A Conversation between Dasharatha and Sumantra


Sumantra, the minister of King Dasharatha, details the importance of Sage Rishyasringa and beseeches [to request earnestly] the king to invite that sage to preside over the contemplated [consider with continued attention] Vedic ritual, for that Sage's entry into any kingdom is auspicious for that land and people.

Chapter [Sarga] 9 in Detail

Sumantra, the charioteer Chitraratha and one of the ministers of King Dasharatha, having heard all about the king's desire to perform a Vedic ritual, said this in confidence to king, "oh, king, I will tell an early legend, an early legendary narration that I listened... [1-9-1]

"Oh, king, I have earlier heard of this present advice given to you by Vedic scholars, as godly Sage Sanatkumara has once narrated an account about the arrival of your sons in the presence of other sages, and sage Sanat Kumara said... [1-9-2, 3a]

"He said that "Sage Kashyapa has a son known as Vibhaandaka, and his son will be the renowned Sage Rishyasringa, and that Sage Rishyasringa will grow up in forests, and will always be dwelling in forest... [1-9-3b, 4]

"Not knowing others, that Brahman the best, namely Rishyasringa, will always be abiding his father and he will follow celibacy [the state of not being married] of two kinds Brahmanical vows namely vratitva , praajaapatya ... [1-9-5]

"In the world he becomes famous for his celibacy, oh king, and he will always be praised by Brahmans, and thus time will pass on with that kind of his conduct, [1-9-6]

Sage Rishyasringa looses no time with his servitor-ship [duty] to the Sacrificial Fire and also to his celebrated father, and during this period alone there will be a famed and very strong king Romapaada, a valiant in Anga country... [1-9-7, 8a]

"But by a violation of righteousness of that king there will be a shocking and devastating famine in that country...[1-9-8b, 9]

"While the famine is besetting [attacking or coming with force] that king Romapaada will be afflicted with grim, and on summoning Brahmans and learned scholars he will address them... [1-9-9b. 10a]

"All of you are well versed in rituals and knower of the world history... order me how to how the purification from sin will be... [1-9-10b, 11a]

"Thus said by king those scholarly Brahmans and Vedic scholars will say to the king, 'oh, king, son of Sage Vibhaandaka, namely Rishyasringa, is to be fetched by all methods... [1-9-11b, 12]

"Oh! King, having brought Sage Rishyasringa and honoring him well with good care, procedurally give him your daughter Shanta in marriage to that Vedic Brahman and the son of Sage Vibhaandaka... [1-9-13]

"On listening them the king becomes thoughtful about the idea by which it is possible to bring that self-controlled sage to his place... [1-9-14]

"Then that intellectual king decides along with ministers, to dispatch clergymen and ministers, honoring them well, and then sends them... [1-9-15]

"They on hearing king's words are awestruck [filled with terror] and lowering their faces they will say, 'we can not go there as we are afraid of sage Vibhaandaka, father of Rishyasringa...' [1-9-16]

"After thinking over they will say as a second thought, and having found a solution with a plan to bring that sage, 'we will fetch that Brahman and also by that no stigma [a mark of shame] will occur...' [1-9-18]

"Thus by the king of Anga kingdom and by his courtesans [prostitutes with a courtly, wealthy, or upper-class clientele] the son of sage Rishyasringa will be brought and the presiding deity for rains will showers rains, and Shanta will also be given in marriage to that sage...’ [1-9-18]

"Sage Rishyasringa, son-in-law of Romapaada, King of Anga and as well as to you, if invited to our kingdom he will bless you to beget sons, oh! King... so said Sage Sanatkumara to other sages and all this is retold by me." [Thus the charioteer and the Minister Sumantra completed his narration in confidence to King Dasharatha.] [1-9-19]

Then King Dasharatha is delighted and in turn spoke to Sumantra "By what idea Rishyasringa is brought to Anga kingdom that shall be said..." [1-9-20]

Thus, this is the 9th chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate