Shatananda Begins to Relate to Rama the Story of Vishvamitra


Enquiring about his father Gautama's reuniting with his mother Ahalya, Sage Shataananda relates the legend of Vishvamitra. Shataananda greets Rama for his adherence to the rectitude [righteousness] of Vishvamitra, which Vishvamitra gained through a series of self-important exploits, when he was a great king at one time. Shataananda finds worth in informing the biography of Vishvamitra to Rama, because too much of overbearing [dominance] of kings, as has been done by Vishvamitra, will be unbecoming [conflicting with accepted standards of good conduct] for kings.

Chapter [Sarga] 51 – in Detail

On hearing that sentence of that intellectual sage Vishvamitra, the highly refulgent [brilliant] and the great ascetic Shataananda is overjoyed, and Sage Shataananda, the eldest son of Sage Gautama, and whose radiance is brightened by his own asceticism is highly amazed just on seeing Rama. [1-51-1, 2]

On raptly [quickly] observing those two princes who are sitting comfortably with their heads bending down submissively, then Shataananda spoke to the eminent sage Vishvamitra. [1-51-3]

Oh, tigerly saint Vishvamitra, you have revealed my glorious mother Ahalya who meted [performed] out a marathon asceticism to the princes - Really! [1-51-4]

And the highly resplendent [brilliant] and celebrated mother of mine worshipped Rama, who is worthy of worship by every corporeal [physical or living] being, with forest produce [yield], is it so! [1-51-5]

Oh, great-resplendent Vishvamitra, you have narrated to Rama about the maltreatment of my mother by the Providence [state or people] as has happened anciently, isn't it! [1-51-6]

Oh, the best sage Kaushika, you be safe, my mother is reunited with my father on beholding and giving hospitality to Rama - Really! [1-51-7]

Oh, Kaushika, my father came to my mother's place from Himalayas! Has the great resplendent [brilliant] father of mine worshipped Rama because the redemption [restoration] of my mother is per the kindness of Rama! Has this great-souled Rama reverenced [to regard or treat with honor] that great resplendent father of mine by according redemption [compensate for a defect], Ahalya daana, the endowment [natural capacity, power, or ability] of Ahalya to her husband. [1-51-8]

Oh, Kaushika, on his arrival at my mother's place whether this reverential [having a quality of honor] Rama reverenced my father with a pacified heart without becoming contumelious [abusive and humiliating]! Thus sage Shataananda exclaimed at the marvel [surprise] occurred through Rama. [1-51-9]

On hearing that sentence of his, that great-saint and sentence-precisian Sage Vishvamitra, replied the sentence-precisionist [accurate] Sage Shataananda. [1-51-10]

I have done whatever good is to be done and nothing is left undone, and the wife of the sage, namely Ahalya, is reunited with her husband sage Gautama, as with Renuka who was reunited with sage Jamagani, the descendent of Bhrigu. So said Vishvamitra. [1-51-11]

On hearing those words of that highly intellectual Vishvamitra, high refulgent [brilliant] sage Shataananda spoke these words to Rama. [1-51-12]

Hail to thee! Oh, best one among men Rama, your arrival is a Godsend, not only to Mithila but to entire humanity, and oh, Raghava, as an undefeatable great-sage Vishvamitra spearheads you, so shall your mission be undefeatable, thus hail to thee! [1-51-13]

This highly resplendent [brilliant] Vishvamitra's exploits are unimaginable. He attained the highest order of Brahma-sage by his asceticism, thus illimitable is his ascetic resplendence [brilliance], and you have to know him as an ultimate course, not only to you alone, but also to one and all. [1-51-14]

None other than you is fortunate enough on earth, oh, Rama, as you are in the custodial care of Vishvamitra, the scion [descendant] of Kushika, who has practiced supreme asceticism [practicing strict self-denial]. [1-51-15]

What is the prowess [extraordinary ability] of the great-souled Vishvamitra, and what the quintessence [representative] of his legend may be heard from me while I narrate it. [1-51-16]

This probity-souled [adherence to the highest principles and ideals] Vishvamitra, being a proficient in rectitude [righteousness], a perfectionist in kingcraft, a proponent of people's welfare, more so a persecutor [punisher] of enemies, was there as a king for a long time. [1-51-17]

There was a king named Kusha, a brainchild of Prajapati, and Kusha's son was the powerful and verily righteous Kushanaabha. [1-51-18]

One who is highly renowned by the name Gadhi was the son of Kushanaabha, and Gaadhi's son is this great-saint of great resplendence, Vishvamitra. [1-51-19]

Vishvamitra ruled the earth, and this great-resplendent king ruled the kingdom for many thousands of years. [1-51-20]

At one time the great-resplendent king Vishvamitra went round the earth marshalling a unit of akshauhini army [An Akshauhini, was an ancient battle formation that consisted of 21,870 chariots (Sanskrit ratha); 21,870 elephants; 65,610 horse-mounted warriors and 109,350 infantry, as per the Mahabharata (Adi Parva 2.15-23). (ratio - 1 chariot : 1 elephant : 3 horse-mounted warriors : 5 infantry soldiers) It should be noted that in each of these large number groups (65,610, etc.), the digits add up to 18.]. [1-51-21]

Moving sequentially about the provinces, cities, rivers likewise mountains, king Vishvamitra arrived at the threshold of a hermitage which is with numerous flowered trees and climbers, overspread with very many herds of animals, adored by the celestials like Siddha-s and Caarana-s, frequented and embellished with Gods, demons, Gandharva-s, and Kinnaras, spread out with equable deer, adored by flights of birds, compacted with the assemblages of Brahma-sages, and also with the assemblages of Godly-sages who are fully accomplished in their asceticism, where the personal resplendence of each of the great-souled sage is similar to each of the Ritual-fire available in each of the Ritual Fire Altar before which he is sitting, and which hermitage is bustling with the activity of great-souled sages who are comparable to Brahma, among whom some subsist [survive] on water alone, and some on air alone, likewise some more on dry leaves, while some on fruits, tubers, and with such of those sages and also with particular sages like Vaalakhilyaa-s, also with others like Vaikhaanasa-s, who are all self-controlled, who have overcame their peccability [liability to sin], who have overpowered their senses that hermitage is occupied, and while everyone of the inmates is engaged in meditations and oblations into Ritual-fire, and with such sages and their activity whole of the perimeter of that hermitage is brightened and rendered splendid, and king Vishvamitra arrived at such a magnificent hermitage of Sage Vashishta. [1-51-22, 23, 24, 2125, 26, 27, 28a]

And this best one among vanquishers [conquerors] and the great-stalwart [marked by outstanding strength and vigor of body, mind, or spirit] Vishvamitra has then seen the hermitage of Vashishta which is like the worldly Universe of Brahma. Thus Sage Shataananda continued his narration. [1-51-28]

Thus, this is the 51st chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate