Dasharatha decides to perform an elaborate Vedic ritual, called Aswametha yajna, Horse Ritual, to beget children. He being a considerate king in taking conscience [in all fairness] of the courtiers [one in attendance at a royal court], he discusses this aspect with the Vedic scholars and ministers of his court, beforehand.
Chapter [Sarga] 8 in Detail
tasya ca evam prabhaavasya dharmajnasya mahaatmanah |
sutaartham tapya maanasya na asiit va.nshakarah sutah || 1-8-1
To him, to such an effectual and virtuously great-souled King Dasharatha, a dynasty-enriching son is not begotten though his heart is burning to beget [get] children. [1-8-1]
chintayaanasya tasya evam buddhih aasiin mahaatmanah |
sutaartham vaajimedhena kim artham na yajaami aham || 1-8-2
To that anguished [tormented or agonized] great-soul, a thought occurred this way, "To beget sons, why should not I perform Horse ritual...[and thus appease the gods in order to beget worthy sons..."] [1-8-2]
sa nishchitaam matim kritvaa yastavyam iti buddhimaan |
ma.ntribhih saha dharmaatmaa sarvaih api krita aatmabhih || 1-8-3
tato.abraviit mahaatejaah suma.ntram ma.ntri sattamam |
shiighram aanaya me sarvaan guruun taan sa purohitaan || 1-8-4
That intellectual and a conscientious king having resolved with all of his sagacious [of keen and farsighted penetration and judgment] ministers that such a Vedic ritual is performable, then addressed best among ministers, namely Sumantra, ‘ fetch all my teachers and clerics [members of the official class of a religion], quickly...’ [1-8-3, 4]
tatah suma.ntrah tvaritam gatvaa tvarita vikramah |
sam aanayat sa taan sarvaan samastaan veda paaragaan || 1-8-5
suyajnam vaamadevam cha jaabaalim atha kaashyapam |
purohitam vashishhtham cha ye cha api anye dwijottamaah || 1-8-6
Then Sumantra gone quickly, for he in quickness is a dauntless [fearless] one, and fetched all of the clerics like Suyajna, Vaama Deva, Jaabala, Kashyapa, and even Sage Vashishta, and also those other eminent Brahman that are Vedic scholars. [1-8-5,6]
taan pujayitvaa dharmaatmaa raajaa dasharathah tadaa |
idam dharma artha sahitam shlaksnam vachanam abraviit ||1-8-7
Then on adoring [regarding with loving admiration and devotion] them, virtuous King Dasharatha spoke this impressible sentence that included justification and meaning. [1-8-7]
mama laalasya maanasya sutaartham naasti vai sukham |
tadartham hayamedhena yakshhyaami iti matir mama || 1-8-8
"My mind is tumultuous [rioting] without quietude [a quiet state] for I have no sons... for that reason, I wish perform Aswametha, Vedic Horse Ritual... this is my thinking... [1-8-8]
tat aham yastum icchami shaastra dristena karmanaa |
katham praapsyaami aham kaamam buddhih atra vichintyataam || 1-8-9
"Therefore, I contemplate [consider with continued attention] to perform that ritual as enshrined [cherished as sacred] in the scriptures and as a rite-oriented [a ceremonial act or action] one as well... let this contemplation of mine be well thought of... and as to how my desire to beget sons will be fulfilled... [1-8-9]
tatah saadhu iti tadvaakyam braahmanaah pratyapujayan |
vashishhtha pramukhaah sarve paarthivasya mukheritam || 1-8-10
Then the Brahman scholars along with Sage Vashishta and all other important personalities in their turn have blessed and honored him, saying that "splendid is this idea..." thus, for that which is voiced by the king. [1-8-10]
uuchuh cha parama priitaah sarve dasharatham vachah |
sa.mbhaaraah sa.mbhriya.ntaam te turagah cha vimuchyataam || 1-8-11
All of them becoming happy have also said to King Dasharatha, "let the paraphernalia [required articles] be provided, and your ritual-horse be released... [1-8-11]
sarayvaah ca uttare tiire yajna bhuumir vidhiiyataam |
sarvathaa praapsyase putraan abhipretaan cha paarthiva || 1-8-12
yasya te dharmikii buddhih iyam putraartham aagataa |
"Oh, king, by all means you will beget sons as you desired, since you, to whom an upright thinking has suggested itself... let the ritual ground be arranged on the northern banks of River Sarayu...” So said the scholars. [1-8-12, 13a]
