How King Sagara’s Sons Divided the Earth


The ritual horse released by Emperor Sagara is snatched away by Indra in order to cause hindrance [to interfere with or slow the progress of] to the ritual. The ritual cannot proceed to culmination [completion] without the horse. Then Sagara orders his sixty thousand sons to search for that horse, asking them to dig earth to trace it, if it is not found on earth. And the princes will dig earth when they have not found the horse on earth, to the grief of beings living in netherworlds.

Chapter [Sarga] 39 in Detail

On listening the narration of Vishvamitra, Rama, the delighter of Raghu's dynasty is highly rejoiced, and at the end of the episode he spoke to sage whose glow is fire like. [1-39-1]

I am interested to listen this episode exhaustively [in detail], oh, Brahman, let good betide you, how my ancestor Sagara had completed the Vedic-ritual, really. [1-39-2]

On listening the words of Rama that are inclusive of his inquisitiveness [curiosity], Sage Vishvamitra smilingly spoke to that descendent of Kakutstha, oh, Rama, let the episode of the great-souled Sagara be listened vividly. Vishvamitra thus commenced to narrate that episode. [1-39-3, 4a]

The father-in-law of God Shankara who is well-known by the name of Himavan sets eyes on Mt. Vindhya, which stands as loftily [high] as Himalayas, and those two mountains peer at each other. [1-39-4b, 5a]

Oh, best one among men, Rama, that Vedic-ritual of Sagara came to pass in between those two mountains, namely Himalayas and Vindhya ranges, and oh, tigerly-man Rama, that area is renowned for Vedic-rituals, isn't it! [1-39-5b, 6a]

Oh, dear sire [father] Rama, the grandson of Sagara and the son of exiled Asamanja is Anshuman, oh, descendant of Kakutstha, which Anshuman's bow will be unfaltering and who is a top-speeded chariot-rider, and he has escorted ritual-horse released. [1-39-6b, 7a]

And on the day of a sacred function called ukthyam, Indra assumed the form of a demon and stole the ritual horse of the chief of the ritual, namely Sagara. [1-39-7b, 8a]

While that ritual-horse of the great-souled Sagara is stolen, all the congregations [assembly] of the Ritwiks, the religious-teachers, then spoke to Sagara. [1-39-8b, 9a]

‘Oh, Sagara, the descendent of Kakutstha, at this auspicious time the ritual horse is hastily diverted, you kill him who stole the horse, and let that horse be fetched. [1-39-9b, 10a]

‘This hindrance in Vedic-ritual will become inauspicious for all of us, thereby, oh, king, action may be taken as to how there can be no fault in proceedings of the ritual.' The religious-teachers of Sagara have advised him in this way. [1-39-10b, 11a]

On hearing the words of religious-teachers that king Sagara indeed spoke this much to his sixty thousand sons in that religious-council. [1-39-11b, 12a]

Oh, sons, I do not envisage [think] any way in for demons into this ritual, since oh, best ones among men, holy-sanctifiers [holy sprits] who themselves are sanctified [free from sins] by the Vedic-hymns are conducting this glorious Vedic-ritual, isn't it. [1-39-12b, 13a]

Oh, sons, you may therefore proceed to search for the horse and its thief on entire earth as far as it is garlanded by the ocean, and safety betides [to happen to] you all. [1-39-13]

'Oh, sons, let each prince advance searching one square yojana of earth, by my order you dig up the earth until the appearance of the horse, while searching for the stealer of that horse. [1-39-14b, 15]

‘As for myself, I will stay here only along with my grandson, namely Anshuman, and with the congregation of religious-teachers till the horse appears, as I am under vow of the ritual.' Thus Sagara instructed to his sixty thousand sons and stayed back at the ritual place. [1-39-16]

Animated [charged with Excitement] by their father's words those great-mighty princes enthusiastically proceeded onto earth's surface in the preliminary round of search. [1-39-1]

But, oh, tigerly-man Rama, on going round the earth in its entirety those great-mighty princes did not find that horse, then as said by their father they mapped the earth to a unit of one square yojana for each of them, and each of them hollowed out each and every area on the surface of earth with their arms that have the touch of the diamonds. [1-39-18]

Mother Earth bewailed [to express deep sorrow] while she is ruptured [broken] with spears also that are similar to thunderbolts, besides with very grueling [punishing] ploughs. [1-39-19]

Oh, Raghava, there emerged an unbearable rumpus [a usually noisy commotion] from the serpents, Asura-s, demons, and other beings living underneath the surface of earth, while they are killed during hollowing the earth. [1-39-20]

Oh, Rama, the legatee of Raghu's dynasty, thus sixty thousand square yojana-s of the earth is dug over, so as to make the earth's outermost plane as the unsurpassed rasaa tala, the sixth subterranean and the nethermost [farthest down] plane. [1-39-21]

Oh, the kingly tiger Rama, the sons of Sagara have endeavored [attempted] everywhere digging over the Jambu Island which is verily congested [crowded] with mountains in this way. [1-39-22]

All the Gods along with Gandharva-s, Asura-s, and reptiles who are distraught [pained or agitated] at heart for the plight [an unfortunate, difficult, or precarious situation] of earth have approached the Forefather, Brahma. [1-39-23]

They the Gods who are very highly scared, and who are chap-fallen [depressed], then spoke this sentence to the great-souled Forefather Brahma on gaining his grace. [1-39-24]

‘Oh, God Brahma, the sons of Sagara are digging entire earth, thus aquatic beings and many great-souls are being destroyed. [1-39-25]

‘This one is the destroyer of our ritual... this one has carried off our ritual horse...' thinking thus and suspecting everyone those sons of Sagara are torturing all the living beings.' Thus all the Gods have appealed to Brahma. So said Sage Vishvamitra to Rama and others. [1-39-26]

Thus, this is the 39th chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate