfort here also in no less a degree and that trio lived happily and exuberated [to have something in abundance] themselves in woods at Chitrakuta, similar to Gods and Celestials... [1-1-30b, 31, 32a]

"On Rama's going to Chitrakuta thus, King Dasharatha is aggrieved by the grief for son and went to heavens grieving for son... [1-1-32b, 33a]

"On Dasharatha's departure to heavens, though Sage Vasishta and other Brahmans have impressed upon him for his investiture [the act of establishing in office] in kingship, and even though he is highly effectual to rule such a kingdom, he that Bharata refused the kingdom, and that self-denying Bharata, for he is aloft [above] the greed, grouse [complain], and gripe [grievance], went to forests to pray for mercy at the feet of Rama... [1-1-33b. 34]

"But on reaching that great-souled Rama, who is a vanquisher just by his truthfulness, Bharata humbly and reverentially begged of his brother, and the avowed word of Bharata is this, 'oh! Knower of Probity, you alone shall be the king... ‘[1-1-35, 36a]

"Even though Rama is a really benevolent [organized for the purpose of doing good] one, even though he is a readily willing one, even though he is a greatly reputed one for endowments, even though he is a highly capable endower of whatever sought by his adherers, even then Rama did not desire the kingdom, to keep up his own pledge [promise] and also owing to his father's directives... [1-1-36b, 37a]

"On giving his sandals to that Bharata for custodial [relating to guardianship] care of kingdom till his return after the period of exile, then the elder brother of Bharata, namely Rama, persuasively [tending to persuade] turned away Bharata. [1-1-37b, 38a]

"Unfulfilled is the desire of Bharata in taking back Rama to kingdom, hence on touching Rama's feet and taking sandals, he returned from Chitrakuta, and without ruling from capital Ayodhya, he carried on the kingdom from a village called Nandigrama, with an expectation of Rama's return... [1-1-38b, 39a]

"On the departure of Bharata, that effulgent [brilliant] one, for his self-effulgence is not marred [distracted] by the arrival of Bharata with an incitement [action]; that truth-bound one, for his truthfulness is undeterred even by the supplications [humble] to return to capital by Bharata, Kausalya, and even Kaikeyi; that self-controlled one, for the lure of kingdom has not controlled his senses, such as he is, he that Rama foresaw the repeated arrival of citizens, other subjects, or even Bharata to that place. Hence Rama indeed entered Dandaka forest, determinedly about his plighted [give in] promise to undergo exile and decidedly about the elimination of demons... [1-1-39b, 40]

"That lotus-eyed Rama on his entering the vast of Dandaka forest eliminated the demon Viraadha, and indeed descried [discovered] Sage Sharabhanga, also even Sage Suteekshna, also Sage Agastya and likewise Sage Agastya's brother... [1-1-41, 42a]

"On the advice of Sage Agastya, Rama took a bow of Indra from Sage Agastya, which Indra once gave to Sage Agastya, along with a sword, and two quivers [a case for carrying or holding arrows] in which arrows will be ever-replenishing, and thus Rama is highly pleased to receive befitting weaponry... [1-1-42b, 42a]

"While Rama is staying in the forest of Sage Sharabhanga, all the sages and forest moving ascetics, vaanaprashta-s, have approached him for the elimination of monsters and menaces [threat]... [1-1-42b, 43a]

"Rama conceded to the supplications [humbleness] of those sages of that forest, which forest has become an abode of demons, and Rama also promised those sages who are the dwellers of Dandaka forest, and whose glow is like that of the Ritual-fire, to eliminate all of the demons in combat... [1-1-44b, 45]

"While Rama is living there in Dandaka forest, a guise-changing female demon named Shuurpanakha, who is a resident of Janasthaana, a place in Dandaka forest, is disfigured... [1-1-46]

"Then in a combat Rama eliminated all the fourteen demons who rebelliously came at him in the first round of combat incited [urged] by the provokes of Shuurpanakha, and then in second round Rama eliminated demon chiefs called Khara, Trishira, Duushana, who are none but the cousins of Shuurpanakha and Ravana... [1-1-47, 48a]

"During his stay in Dandaka forest Rama eliminated fourteen thousand demons in all, who are the inhabitants of that very forest... [1-1-48b, 49a]

"Then on hearing the slaughter [killings] of his cousins, Ravana is convulsed [to shake or agitate violently] in anger and sought the help of a demon named Maareecha... [1-1-49b, 50a]

"But Maareecha deterred [discouraged] Ravana telling him time and again, 'oh, Ravana, unpardonable will be your rivalry with that formidable [impressive] Rama, formidable because fourteen thousand clansmen of ours could not triumph over him...' [1-1-50b, 51a]

"Then heedless of Maareecha's advice and ushered by the time of his own doom, Ravana advanced to the threshold of Rama's hermitage along with Maareecha... [1-1-51b, 52a]

"Ravana stole the wife of Rama, namely Seetha, by getting the princes Rama and Lakshmana distracted distantly from their hermitage through the trickster Maareecha, and after putting the eagle Jataayu, which came to Seetha's rescue, to sword... [1-1-52b, 53a]

"On seeing the eagle Jataayu almost dead and on hearing from the same eagle that Maithili (Seetha) is stolen, seethed [boiling] with anguish [anger] and senses, frenzied [showing great emotional disturbance] Raghava bewailed [expressed deep sorrow]... [1-1-53b, 54a]

"Rama then cremated that eagle Jataayu in that anguish, and while searching for Seetha in forest, he indeed saw a demon named Kabandha, who is misshapen in his look and monstrous to look to... [1-1-54b, 55]

"That Rama whose arms are highly powerful has eliminated and cremated that demon Kabandha, and Kabandha while going heavenward told Rama, 'oh, Raghava, proceed to the ascetic lady of right-conduct and an expert in rightness, namely Shabari...' and vanished... [1-1-56, 57a]

"He who is a great-resplendent [shining brilliantly] one and an enemy-eliminator, that son of Dasharatha, Rama arrived close at Shabari, and Shabari venerated him, thoroughly... [1-1-57b, 58a]

"Rama met the Vanara Hanuma on the banks of Lake Pampa, and upon the word of Hanuma Rama indeed befriended Sugreeva... [1-1-58b, 59b]

"That highly dynamic Rama detailed to Sugreeva, and even to Hanuma, all that has happened from the beginning in general, and the abduction of Seetha, in particular... [1-1-59b, 60a]

"On listening all that has happened from Rama, that Vanara Sugreeva befriended Rama where the witness for that friendship is flaring fire, for it alone is auspicious... [1-1-60b, 61a]

"Then that woeful [grievous] king of monkeys Sugreeva, woefully [grievously] informed Rama about his saga of feud [quarrel] with his brother Vali in reply to Rama's query, in friendship and in its entirety... [1-1-61b, 62a]

"Then Rama solemnly promised Sugreeva to eliminate Vali in retaliation to his foul deeds in respect of Sugreeva and of probity as well, and then that Vanara Sugreeva started to tell about the sinews [power] of Vali... [1-1-62b, 63a]

"Sugreeva always remained doubtful about the powers of Raghava and by reason of confiding in Raghava's prowess [extraordinary ability] for himself, and by reason of making Raghava to confide in the powers of Vali, Sugreeva has shown him the massive remains of demon Dundubhi, which is similar to a great mountain... [1-1-63b, 64]

That universally skillful and brilliant Rama looked at the skeleton, smiled in aplomb [confidence], then that very energetic Rama flicked that skeleton with tip of his foot's big toe wholly to ten yojana-lengths... yet Sugreeva's confidence remained apathetic [spiritless]... [1-1-65]

"Again Rama ripped seven massive trees called sala trees with only one great arrow, which not only rived [torn down] the trees but also rent [to split or tear apart or in pieces by violence] through a mountain, and to the nethermost subterranean of earth, in order to inculcate [implant] certainty in Sugreeva... [1-1-66]

"Then Sugreeva's heart is gladdened by that act of Rama and also at the prospect of his own success, and then that great monkey confiding in Rama advanced to the cave like Kishkindha along with Rama... [1-1-67]

"Then that best monkey Sugreeva whose body-hue [color] is golden, war-whooped at the entrance of cave like Kishkindha, by which loud shouting there emerged Vali, the king of monkeys, out of that cave like Kishkindha... [1-1-68]

"Vali came out only on pacifying Tara, his wife, who deterred Vali from going to meet Sugreeva in a combat, as she doubted that Sugreeva must have come with Rama, and then Vali met Sugreeva head on... and therein that duel Raghava eliminated Vali, only with one arrow... [1-1-69]

"On eliminating Vali in combat upon the word of Sugreeva, then Rama established Sugreeva alone for that kingdom as its king... [1-1-70]

"Sugreeva being the ablest [marked by intelligence, knowledge, skill, or competence] among monkeys summoned all of the monkeys and sent them forth in all directions in search of Seetha, the daughter of Janaka... [1-1-71]

"Then, upon the word of Sampaati, the eagle and elder brother of Jataayu, the efficacious [effective] Hanuma leaped forth the salty ocean, which breadth-wise is in a hundred yojana-s... [1-1-72]

"On reaching the city Lanka ruled by Ravana, Hanuma has seen Seetha, where she is lodged in Ashoka gardens and meditating on Rama alone... [1-1-73]

"Hanuma on presenting the remembrance, an emblematic [symbolic representative] ring of Rama to Seetha, also on delineating [describing] the sad disposition [mood] of Rama to her, thus on solacing [consoling] Vaidehi (Seetha), he started to smash the welcome-arch of that beautiful Ashoka gardens... [1-1-74]

"On wiping out five army chiefs, seven sons of ministers, and on kneading [to press into a mass with hands] down a gallant demon named Aksha Kumara, Hanuma had to enter into the captivity of a powerful weapon darted by Indrajit, the son of Ravana... [1-1-75]

"Though the release from the weapon's captivity is known to him by the boon of Brahma, and though he is valiant enough to pulverize [to reduce to very small particles] all the demons, but to see and talk to Ravana, thus to gauge the strength of enemy, Hanuma is intentionally tolerant of the demons and their making monkey of him when they fastened him with ropes and dragged him to Ravana's court. After an audience [a formal hearing or interview] with Ravana, Hanuma burnt that city Lanka, except where Seetha, the princess of Mithila is stationed, and then to narrate the pleasant news of locating Seetha, he again got back to Rama, for he is a great monkey... [1-1-76, 77]

"That inestimable [incapable of being estimated or computed] intellectual Hanuma on approaching that great-souled Rama, and on performing circumambulation around him in reverence, subtly submitted that, 'Seen... Seetha...' [1-1-78]

"Then, Rama along with Sugreeva and other monkeys has gone to the seashore of Great Ocean, and when Ocean-god is unyielding to give way, then he started to put the Ocean-god to turmoil with his arrows, as with Sun-god who puts an ocean to turmoil with his sunrays... [1-1-79]

"The Ocean-god revealed himself and upon the word of that Ocean-god alone, Rama put up Vanara Nala to build a bridge across the ocean... [1-1-80]

"On going to the city Lanka by that bridge and on eliminating Ravana in battle, Rama redeemed Seetha, but he subsequently came down with much humiliation, since redeeming Seetha in enemy's place might become controversial... [1-1-81]

"Then Rama spoke harsh words to Seetha among the assemblages [gathering] of monkeys, demons, and others, but she that Seetha being husband-devout has entered the burning fire intolerant of those unkindly words of Rama... [1-1-82]

"Then, upon the word Fire-god and Rama realized that Seetha is rid of sins and he is very highly gladdened. And when all the gods reverenced him [treated with honor] for his great accomplishment in eliminating Ravana, Rama shone forth with his self-resplendence [splendor]. Thus all the three worlds inclusive of their mobile and sessile [not free to move about] beings, all gods with the observances of hermits have become exultant [filled with great joy] for this great accomplishment of the great souled Raghava... [1-1-83, 84]

"Enthroning [to seat ceremonially on a throne] Vibheeshana as the chieftain of demons in Lanka, then feeling that his task is fulfilled, Rama indeed rejoiced highly getting rid of febrility [a long desire] about any uncertainty of fulfilling his promises, excepting for Jataayu... [1-1-85]

"Rama obtained boon from gods to get all the dead monkeys up on their feet as though woken up from sleep, and he traveled towards Ayodhya by Pushpaka aircraft, with all the good hearted friends around him... [1-1-86]

"Rama, the truth-valiant, has gone to the hermitage of Sage Bharadwaja en route, and he has also sent Hanuma to the near of Bharata beforehand... [1-1-87]

"Then on boarding Pushpaka aircraft again after leaving the hermitage of Bharadwaja, and telling episodes jovially [with joy] to Sugreeva and others about the events in the days of his exile in forests, while flying overhead of the very same places, Rama went to Nandigrama, where Bharata is available... [1-1-88]

"That impeccable [flawless] Rama rejoining with all of his brothers in the village Nandigrama removed his matted locks of hair along with them. Thus he, on regaining Seetha and on discarding hermit's role again became a householder, and he regained his kingdom also... [1-1-89]

"When Rama is enthroned then the world will be highly regaled [feast with delicacies] and rejoiced, exuberant [plentiful] and abundant, also rightly righteous, trouble-free, disease-free, and free from fear of famine..." Thus Narada is foreseeing the future and telling Valmiki. [1-1-90]

"While Rama is on the throne, men will not see the deaths of their children anywhere in their lifetime, and the ladies will remain husband-devout and unwidowed during their lifetime... [1-1-91]

"In the kingdom of Rama there is no fear for subjects from wildfires, gale-storms or from diseases, and there is no fear from hunger or thieves, nor the cattle is drowned in floodwaters, as well... [1-1-92, 93a]

"May it be a township or a remote province, it will be replete with coin and grain, and as to how people lived in high gladness during the earlier Krita era, likewise people will live in Rama's period also with the same gladness... [1-1-93b, 94a]

"On performing hundreds of Horse-Rituals and rituals wherein plenteous gold is bounteously donated, likewise on donating millions of cows and uncountable wealth to Brahmans and scholars, that highly illustrious Rama will proceed to Brahma's abode, in future... [1-1-94b, 95a]

"In this world Raghava will establish kingly dynasties in hundredfold and he will be maintaining the four-caste system positing each in his own probity [honest], may it be caste-bound or provincial-kingdom-bound probity [honest], in order to achieve a perfect social harmony... [1-1-96]

"On reverencing [to regard or treat with honor] the kingdom for ten thousand years plus another one thousand years, i.e. for a total of eleven thousand years, Rama voyages to the abode of Brahma... [1-1-97]

"This Ramayana is holy, sin-eradicating, merit-endowing, and conformable with the teachings of all Vedas... and whoever reads this Legend of Rama, he will be verily liberated of all his sins... [1-1-98]

"Any man who reads this lifespan-enriching narrative of actuality [reality], Ramayana, the peregrination [walk or journey] of Rama, he will be enjoying worldly pleasures with his sons and grand sons and with assemblages of kinfolks, servants etc., as long as he is in this mortal world and on his demise [death], he will be adored in heaven... [1-1-99]

"A man reading this Ramayana happens to be a Brahman, one from teaching-class, he obtains excellence in his speech, and should he be Kshatriya person from ruling-class, he obtains land-lordship, and should he be Vyshya person from trading-class, he accrues monetary-gains, and should he be a Shudra person from working class, he acquires his personal excellence..." Thus Sage Narada gave a gist [the main points] of Ramayana to Sage-poet Valmiki. [1-1-100]

Thus, this is the 1st chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate


Desiraju Hanumanta Rao. (1998). Balakanda - Book Of Youthful Majesties.