tatah tustoabhavat raajaa shrutvaa tad dvija bhaasitam || 1-8-13
amaatyaan abraviit raajaa harshha paryaakula lochana |
sa.mbhaaraah sa.mbhriya.ntaam me guruunaam vachanaat iha || 1-8-14
“Then King Dasharatha is gladdened on hearing the sayings of those Brahmans. And with happiness lurching on his eyes the king spoke to the ministers, "As advised by my Vedic teachers let the paraphernalia be procured... [1-8-13b, 14]
samartha adhisthitah cha ashvah sah upaadhyaayo vimuchyataam |
sarayvaah cha uttare tiire yajna bhumir vidhiiyataam || 1-8-15
"On the northern banks of River Sarayu the ritual ground be arranged... and the Ritual-Horse be released monitored by capable warriors, along with the religious teachers...” So said the king. [1-8-15]
shaantayah cha api vardhantaam yathaa kalpam yathaa vidhi |
shakyah praaptum ayam yajnah sarvena api mahiikshitaa || 1-8-16
na aparaatho bhavet kasto yadi asmin kratu sattame |
"Let peace invocations be prevailing and prospering, as ordained [defined] in the scriptures and tradition...if it is possible for the correct performance to obtain results of this ritual, and if it is possible to conduct this ritual without any difficult faults during its performance, then all the kings on earth would have performed it... [1-8-16, 17a]
cchidram hi mrigayante sma vidvaa.mso brahma raakshasaah || 1-8-17
vidhi hiinasya yajnasya sadyah kartaa vinashyati |
"Scholarly Brahma Rakshasas [He who has associated with outcasts, he who has approached the wives of other men, and he who has stolen the property of a Brahmana become Brahma Rakshasas] will be hunting for the faults alone in the course of this ritual... should the procedure of this ritual be depraved [corrupted] of its set rules, the performer gets ruined... [1-8-17b, 18a]
tadyathaa vidhi puurvam me kraturesa samaapyate || 1-8-18
tathaa vidhaanam kriyataam samarthaah saadhanesu iti |
"Therefore, you all shall see as to how this ritual of mine be conducted and concluded procedurally, and all of you are evidently experts in conducting such rituals... isn’t it! [1-8-18b, 19a]
tathaa iti cha abruvan sarve ma.ntrinah pratipuujitaa || 1-8-19
paarthivendrasya tad vaakyam yathaa puurvam nishamya te |
On listening the words of the king all the ministers adored and assured him saying, ‘It will be conducted faultlessly as has been conducted earlier...” [1-8-19b, 20a]
tathaa dvijaah te dharmajnaa varthayato nripottamam || 1-8-20
anujnaataah tatah sarve punar jagmur yathaa aagatam |
On hearing those words of that best king, and what that is spoken earlier, then the virtue knowing Brahman scholars hailing [acclaiming] that best king took leave of him and went away as they have come. [1-8-20b, 21a]
visarjayitvaa taan vipraan sachivaan idam abraviit || 1-8-21
ritvigbhih upasa.ndisto yathaavat kratur aapyataam |
Then on sending off those Brahman scholars, the king spoke this way to the ministers... “As advised by the Vedic scholars this ritual shall be conducted, procedurally..." [1-8-21b, 22a]
iti uktvaa nripa shaardulah sachivaan samupasthitaan || 1-8-22
visarjayitvaa svam veshma pravivesha mahaamatih |
The tigerly-king and highly intellectual Dasharatha, on saying thus to his ministers who are still in his audience, sent away those ministers also, and he entered his palace. [1-8-22b, 23a]
tatah sa gatvaa taah patniir narendro hridaya.ngamaah || 1-8-23
uvaacha diikshaam vishata yaxe.aham suta kaaranaat |
And on approaching his wives, that best king's heartily dear ones, he said to them, “I am performing a Vedic ritual for the reason of begetting sons and you all shall enter a vow...” [1-8-23b, 24a]
taasaam tena ati kaantena vachanena suvarchasaam |
mukha padmaan ashobhanta padmaaniiva himaatyaye || 1-8-24
On hearing those words of the king, the lustrous [bright] countenances [face] of the queens have become more gleaming, like the blooming lotuses after the clearance of dew-fall. [1-8-24b, c]
iti valmiki ramayane adi kave astamah sargah
Thus, this is the 8th chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.
Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate