Rama Hears the Ramayana Recited by His Own Sons


Valmiki composed twenty four thousand verses and taught them to Lava and Kusha, the sons of Rama and Seetha. The two youngsters sing the ballad [a simple song] among the assemblages [gathering] of sages and saints, and win laurels. Rama on seeing the boys singing on the streets and king's ways of Ayodhya, brings them to his palace, and summons all his brothers and ministers to listen to the ballad. Rama himself is put to the turmoil, for the ballad sung by these youngsters narrates the legend of Seetha. But he himself collecting his calm, Rama paid his attention to listen the 'Legend of Seetha' sithaayah charitam mahaan as Valmiki calls Ramayana.

Chapter [Sarga] 4 in Detail

The godly saint Valmiki composed Ramayana on Rama's retrieving [regaining] kingdom, wording admirably and meaningfully. [1-4-1]

Sage Valmiki said Ramayana in twenty four thousand verses, in six hundred chapters, in six books, likewise an end-piece too. [1-4-2]

Though that great scholar composed thus with leading and sequel [subsequent development] legends, that godly saint thought over thus 'really, who will render all this ballad...' [1-4-3]

Then Lava and Kusha who are in the attire [dress] of hermits have touched the feet of that contemplative [marked by concentration on spiritual things] soul Valmiki, who is now thoughtful. [1-4-4]

Glorious Kusha and Lava are the virtue knowing princes, and they are endowed with melodious voice, besides being the residents of the same hermitage, thus Valmiki saw them saluting [touching] at his feet. [1-4-5]

On seeing that pair intellectuals who are proficient [well versed] in Veda-s that self-reliant sage Valmiki made those two to memorize the epic, as the epic Ramayana is composed only to reinforce the import [significance] of Veda-s, as an ancillary [subsidiaries]. [1-4-6]

That sage with observed sacred vows has rendered the entire epic in the name of 'Ramayana', 'Sublime Legend of Seetha' and 'elimination of Ravana'. [1-4-7]

To read or to sing it is melodious, adaptable to music with three scales and sevenfold tune, and orchestral to the tunes of string-instrument and rhythm included... [1-4-8]

Aesthetics like romance, pathos [artistic representation evoking pity or compassion], comic, fury, fright, valor etc., embodying the epic is sung [by Kusha, Lava.] [1-4-9]

They are conversant with the art of music and proficient with the pitch and pausing their voices, and those two brothers have not only a wealthy voice, but they also look like celestial [suggesting heaven or divinity] singers. [1-4-10]

They have charm in their appearance and melodiousness in their voice, they are like the two reflections of one original object, and thus they came out from the body of Rama, separately. [1-4-11]

They the princes have memorized that virtue-expounding [explaining] epic, the best; in its entirety and in doing so, they rendered that epic faultlessly. [1-4-12]

They sung the epic as schooled, well aware of its content and intent, among the assemblages of sages, scholars and also of eminent persons, with their best concentration [1-4-13]

Once those two great-souls who endowed [to provide with something freely or naturally] with musical talent and with all remarkable features, sung this epic, standing nearby the midst of a gathering of sages and pious souls. [1-4-14-15a]

On hearing that, the eyes of all the sages were overspread with tears of happiness, and they appreciated saying, 'splendid, splendid is this...' [1-4-15b-16a]

All those saints being the saint-patrons of virtue are pleased at heart, and praised the praiseworthy Kusha and Lava, while they are singing. [1-4-16b-17a]

"The melody of the ballad [a simple song], especially the meaning of verses, aha! Superb... though this has happened long-ago it is shown like the one happening presently... [1-4-17b-18a]

"On getting into the mood of the epic, those two sang its import [significance] in one tune, that too melodiously and rapturously [ecstasy], marinating the pitch and tune..." So said the saints. [1-4-18b-19a]

While the great saints of blessed ascetics are appreciating that way, those two melodiously sang very effectually [effectively] and very meaningfully. [1-4-19b-20a]

And someone, a pleased saint, got up and bestowed a handy vessel to them... another reputed sage, lauding them contributed a jute robe. [1-4-20b-21a]

And another sage bestowed a black-deerskin, and like that yet another a sacred thread... someone gave a water-pot and another great saint a girdle [an article of dress encircling the body usually at the waist] of maunja grass to singers, while that way another contributed an under cloth; another sage gladly contributed a hatchet [a short-handled ax often with a hammerhead to be used with one hand] to them, another a saffron clothe [dress], and yet another saint bestowed a cloth-wrapper; another delivered tuft-headband also, and another enchanted for their singing ballad handed out a sacrificial vessel, and another a bundle of firewood sticks, and yet another gave a plank-seat of audambari wood, and other called forth blessings, and someone then happily chanted bless-hymns for longevity... there by all the truth-avowing [obeying] saints, those that are great sages have thus bestowed boons. [1-4-21b-26a]

"Surprising is this well-said rendering [delivering] of Valmiki... it is the subsistence [existence] for tomorrow's poets... and this is completed sequentially, as well... [1-4-26b-27a]

While this song that generates longevity and prosperity, and one that is melodious one to all ears is being sung everywhere in streets and king's ways and while those two singers who are experts in singing any kind of music are being appreciated everywhere, Rama has seen them. [1-4-27b-29a]

Then on seeing them Rama, the enemy-eliminator, fetched those honor-worthy bothers, Lava and Kusha, to his palace and honored them. [1-4-29b-30a]

He that king Rama is then surrounded by his ministers and brothers that are sitting his nearby, he himself sat on a divine golden throne. [1-4-3b-31a]

Having seen the mannerly brothers endowed with beautiful features, Rama spoke to Lakshmana, and Shatrughna, and Bharata likewise. [1-4-31b-32a]

Rama said to thus, "Let this ballad [a simple song] be keenly heard from these divinely resplendent [shining brilliantly] brothers, for it contains versatile words and meanings...' and thus he motivated the singers. [1-4-32b-33a]

Even those two singers have sung the ballad melodiously and effectually, with their clear and clarified voices, like the melody of string and rhythmic instruments, with very clear and meaningful intonation [the rise and fall in pitch of the voice in speech]. [1-4-33b-c]

Enthralling [charming] courtier's bodies, minds and hearts also, and thus that song sone forth (sone - a subjective unit of loudness for an average listener equal to the loudness of a 1000-hertz sound that has an intensity 40 decibels above the listener's own threshold of hearing) as it is for all ears, bearing a comfort in its manifestation [materialization], among the gathering of the people. [1-4-34]

"These two saint-like Kusha and Lava, who also possess kingly features, but they are great hermits... this narration is endowing good fortune to me also, listen to that great efficacious [effective] legend [of Seetha...]" [So said Rama to those courtiers.] [1-4-35]

Then those two singers, motivated by Rama's words, sang the ballad [a simple song] in maarga system, for they are well versed in it, then even Rama, who is also in the congregation [assembly of persons or gathering], again to pacify his mind, [for the story of Seetha puts his mind to turmoil,] became interested at heart [to continue listening Seetha's story...] [1-4-36]

Thus, this is the 4th chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate